Spring Happenings: a mini tour

Spring came early this year and I was prepared.  My tomatoes and peppers were started in the kitchen window, lots of them, and as soon as I could I was out planting peas, broccoli, spinach, lettuces, rutabagas, turnips, beets and more!  All this work attracted the attention and the admonishment of a neighbor that, “We could still have a cold snap as late as April…” but I am feeling fearless because I have frost blankets to keep their little roots warm!

I even bought myself a new little tractor to help me get the job done!  Last year when I gardened I cried.  Literally.  I have a herniated disk in my lower back and getting down to ground level was a not working for me.  Hence my garden was not what I wanted or usually have here on the Farmlet.  However, now I have Violet to help me get the job done!


You’re laughing? Well hey, if men can name their cars then I can name my lovely new tractor assistant.

Meet Violet!

In this photo I was under the shade of my pop up to keep the sun from scorching my skin while I worked…  I went in to eat lunch and when I returned the pop-up was in the neighbors fence with broken legs…

!!! 😦 !!!

But I kept the poles to be used as tomato stakes! Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, right?

OK, so how about I just quit talking and show you spring on the Farmlet?

So, without further adieu…

Little Dorrit  and one of the Hueys assist with the weeding of the onions and garlic.

A gratuitous dog picture.  Gotta have a dog in this post, and so I introduce you to Buddy, our other wonderful dog.  Isn’t he beautiful?  (It was brought to my attention that I have a tendency to overlook him in favor of the Little Dog.    This one’s for you Pam 😉 )

Remember this little hen?  Can you believe she’s the same one I almost lost last year? (read about that HERE)

Iris in the morning light.

These grow with abandon all over our little acre, and in many colors too!


The following photographs are of the native plants I have growing here.  Growing what is native to the region in which I live is a passion of mine…

We have eight of these lovely trees here on the Farmlet.  We used to have more but we lost them to storms, age, and unfortunately, the new garage/barn.  We are loosing a couple more to termites as well.  I think I will replace them, but perhaps not in the same place.

You may also recall my visit to the Lovely Plant Lady last April?  (look HERE) Well, I was certain that the May Apples and Trillium hadn’t made it, but NO, here is the May Apple

and here is the Trillium!  So glad I haven’t lost my native garden gardening skills. Can’t wait to see this garden in bloom this year!

These are Red Bud blossoms.  Roughly the size of a small pea, they pop out from the bark to cover the branches.  It is stunning to see them all throughout the woods here.


And finally…

These are Mystery Berries.  I have a whole patch of them in the front under the Pin Oak.  If you know what they are I would appreciate knowing so I can put them where they will be happy and productive.  (Currently, they are not.) The berries are the size of blueberries, the color of green grapes, with a bit of lighter striping from stem to blossom end.   Oh yes, and it is thornless!

The leaf and fruit form remind me of the RIBES family.  Anyone?

UPDATE:  The mystery plant has been identified as Clove Currant or Ribes Odoratum.   Thank you Lori at Day by Day the Farmgirl Way!

You can find out more here on Dave’s Garden:  http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/showimage/15424/



Thank you for visiting today and come back again soon!


NOTE:  Due to so many photos I kept them smaller to help with download time.   However, all photographs are clickable for a better view.   So, did it help?

48 thoughts on “Spring Happenings: a mini tour

  1. candy says:

    Violet is awesome! Last year, we planted our first garden in raised beds. I want my husband ot expand those beds this year. I need to wait a little longer before I even think of planting. I know we still have some cold weather coming. Guess I could make little quilts for the tomato plants. Yep…add that to the to-do list! 🙂

    • pixilated2 says:

      LOL, I love that idea! Veggie quilts could become a good seller, you never know…

      I got Violet from Gardener’s Supply. She wasn’t cheap, but she was worth it!

  2. arealfoodlover says:

    I’ve always wondered if you could let geese/ducks go free in your garden. Do they eat your lettuce? We had geese when I was a little girl, and they just roamed around where they pleased, but I don’t remember if my mom let them in the garden or not. A weeding assistant would be nice!

    • pixilated2 says:

      Lettuce is a delicacy for them. I let them into garden early to weed, then block them out of the delicate leafy stuff. I have allowed access to the watermelon, tomatoes, potatoes, and bush beans AFTER they were well on their way and producing. I don’t own any ducks yet, but I understand that Muscovy and Runner ducks are awesome for pest control in the gardens!

  3. Anke says:

    It is so much fun to be out in the garden right now! I actually got out and planted my tomatoes and peppers yesterday. And yes, I’ve been told about the cold snaps, freezing temps and snow in April, too. I’ve been saving empty gallon vinegar jugs, cut the bottoms off, and they’ll be used as miniature (or redneck) greenhouses should it get cold. It’s worked in the past, even if it won’t be as pretty as veggie quilts… 🙂

    • pixilated2 says:

      LOL! I have seen the snow on the ground in April here. Most of it was on the north side of hills and under the shade of trees though. We could be surprised, but I’m not worried. Love your redneck greenhouse/cloche idea! ~ L

  4. Ginger says:

    I love the name Violet! Thank you for posting lovely spring photos, the flowers really made me smile! I tried running your mystery berry photo through google images but didn’t find anything that matched, good luck finding out though!

    • pixilated2 says:

      Thank you Ginger, there are more to come, but just a while longer till they are ready for their debut. As for the MB, well if this doesn’t work, then I will have to brave driving to the Extension Office to see if they can recognize it…

  5. ceciliag says:

    Your dog is beautiful and we do have to be so careful of our backs when we work at home alone. Don’t tell anyone but i drag weeds to the chook house in a little red wagon.. he has no name.. shame on me! c

    • pixilated2 says:

      Thank you for the compliment on Buddy, we just love him so much, and yes, he is a comfort to us here. I originally got him to hike with me on the trails in California. (I used to hike alone, a lot.) So, I agree we do have to watch our backs!

      Well, now that you are aware of the problem, maybe you can think of a good name for that little red wagon, but then, I had an old one in California and I never gave mine a name either! LOL! ~ L

  6. Penny Keach says:

    Love the tractor!! Does the seat swivel? A great way to get around. I for one really liked the smaller pictures. Sometimes the big ones are so big, they more than fill the screen, and take a long time to download.

    Happy Spring!!

  7. jmgoyder says:

    Thanks for the tour – I love seeing your place like that. Oh and I want a Violet of my own. Maybe then I’d be able to grow something!
    We are nearly out of Summer and heading towards Autumn so I’m a little envious!

    • pixilated2 says:

      Any time Julie! I know the feeling… I really am not a winter person. I hate the shortened days and the cold! Hey, if you get a
      ‘Violet’ and begin to garden, just remember to start small at first. OH!!! And plan it somewhere that the birds can’t invade! Hahahaaa!
      ~ L

  8. dou dou says:

    What a great place you have there!!! Your garden will be great – you’re in Alabama!

    And I just bought a Jeep and I am definitely naming her, just don’t know what yet 🙂

    • pixilated2 says:

      INTERESTING… It came back up??? LOL!

      Well, OK then,
      Thank you for the compliment! And yes, we are neighbors! Sort of. 🙂 As for the jeep’s name, well “Nellie Bell” Nellebelle comes to mind, but you would have to be near my age I think, if you were to remember the old TV show Rin-tin-tin Roy Rogers! 😉
      ~ L

    • pixilated2 says:

      It is wonderful that the photos enlarge so nicely, but I rarely see that anyone bothers to take a closer look. This is a shame because the front pictures on blog page are not so clear at all!

      Violet is saving my gardening career! 😉 ~L

  9. shoreacres says:

    Ha! I’m one who remembers Nellebelle (although I always spelled it NellyBelle – what do I know?)

    Is it possible you have gooseberries? Some varieties have a yellow blossom, and your description of the berries is right.

    • pixilated2 says:

      Thanks Linda, I was thinking they were, but I also thought that all gooseberries were thorny. As for Nellebelle, I also never thought it was spelled like it is, but after looking it up, who am I to argue? 😉 ~ L

  10. Pam says:

    You have a tractor!!! Is it motorized? It looks like it, but I don’t see an engine anywhere, unless it is under the seat. I want to ride it.

    HI BUDDY!!

    I love your flowering tree photos! Spring looks beautiful on your farm.

    • pixilated2 says:

      No, Violet is people powered. I am not that bad off yet, and grateful not to be! 🙂 And yes Pam, you may ride it the very next time you come for a visit!

      Buddy said, “I miss you too, I’m getting my bath and pedicure next week, so when are you coming back?”

      It is! Your visit in Fall was pretty, but a visit in springtime would be sublime! We must plan for it sometime, OK? Those dogwoods and redbuds grow everywhere here! ~ L

    • pixilated2 says:

      I used her all day yesterday and was able to get so much done, and not one twinge of back pain! My gardens haven’t looked this tidy in over a year!!! Now I need to remember to wear my sunscreen. 😉
      ~ L

  11. littlesundog says:

    I believe your mystery berries are currants! We have them here too! The flowers are the same as your photo shows, and they have a lovely cinnamon like smell. You are correct that gooseberries have spines, currants do not. They are from the same family though. The ones that grow in the sun are most productive, and the plants in the shade do not put off many berries.
    I love violet. And of course I love to see photos of all your critters! Great post!

  12. Deb Weyrich-Cody says:

    Um, I haven’t read all replies so this may be a duplication but I agree that your mystery shrub’s a member of the Ribes family – both leaf and flower look right. You mention striped fruit – is it possible that you’ve got a Gooseberry bush there? And a tame one too, if it has no thorns… Bonus!! There are “thornless” gooseberries at my parent’s farm, which turn a beautiful burgundy as they ripen. I can still taste that pie, even though it’s been years, so sweet and tart… Yuum,mmy!
    (But, regardless of what type of fruit bush you have there, it’ll be happier in full sun with lots of compost/mulch; ) Good luck!

    • Deb Weyrich-Cody says:

      I remember NellyBelle! And, funny thing about your video link, it’s from the film department at Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario – only a couple of hours from here. It truly is such a small world, isn’t it?
      Truly glad you’re back; ) in the garden.

    • pixilated2 says:

      Hello Deb, you are correct that it is a Ribes! And thank you for reminding me to post the update too! My friend Lori at “Day by Day the Farm Girl Way” helped me to identify it.

      I haven’t seen you around the Farmlet lately. I hope all is well with you. ~ L

  13. dogear6 says:

    I loved the tour (and the dog picture). It’s so much fun to see what it’s like in someone else’s yard. The tractor is a great idea. Unfortunately, none of us are getting any younger.

    • pixilated2 says:

      I agree! I love seeing what others are doing in their gardens, and yes, we are not getting any younger. Its the pits! You finally get all the time you want to putter about in the garden and then your bones ache so you can’t enjoy it as much as you’d like! 😉
      ~ L

      • dogear6 says:

        If my daughter hadn’t done most of the work, I wouldn’t have bothered with a garden this year. It wasn’t worth my time and achiness for what I got back.

        • pixilated2 says:

          It is in my genes, I got it from my father. (So pain or no, I will be out there trying.) He lived for the garden and dirt under his fingernails… Which I suppose is not such a good thing for a woman, but I am getting better about remembering to wear my gloves! So now my nails are only dirty half the time.

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