Home of Stella's Gardens

We are now living full time in Northeast Iowa, and working on the new gardens. It will keep us busy for quite a while...

As an avid gardener since I was about 7 years old, that gives me over 45 years of experience gardening in this part of the world. And every year teaches me a bit more.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Continuing Saga of Spring

Truly many of us are oscillating between enjoying the unseasonable weather and worrying about what happens when the warm weather runs dry. I finally broke down and planted out some of my geraniums in one of my big pots, so see what would happen. If necessary it can make the trip into the garage. They're all green now, but there are four cuttings from a trailing, magenta beauty from last year, and two each of white and "Rose Ice" from seed. And eight lobelia Fountain mix to fill in. When they're sprouted there will be some Purple Majesty millet in the center as the vertical accent. We'll see how it looks in a couple of months!
In the meantime, the ephemerals are blooming - bleeding heart, blue bells, dutchmen's breeches, bloodroot, rue anemone, and the violets of course. I think it is a solid month early.
And this weekend I will try to plant the root crops up north - onions, leeks, shallots, parsnips, salsify...the rest will wait for more normal times.


  1. My bluebells and bleeding heart are also starting to bloom. I haven't put anything in my containers yet except for pansies. haven't sen the violets or dutchman's breeches bloom yet at home, though. I'm in Springfield IL right now and there are beautiful white violets blooming in the Capitol lawns. Can't understand people who think violets are weeds.

    1. Well we're in Cedar Rapids IA (home) although the "north country" is NE corner of IA. We'll see what is up there this weekend. As for violets - which I adore - but like many plantlife that are adept at procreating, they are a pleasure when they are in an environment with competition to keep them in check. However if they end up in a flower garden (or like me, a mixed flower-and-veggie garden) then with open ground to colonize they are a bit....aggressive. The flowers you see are sterile. The seed pods are formed by less glorious means, and when they are ripe they "explode" and send the seeds a-flyin! If you want a few violets, well....you have to work at keeping them "a few". They form a magnificent ground cover carpet, in the right place, but in the wrong place....a weed is simply a plant in the wrong place, eh?

  2. Point taken. I guess I was thinking of people horrified by violets in the lawn. I like violets in the lawn. But I have dug clumps of violets out of my flower beds and I don't want them to get a foothold in my little vegetable garden. I do have a nice groundcover of white violets in the shady south east corner of my backyard.