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Thursday, April 9, 2015

The April Garden - and a new garden journal tool

I've been meaning to write another blog post for well over a week, but can never seem to get round to it.

So tonight's post is a bit of a hodge podge of thoughts and observations from the last couple of weeks.

First of all, let me tell you about a great tool I have just re-purposed for keeping a garden journal - Evernote.

Evernote Logo

It's an app that allows you to take notes, keep lists, jot down reminders and a lot more.  I have it on my iPad, my iMac and also my Android phone.

A couple of years ago I used it to keep a diary/journal when my husband and I went on a road trip across the American West, taking in Carlsbad Caverns, the Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon, Zion National Park, Lake Tahoe and San Fransicso.

I'm a great one for taking photos in the garden, but I'm bad about keeping notes of what happens when.  Every year I start a garden journal, only to have it sit untouched after a month or so.  This year, I didn't even start one.

But with Evernote I was able, for example, to take a photo with my phone of the island bed when I planted some native mikweed and then post it as a note in my Garden Journal notebook on Evernote.

I did the same a week later when I noticed the milkweed was sprouting, and also when we laid new stepping stones in the garden.

I can also hand write notes using a stylus on my phone or iPad, and I can clip articles from garden websites and add to Evernote.

Once something is posted to one of your Evernote notebooks, you can view it on any device that has Evernote on it.

Evernote is free in the Apple store and on Google Play.  You can also upgrade if you wish to the Pro or Business versions.

Anyway that's enough of that, back to my garden blog :-)

I mentioned above that I had bought some Asclepias Tuberosa (native milkweed) and that it was sprouting already.  I'm thrilled they are taking off so quickly and hope to have a good supply of milkweed in time for the arrival of the Monarchs.

I've also got quite a few Tropical milkweeds coming back up, both in the back and front gardens.  The Monarch Waystation is on it's way to being stocked and ready!

I was amazed at how the Achillea (yarrow) was unfazed by the freezes we had this winter.  It stayed fluffy and green all winter and is now putting out lots of clusters of tiny white flowers.  I had thought the Homestead purple verbena next it it had died over the winter, but it was just dormant and is now covered in beautiful purple blooms. 

I've already seen a Swallowtail butterfly on it, but wasn't able to grab my camera in time to snap a photo.

I never had any luck growing anything in front of this trellis which hides the utility boxes because the soil is like concrete and I can't dig there because of the utility lines.  But at some point I planted the verbena nearby (I have long since forgotten when I did that) and for at least the past couple of years, it has happily crept across and bloomed in this unlikely area.

A couple of weeks ago we were thrilled to notice new candles of growth on "Junior", our Loblolly pine. This photo was taken March 28th and the candles are at least twice as big as this now. "Junior" obviously appreciates the spring fertilization he got at the beginning of March.

In my last blog post I showed you the Sam Houston peach tree covered in blossoms.  Well now look at all these tiny little peaches! I hope they actually grow big enough to eat this year!

I bought this nesting shelf from Duncraft at least three years ago, but although we always have pairs of cardinals around, they've never used it.  We're trying a new location this spring, tucked in behind the Savannah Holly bushes/trees.  Hopefully, in a year or two, a cardinal family will decide it gives them the cover and shelter they need and nest there.

The hanger came off this little birdhouse and I was wondering what to do with it.  I had an idea and now it's lodged in among the scentless Star Jasmine.  There's nesting material in there now but I haven't seen which bird is using it.  

Of course, it could be the mouse that Eric got a photo of, helping itself to birdseed on the patio the other night.

And finally, look who is making a home underneath the Wax Myrtle...  a cute gnome couple.  I found the tree stump fairy house in Hobby Lobby first and had to get it.  But then decided it needed occupants and that's when I found the gnomes.  I would have got fairies, but they didn't have any in the right size ratio to the fairy house.

Words and photographs by Jayne Wilson, Green and Serene, Jayne's Country Garden.


Dorothy Borders said...

Evernote sounds like a very useful tool for keeping track of the garden. Thanks for bringing it to our attention.

I can't give you any hope that cardinals will use your birdhouse structure. Robins often will accept such structures, and, as we know, wrens will accept just about anything, but cardinals usually prefer a low shrub or tangled vine. Anyway, good luck with it!

Rock rose said...

I'll check evernote out although I am not sure it would help me. I write in notes and then forget to look at them! Everything in your garden is looking lovely. A nesting shelf-I have never seen one. I know the cardinals once made a nest in the spokes of our umbrella. That was a mistake because a stong wind blew it up in the air and the nest was lost. Another time they made a nest in the crossvine and the jays found it. Better keep away from our garden!

Jayne said...

I'm not really fussy who nests there Dorothy. It's there for whoever would like to take advantage.

Anastasia Abboud said...

What a great post! Congratulation on "Junior"! And I just love the yarrow. I would not have expected the foliage to peridot all winter. Good to know!

Kathleen Scott said...

Thanks for the Evernote info. I have it on all my devices but haven't taken time to learn how to use it. Sounds like it's a great tool.

Love seeing how your garden has grown and how you're providing for wildlife. Proves we can each make a difference in the world.

Jayne said...

Thanks Kathleen. I also used Evernote to keep a journal of our vacation that we just returned from. It's really handy being able to snap a photo with your phone and instantly being able to add it to your journal and write something about it too.