I’m a bit late with my letter this evening. We had an Easter soiree with thirty members of our family at my house today. Also, thunderstorms flashing with lightning blasted through the state last night, and my Internet connection was down all day. I just fixed it.
Rain, glorious rain fell nearly all day today. Although it spoiled the outdoor egg hunt, no one here was sad. We hunted in the basement and the living room instead. Thursday night, Oklahoma had historic fires all over the state, and 190 homes and businesses were destroyed. The rain stamped out any remaining hot spots. I discovered today from my niece that Tony’s Tree Farm (the landscaper who helped me with my front yard) burned to the ground. I can’t tell you how sad this makes me.
I should go out and check the rain guage, but ‘er, no. I took a shower, and now I’m in my jammies. I don’t intend to move from the couch until I go to bed.
Last week, I didn’t spend much time in the garden. The weather wasn’t the best (too much wind), and all of my children were ill with different maladies. I was also busy preparing for the Easter party. The kids were surprised that I spend so much time at the computer. I explained that I write while they’re at school. They don’t realize I work during the day. It was quite enlightening for them.
Mid-week, I repotted most of my tomato, pepper and eggplant seedlings into larger containers. They were becoming leggy. Luckily, you can plant tomatoes all the way up to their necks, and they will sprout roots along the stem. I think, next year, that although the Burpee Eco pots warmed up faster than the Cow Pots, I’ll forgo the Burpee Eco pots. Once the Cow Pots and the other larger containers caught up, they’ve done better overall.
While I was taking the two trays of Burpee cells and repotting them, I noticed that the seedlings in one tray were significantly smaller and more puny looking. I didn’t know why until I tore apart the cells. Suddenly, I was swarmed by tiny, black ants, and they were everywhere. They’d created a condo within and underneath the cells. No wonder my poor plants weren’t doing very well. Their growing space was housing baby ants. It was all very interesting right up to the point where I washed all of them down the sink. Now, I wonder if the tomatoes will regroup in their new containers with new soil. It remains to be seen. Please don’t be horrified about the ants. I live in the country, and I often encounter all kinds of insects both indoors and out.
I’m still taking the seedlings outside to harden them off before planting them, probably in a week or so. It depends on the weather. I’m not planting them outside until I’m sure they will have the right conditions to survive. I do think the freezes are behind us, but the soil still needs to warm. I visited Guthrie Greenhouse yesterday though, and they had a lot of heirloom tomatoes and other vegetables. I began to wonder why I was working so hard with my own seeds.
I did plant some basil seeds in the containers on the deck, and I planted a few flower seeds too: bachelor buttons, Nicotiana and evening stock.
I bet you’re wondering about the Diva and the containers out front. Well, in spite of feeling lousy with an infection, she went with me and my credit card to the local box store where she picked out the plants, and I paid for them. Since this was her project, I didn’t interfere. I only told her the area was in shade and needed a “thriller, filler and spiller.” Then, I pushed the basket and followed her around the store. She pointed to an orange Asiatic lily.
“Is that was a thriller?”
Kind of, I thought. I cringed a little when I thought how it needed sun, and that the blooms wouldn’t last long in a container. However, I said “Yes, it is.”
She then moved on to the petunias. The Diva, like her father, loves petunias. I don’t as a rule, because the Oklahoma wind is very hard on them. I do like Proven Winners Supertunias. They perform very well in Oklahoma. She chose yellow ones. Yellow petunias still seem a little odd to me, like blue roses, but they were her containers.
After the petunias, she chose a red Calibrochoa. It was interesting that she chose only trumpet shaped blooms. She also limited her selections to yellow, orange and red flowers, until the very end, when she tilted her pretty head.
“Why does it look so bland?” she asked.
“How about adding something purple to offset all of the flowers so close to each other on the color wheel?” I suggested.
“I don’t like purple,” she said.
“How about blue?”
“O.K.,” she said, as she plunked a couple of Lobelia into the cart. I suggested she buy a couple more, but she didn’t feel well, and she was done.
The next day, I planted them for her and thought they looked pretty good, although they could use a little more blue, or perhaps, purple. (Cue laugh track.)
Til next week, dear friends.
The Diva’s choices look great in that pot and I’ll bet they make her smile each time she walks out the door! That’s worth the lack of more blue or purple to her mom, I’ll bet!
Cindy, MCOK´s last blog post..Through the Garden Gate: Monday, April 13th
Annie in Austin
I’m glad you got rain but sorry it came too late for Tony’s Tree Plantation – how sad. The fires sound so awful, Dee.
Maybe the Diva’s trumpet-shaped flowers will attract hummingbirds – have seen them sipping from Calibrochoa here in other years so bought more plants this spring…and they come in purple, hint, hint.
Annie at the Transplantable Rose
Annie in Austin´s last blog post..Hallelujah, Hail, & Hard Work
Annie, it was sad. A lot folks lost their homes. I love Calibrochoa. It’s a wonderful plant for containers especially. Very pretty, and all the insects and little birds seem to love the trumpet shaped blooms. I don’t think she’ll every add purple. LOL.~~Dee
Dee, it has been an eventful spring in OKC area…rain, winds, fire and late freezes. The rains were a blessed relief. I like the Diva’s planter…maybe when she’s feeling better she will want to add a bit of purple! Take care~~gail
Gail´s last blog post..I am So Very Fortunate
Yes, Gail, a bit too eventful for my taste.~~Dee
Kathy from Cold Climate Gardening
I hope Tony’s Tree Farm can rebuild, and I’m very thankful you got rain.
Kathy from Cold Climate Gardening´s last blog post..Scavenger Hunt Winners
Me too, Kathy, me too.~~Dee
The container garden does look beautiful. I haven’t seen yellow petunias that looked that bright before. I agree, a little purple would be just the thing. 😉
It wasn’t that long ago that Oklahoma had terrible fires, was it? Three years? I’m glad to hear that you got rain.
Sweet Bay´s last blog post..Azaleas
Mr. McGregor's Daughter
I’m so glad that you’ve finally gotten rain & those fires have finally been put out. What a tragedy.
What a good mom you are, to allow the Diva to have free rein with the planters. I don’t understand her, though. How can anyone not like purple? 😉
Mr. McGregor’s Daughter´s last blog post..Easter Parade
Your letters are a pleasure to read. Like mother like daughter. The Diva is a good garden designer.
Patsybell´s last blog post..Red and sweet tiny Alpine Strawberries
How very sad about Tony’s Tree Farm and those others who lost property, but I’m glad you got some good rain.
Your little Diva did well with her flower choices 🙂 I especially like the yellow supertunias and blue lobelia combination.
I hope you and your family had a very happy Easter, Dee, and that all the kids are feeling better now.
kerri´s last blog post..Down by the Riverside
Carol, May Dreams Gardens
Goodness, freezing weather, wind, fire, so far your Oklahoma spring sounds less than fun. I’m glad you are all okay and I like the Diva’s flower choices. What is interesting to me is that you are thinking about planting tomatoes outside in a week or so. Here in my zone 5b garden, we don’t dare plant tomatoes outside until after mid-May.
And the ants… well, I had some build a nest in a potted amaryllis. When I water, they come scrambling out, and I patiently stand there and suck them up in the vacuum cleaner!
We had a beautiful, sunny Easter, but it is supposed to rain tomorrow… and I’m off work for the day!
Carol, May Dreams Gardens´s last blog post..Letters to Gardening Friends, April 12, 2009
We had some grass fires west of here too. Nothing like what happened up there, but you should have seen the smoke here. It looked like fog. As a first effort, she did quite well with the arrangements.
Glad to know you made it through the fires okay. I was worried about all my Okie blogging friends when I saw on the news what was going on up there!
nola´s last blog post..A Visit From the Easter Bunny
Her container planting looks summery and cheery. Good for you for letting her do her own thing. That’s how we learn, and she’ll always remember you giving up space for her own plant selections.
That is so sad about Tony’s Tree Farm. So very sad.
I too have been eyeballing the already-six-inches-and-thriving heirloom tomatoes at the nurseries. I am sure I will supplement my seedlings with some of their starts. Just for good measure, ya know?
Love the Diva’s containers. Good Job.For the record, I adore monochromatic planting schemes. 😉
MA´s last blog post..Dear Friends and Gardeners, Week 6