OK, here are some bad pictures taken with my cellphone... I think we're a week away from the real show - the violas and pansies are going crazy now, never seen such big but compact Pansy plants looking so healthy. They aren't getting as many blooms as quickly as what you see in the nurseries but the foliage looks great and is so big that it's just night and day different from the 'forced' bedding plants you get in bulk. I've been using Thrive for the roots, put about 500 pounds of good compost and 6 bags of Calloways organic fert in the beds in the fall. Been spraying with Hasta Grow every few days, especially before rains. The tulips are up but not in bloom, Hyacinths blooming and smelling great, Roses a few weeks away ....still waiting on the grape hyacinths and crocus to emerge.
With the grass green and the flowers blooming while most yards are still dead I feel like I successfully cheated Winter this year. Once these die back in May the begonias and geraniums I kept over the winter will be full blast. Wave petunias, alyssum, lobelia and purple Angelonia in the garage are coming... blueberry vincas and some pentas need to be planted from seed next for the heat of summer.
In a typical year I spend thousands on flowers, this year was tight so I wanted to save money but keep my garden. For $100 in seeds and another $200 in lights and supplies I think I got a better deal. Also, I learned a lot about how to overwinter (AND HOW NOT TO!) the geraniums and begonias. Hopefully I can turn them into monsters this year.
The Dianthus and Roses are a week or two away from a show - I have climbing roses on either side of the entrance (Red, Don Juan) that cover the front in color. This is year three for them so I hope that they follow true to form and go nuts this year, I'd like to train them all the way up and around the arch.
One other tip - if you look at the rye grass it is pretty lush. I wasn't seeing much greening from my summer regimen (Milorganite, Greensense w chicken manure, molasses, compost) due to perhaps the lack of biological activity with all this cold (Dave Hall's theory in another thread). Foliar feeding worked like a charm though. The areas that get runoff from the beds are crazy green....thrive runoff????