Tuesday, November 8, 2005
Final (?!?!) pond cleanoutWhew. Two hours to dredge 25 gallons (yes, a 5 gallon bucket packed full five times) of leaves from the big pond. Nasty, icky, ucky stuff. The silver leaf maple decided to shed about 40% of its leaves in the past three days, and I think most of them landed in the pond or bog garden.
At any rate, they're gone - piled on one of the new little beds around the greenhouse.
Friday, October 28, 2005
Not September (for sure!)Sigh...the weather people finally decided to be honest and admit there was a freeze warning for tonight. (After four nights of flirting with 32 F, it's about time they 'fess up and tell us the truth instead of promising warmer temps are coming back.)
So that put me into overdrive - new shelves for the GH today, straightened things up, and then hauled all the tender container plants in - they're now snuggled up, even the bog plants and some water hyacinths for next year. I covered the Vigna vine and the 'Mona Lavender' Plectranthus until I can get them dug tomorrow.
Thursday, September 29, 2005Cooler today - a hint of fall to come. Should warm back up by this weekend and into next week though.
Wednesday, September 28, 2005
Plant list for next year\'s plant saleI figure I better get an idea of what I plan to grow to sell.
Peppers - colored bells, mini bells (maybe) banana peppers, italian roasting peppers, anaheims
Tomatoes - TBD - mostly heirlooms, a few "standards" and grape tomatoes
Rumex acetosa (Dock)
"Le Petite Jardin" baskets:
1 ea. 'Mini Bell' pepper plant
1 ea. 'Little Lucy' okra plant
1 ea. 'Yellow Pear' tomato
1 ea. Grape tomato
1 ea. 'Sweet Dumplings' squash
1 ea. 'Sugar Baby' watermelon
Basils - Lemon, Lime, Cinamon, Purple
African Foxglove (Ceratotheca triloba)
Plectranthus 'Mona Lavender'
Hyacinth Bean Vine
Thunbergia 'Salmon Shades'
Spiral corkscrew rush
Wednesday, August 3, 2005Hot, hot, hot. Just like yesterday, and the day before, and the day before that. Sigh. We definitely need rain. I spent the better part of two hours hand watering three beds that needed deep soaking, then put the tractor sprinkler on to water the shrub border, which is starting to look fried to a crisp.
Tomorrow is D-day for the 'maters. Time to pick and can in a marathon session. Good news is lots of tomatoes. Bad news is...lots of tomatoes ;o)
Friday, July 22, 2005We've had rain every day for several days, which is good. But the temperatures and heat index (and humidity) are nearly unbearable. Ugh!
Thursday, July 21, 2005Cleaned out some string algae from the big pond, and broke off the yellow leaves on the waterlilies and culled out extra several water hyacinths.
Saturday, July 16, 2005Here's the mold I'll use for the sidewalk between the old carport and the new deck, and the main walkway to the back yard.
Friday, July 15, 2005Hot, muggy - ugh. Hopefully "Dennis" is about through with us, because I'm sure ready for him to dissipate!
As soon as it dries out some, the Hydrangea is coming out and the new sidewalk and beds can start to take shape. (Can't get mulch, dirt or compost in until stuff dries out a little - argh! In the meantime, there's plenty of weeding and deadheading to be done!
Thursday, July 14, 2005The humidity is atrocious. I "righted" the tomato stakes and re-tied the plants - I felt like I was in a sauna with my clothes on.
The second bale of straw is getting a little "ripe" but I went ahead and applied it around the tomato plants - surely it won't hurt anything.
After that was done, I came inside to cool and dry off, but ventured back out this evening to deadhead the cutting garden area and pull a few weeds. Storm clouds were gathering to the north, and we got some rain after nightfall.
Tuesday, July 12, 2005Very windy today - at least for here, it was windy. Felt more like early fall than summer, but it's just another symptom of "Dennis" lingering nearby.
The old greenhouse is finally coming down - I was happy to give away the shelves to someone who's building a similar-style greenhouse in his backyard. Now to take down the structure and re-locate the pots to temporary storage.
Tuesday, July 12, 2005
Demolition is underway!I thought I had some photos of the deck after I stained it a couple years ago, but no luck finding them.
The deck was roughly 20 x 30, and probably 20-25 years old. It was in declining "health" when we bought the house in 2000, and despite our efforts (serious power washing and bleaching, followed by high-dollar stain/sealer), we knew it would eventually need to be re-done. Lumber costs have risen dramatically over the past couple years, so a smaller deck is in order.
A new hot tub was the catalyst to start this project. Off came the old deck, and beneath was an aggregate-topped concrete patio, original to the house (mid 70's.) The patio wasn't quite as deep as the deck, but was as wide. Since my idea is to re-arrange the entrance and a new wider paved path to the deck and back yard, half the old patio needed to go buh-bye. With a few hours of jackhammering, it was reduced to chunks of rubble, which we hauled away.
The remaining bits and chunks were raked up to serve as a base for the new sidewalk, which will - unfortunately - extend right through the area now occupied by a HUGE hydrangea. (Hopefully three strong backs can dig it out and replant it in a spot I reserved especially for it on the far side of the deck.
Since we're still waiting on the hot tub to be delivered, the next step is to obtain the pathway form I want to use (mailorder!) and then fill in the other areas with topsoil in preparation for planting.
Monday, July 11, 2005Scattered showers - a good rain this morning, courtesy of tropical storm "Dennis." Temperatures are warm and muggy, but not unbearably hot. Thank goodness for the rain - we certainly need it!
Sunday, July 10, 2005Not much gardening today - kids are headed off to camp and a tropical storm ("Dennis") is headed our direction. May make for an interesting week of rain!
Saturday, July 9, 2005Tony spent the morning jackhammering out half of the old aggregate patio, then Brice and I hauled off the rubble (four trips in the truck.) Next step: pour the walkway between the carport and the new deck.
Thursday, July 7, 2005Spent a leisurely couple of hours refilling the pond (it had lost a few inches due to evaporation over the last couple weeks) and cleaning out some string algae I found (argh.)
Watered the east-facing bed and the beds around the pond before storm clouds gathered. We received a late-afternoon shower - not much precip, but if it'll start doing that a few times a week, I think the pressure will be off to water so much.
Wednesday, July 6, 2005Came home after a week's absence. Many things are dry (especially my container plants) but perhaps a good cutting back and keeping them moist will help rejuvenate them for a late summer flush of blooms.
Tuesday, June 28, 2005Hot again. Spent the day preparing my garden for a week-long absence. The squash and pumpkins are growing like crazy, so I sprayed the area adjacent to those beds with Roundup, put down a heavy layer of cardboard and newspaper, then a bale of wheat straw. I re-did the fencing so it no longer encompasses these three beds, as they're up and going strong enough I don't think they'll be bothered by rabbits.
Watered everything well, and used a fresh batch of alfalfa tea on the tomato plants to give them an extra boost as the season starts to really heat up.
Monday, June 27, 2005Put down five bales of pinestraw around the front beds - I fluffed it a lot, and made it stretch to cover the three tree beds, and most of the front beds (it petered out when I got to the final group of azaleas, so I'll need a couple more bales to finish this area, plus the small bed to the right of the sidewalk and along the driveway.
Sunday, June 26, 2005Now that the deck is off, I ran out to Valley Growers to snag some more Heuchera and Tiarella plants for the new beds we'll be putting in.
I snagged the following:
Heuchera 'Silver Scrolls'
Heuchera 'Amber Waves' (a guess, but it looks just like mine)
Heuchera 'Montrose Ruby'
Heuchera 'Ruby Veil'
Heuchera 'Raspberry Regal' (2)
Tiarella 'Dark Eyes'
Tiarella 'Pink Skyrocket'
along with two 'Anne Greenaway' Lamiums and a 'Souvenir de la Malmaison' Rose (which I planted in one of the spots vacated by a shovel-pruned rose.)
Saturday, June 25, 2005Hot again. Rain predicted for late tonight (that'd be really nice!)
Spent the day helping tear off the old deck. Good news is it's gone - all torn off, and the joists and ledger boards saved for the new deck. After looking at the pad, we're leaning toward adding another 18" - 24" of cement, just to ensure the hot tub isn't going to crowd in too close to the house and walkway to the pond.
Friday, June 24, 2005Took advantage of the slightly cooler temps this morning to pull bermudagrass from the vegetable garden paths. Used the alfalfa tea to water the two shrub borders, then set the lawn tractor to water those beds and the grass adjacent to them.
Thursday, June 23, 2005I feel like a broken record - hot and humid. Ugh. Finished up watering the front yard and moved the tractor sprinkler to the back. Fertilized the hostas around the trees wtih alfalfa tea, then started brewing a new batch out by the shrub borders in the back yard.
Went to Valley Growers and picked up several new goodies, including:
Asclepias 'Soul Mate'
Agastache 'Red Fortune' (maybe!?!)
Echinacea 'White Swan'
Kalimeris 'Aurea' (aka 'Shogun')
Phlox 'Franz Schubert'
Veronica 'Red Fox' (two plants)
Spent the afternoon watering the vegetable and cutting garden.
Wednesday, June 22, 2005Hot again. Humidity is inching upwards, too.
Ran the tractor sprinkler on the east side of the house and the front yard, trying to get everything soaked good (no rain in the forecast yet!)
Tuesday, June 21, 2005Hot (high 80s) and more humidity is rolling back in....
Decided to use the slightly cooler morning hours to finish setting the landscape blocks beneath the oakleaf hydrangea. Looks good, except I'm short a couple to finish a second tier. But I'm not buying any until I see what we wind up with for a bathroom addition and what that will do to my existing beds. (No sense in buying them if I'm going to have some to spare soon enough.)
Tomorrow will need to water the garden again...no rain predicted for the forseeable future, although hit-or-miss t-showers are possible with the afternoon heat.
Monday, June 20, 2005More same 'ol, same 'ol weather - hot (but thankfully not humid yet!). Used the alfalfa tea on the Heuchera and Tiarella plants around the small pond, then emptied out the dregs around the LA irises. Next batch will go to the front yard (a couple batches, actually - one to the hostas around the trees and a second one to the hostas and hellebores along the front walk.
Helped Shelby fertilize her gardens, then set up the lawn tractor for the front lawn (mighty dry out there!)
Cleaned out the pond pumps again, and had to deal with a stubborn frog who didn't want to move from a big clump o'muck I was trying to dredge out. The third time I accidentally grabbed it, I was ready to jump out of MY skin.
Alfalfa fertilizing schedule for this summer:
1) tomato plants
2) other vegetables
3) cutting garden
4) rose garden
5) east-facing bed
6) shade garden
7) bed around small pond
8) grasses & evergreen border
9) shrub border #1
10) shrub border #2
11) west bed (near driveway)
12) hostas around trees
13) hostas and hellebores along front walk
14) daylilies or wildflower plot
This will ensure everything gets fertilized every two weeks (with watering in between, of course.)
Sunday, June 19, 2005Used a batch of alfalfa tea on the east-facing bed and some of the hostas, pulmonarias and brunnera in my shady garden. Re-filled the tub near the heucheras, since they're next up for fertilizing.
Also watered the shrubs in the border beds and cut off the yucca flower stalk (it was pulling the entire plant over - yikes!) Got some bamboo stakes and used them to tie up the dahlias, then did some re-staking of the tomato plants that are flopping.
A hot (but not terribly humid) day - this week will see the beginning of summer and probably a return of the humidity. Ugh...
Saturday, June 18, 2005Hot, but the humidity has stayed down, making it tolerable to be outside. Caught up a bit on some of the chores I had put off earlier in the week, mainly weeding and watering.
Bought 12 cubic feet of soil conditioner at Old Time Pottery, and put down most of it as mulch on the cutting bed. While there I found an Echinacea 'Sunrise' and a Hellebore 'Royal Strain', a 'Purple Volcano' sage and some more 'Dulcis' Euphorbia - all on sale for 25% off. The Echinacea went in the cutting garden next to the 'Gerrie Hoek' Dahlia. Watered all the perennials in the bed with alfalfa tea, plus a good thorough soaking.
The Burgundy Gaillardia is coming up (yea!) behind shasta daisies, so I need to see how far down I can cut the daisies when they're done blooming. The Solidago is putting up a lot of new growth (getting bulkier), which makes them look a lot better.
In the vegetable garden, everything's looking great - the squash and pumpkins are all blooming and setting fruit; the tomatoes have lots of green fruit on them, and the corn is better than waist high.
After using up the alfalfa tea, I moved the mixing container next to the east-facing bed and refilled it so I can water those perennials tomorrow. After that, I need to mix some up for the heucheras, then move it to the front to do the hostas and hellebores.
Thursday, June 16, 2005The humidity might be down, but it's still pretty HOT!
Planted the Avens 'Flames of Passion' and Re-did the firepit (hauled off the ashes, raked the area smooth, dug up the rocks, re-stacked them, and added a foot-wide strip of pea gravel around the outside perimeter.) Then we burned the smaller brush from the purple-leaf plum tree, and I moved the logs to the back of the lot, so we'll have them for future bonfires.
My box arrived from Krazy Keith's so I dunked the rose bushes (bare root - yikes!) in the brewing alfalfa tea for a couple hours, then planted them before planting the Coreopsis 'Heaven's Gate' and Miscanthus 'Gracillimus'
Wednesday, June 15, 2005Not quite as hot today (or perhaps just not quite as humid - but whatever, the case it was more tolerable to be outside.)
I decided to clean out the pond this morning. As I climbed in, I took a feet-first dive, and bruised my hip (ouch!) Oh well - the pond is now much cleaner, plus it has about 60 or 70 pounds more gravel in the bog filter. I cleaned out the fish spitter connection hose, so it's "spitting" much higher now. The bog filter's pump was making a strange noise, and can't pump hard enough to get water to the bog filter, so I swapped it for its "twin" in the smaller pond. Snipped off all the hosta blooms and did a little weed-pulling in the gravel pathways.
Watered all the container plants around the deck and side yards - need to do the front yard and garden tomorrow. (No rain predicted until next Tuesday.) Will also mix up some alfalfa tea tomorrow and use around the roses and then perennials around the big pond.
Tuesday, June 14, 2005Hot again today - brief showers this afternoon.
Not much gardening (too many other activities, including a swim meet over in Williamson county.
Monday, June 13, 2005In a word, hot. Whew. The thermometer said 90-something, but heat index had us wayyyy beyond that; it was that oppressively muggy heat that drives people to seek air-conditioned respites.
A quick tour of the garden was about as far as I got today - with VBS starting, and swim practice this a.m., it was a day of non-stop running. Hopefully later this week (Wednesday is supposed to be a bit cooler and less muggy), I can work on the fire pit and remaining landscape blocks around the oakleaf hydrangea - and free up the trailer for other chores.
Sunday, June 12, 2005Warm, windy and rainy again today. Rained pretty good this morning, but cleared off by noon. Way too wet to plant anything, so I deadheaded the Coreopsis, Shasta Daisies, and Centranthus, plus weeded the paths in the vegetable garden (and the main path, too.)
Also did some minor surgery on the roses - as soon as the soil dries a bit, I'll fertilize them with alfalfa tea.
Saturday, June 11, 2005Went to the Secret Garden tour this morning with Shelby. Great fun to see other people's gardens up close and personal. After we finished the tour, we agreed the best garden belonged to the oldest and most modest home (the only one not in the designated neighborhood.) It was completely charming, with concrete bunnies and turtles playing checkers, a beautiful pond, and many unusual plants (including a very healthy fig plant....hmmm.)
Unfortunately, it's drizzed all day (although it kept the heat away.) Thanks to Tropical Storm 'Arlene' (first 'un of the season), we're due for at least one more day of rain - perhaps heavy at times tomorrow.)
Came home and deadheaded/weeded around the small pond. (At least that chore is done for now!)
Went to Wal-Mart tonight. And of course, toured the garden center. When will I learn some patience when it comes to new plants? I picked up two quart-sized pots of Sedum 'Purple Emperor' for $1.25 each today. Far larger than the bareroots I started with last spring (for probably three times as much $$$) which stayed potted up too long and were pretty straggly when I set them out this spring. Sigh. Ahhh, well - now at least there's a trio!
I also picked up pots of Avens 'Flames of Passion' and Veronica peduncularis 'Georgia Blue' to add to the cutting bed, plus a bag of (VERY dry) 'Veronica Lake' hostas (six in all). Went ahead and planted them, but if there are no signs of life in the next few days, I'll take them back along with the completely dead 'Concord Grape' Tradescantia, 'Sedum' Matrona and a bag of hemerocallis - all rotten or dried. I also potted up the Hosta sieboldiana 'Elegans'.
Friday, June 10, 2005Very hot. And humid. Again. Rain late in the day - more rain predicted for tomorrow and Sunday. Ugh. I decided I'd get some of the remaining pond tasks done this morning before it got too hot, so I cleaned out the pump filters and scooted the plants around a bit. I'm very happy with the new "look" of the pond - I have three big tubs of waterlilies in a triangle at the deep end, plus three smaller containers of lilies, surrounding the fish spitter. I've got pickerel rush, thalia and justicia (all are tall) at the far end where the humongous yellow iris used to be. At the shallow end, I've got tubs of lizard's tail and arum, along with white-topped sedge. In the mid-section are the water hyacinths (already starting to multiply like crazy!) I took a rush plant to the smaller pond, as it's never bloomed (the pot looks crowded enough that it might this year), where it'll get more sun. Best of all, everything's been fertilized, so these plants should really take off and thrive now.
We left for MIL's around 10:30 with a second load of sod and four 5-gallon buckets of pea gravel. We got the sod laid while Tony and his brother dug out around the pool plumbing to see if they could spot a leak (pool seems to be losing water, but some of it may be evaporation, and some due to loose tiles around the edge.)
To complete the project, we wound up laying a whole pallet (500 S.F.) plus ~ 100 SF or so (yet another trip to good ole H.D.) to finish up. But it looks really nice and we got her backyard done for about $125 cheaper than if we had bought it all locally. (We figure it was about $1,000 landscaping job if she had hired it out; but cost her roughly $350 since we saved her the delivery and extra $$ on the sod and gave her liriope and pea gravel to fill in where we access the pool lines. Best of all, it looks great and she's really happy with it. The only remaining tasks for us are to dig out the area where the gate opens, and set some pavers on a bed of sand, then brush sand in between them, and back fill the pool line excavation with sand, then top with more pea gravel. Hopefully she'll keep after the watering until the grass is established.
Came home and decided to finish arranging plants in the pond. (Really. Finish. No snickering!) Of course, there's still plenty of gunk in the bottom - but that's a job for next week!
Tomorrow's the annual Secret Garden tour, so if I can get the watering done early, I'll head over there before I need to get over to the church building and decorate for VBS next week. Busy, busy, busy!
Thursday, June 9, 2005Wow, what a day. Hot (again), but I went ahead and turned all the compost piles this afternoon. The one on the far left had heated up again, but the other two were fairly cool. I added some alfalfa pellets to the middle one and gave it a couple good soakings as I layered it back up (it was fairly dry on the inside and most of the pile is really dry leaves and dry grass clippings. I'll make it a point to use the third bin for new items for the next several weeks (until the other two are done cooking and I can combine them and have another bin to start all over again.)
After that I was pretty sweaty and stinky so I figured it'd be a good day to repot and fertilize all the pond plants. Got about halfway done when a t-storm moved in and kept me out of the pond for a while, but I was able to finish up in the evening. I moved several of the lilies into larger "tub" style pots that had originally housed iris plants. I think they'll be much happier there - more room to spread their roots out.
Cleaned out the gunk on the pond bottom while I was at it, then used the brush to give the liner a good scrubbing and then used a push broom to try to get all the loose gravel and heavier stuff into one area. Once the pond clears up a bit, I should be able to scoop up the gravel fairly easily.
Tomorrow I'll clean out the filters since I'm sure the activity today will clog them faster than usual.
Wednesday, June 8, 2005Some 'ol, same 'ol.....Very hot and humid. Watered the seedlings and used the alfalfa tea around the tomato plants. Repaired a few more "rabbit holes" in the fence.
We got a half-pallet of sod from Eagleville and took it to MIL's house to get her new lawn installed. We'll need another half-pallet to finish it off, but it's looking great!
Tuesday, June 7, 2005Found a new water-powered self-winding hose reel at Home Depot for $40. Woohoo! Works great (it's just a little slow and you have to be sure nothing catches the hose while it's rewinding. But it's much easier than hand-winding the hose up next to the spigot.
Sunday, June 5, 2005Watered the seedlings (again) - we're supposed to get some rain this coming week, but in the meantime, things dry quick in this heat. Tony took down the sickliest of the two purple-leaf plums, and he spent most of the afternoon cutting up the wood and burning the brush from it and other clearing work we've done this spring.
Saturday, June 4, 2005Spent most of the day at MIL's plugging the edge of her pool with Liriope grass I thinned out from my own beds. What a job that was! But we got it done, and I think it turned out really nice. Next up is getting sod laid for her......
Friday, June 3, 2005More rain. We should be down to widely scattered showers tomorrow (we can hope, anyway!) High was a pleasant mid-70s (with the humidity, anything hotter would have been miserable.)
Just routine maintenance today: cleaned out the pond pumps, hosed off my shovels and dunked 'em in oiled sand, plucked weeds from the east-facing bed, the grass/shrub bed and the veggie garden, and fixed - yep - a few more holes in the fence. Note to self: buy bloodmeal tomorrow!
Thursday, June 2, 2005M-U-G-G-Y. Whew. I don't know what the humidity levels are, but they're high. Thank goodness it's a little cooler today, otherwise it would be positively miserable. Tomorrow's temps are heading back into the 80s, so I may have to relent and turn on the A/C.
Planted some 'Incredible' corn to fill in where the 'Sugar Dots' failed to come up (or got gobbled up by bunnies.) Patched the fence (again - I don't know if I missed these two holes yesterday or if they're new) and did a close inspection - any new holes I spot will definitely be "new".) As soon as the rain ends, I'll try sprinkling blood meal around the perimeter of the garden to see if that helps with the rabbit problem.
Dug enough Liriope to fill six 5-gallon pots for MIL's new bed; we'll take it up there either tomorrow or Saturday.
Rain on and off all day, and a nice thundershower this evening. (May was the third driest year on record, so we need the rain - I'm not complaining!)
Wednesday, June 1, 2005Finally - rain. And a wonderfully slow, drizzly rain with cooler temperatures. High today in the low 70s (tomorrow should be more of the same.)
Took advantage of the loose soil to thoroughly weed around the vegetables - all told had about 3 gallons of weeds to add to the compost heap. (The two compost heaps are definitely heating up - I turned them today and will try to turn about every 4-5 days until they're cooked.)
The rabbits have chewed two holes in the plastic fencing, so I've patching them and will see about getting some type of repellent (they're mowing down the corn and asters like nobody's business.)
All tomatoes have blooms; one ('Jubilee') has a tomato. Tied up everything to their stakes.
Here's a shot of one of the deck containers with chartreuse "Licorice Plant" and orange Calibrachoa.
Wednesday, June 1, 2005And another shot - this one of the containers flanking the back door with white Scaevola and orange Calibrachoa.
Tuesday, May 31, 2005Still no rain - argh. Very warm again - high in the low 80s.
I used the first batch of alfalfa tea (whew - it was VERY ripe!) on the roses and tomatoes, then followed up with a good soaking for each plant because the ground is sooooo dry. Mixed up a second batch to use later this week.
Monday, May 30, 2005Planted the Caladium bulbs (all 60 of 'em) around the big trees in the front. Also grabbed a good-size hosta from the back beds and divided it to place in spots vacated by some disappearing hostas thanks to last year's tree-cutting activities by MTEMC - grrrr.)
Watered around all three trees and the grass patch areas - the soil is REALLY dry although they keep promising we'll get rain soon.
Sunday, May 29, 2005Warm today, but overcast (chance of showers builds overnight and into tomorrow.)
Planted out 12 pots of 'Illumination' Vinca major beneath the Magnolia tree. Hopefully it's not too shady there for the plants. Need to fill in with mulch and find something to "ring" it with.
Watered a few other things in the garden (Shelby's flowers, etc.) The Limas and bush green beans are now up. (I think the fencing will help them have a fighting chance against the bunnies.)
Saturday, May 28, 2005Started an 18-gallon tub of alfalfa "tea" under the grape vines. Will begin using this regularly on the vegetables and flowers. Stopped by the co-op and picked up another 50 lbs. of alfalfa pellets - they don't carry meal :-(
Replanted the 'Trionfo' bean seeds (I think the last seedlings got mowed down by the rabbits.)
Tony chopped down the privet near the wildlfower plot - now to keep the suckers from getting a toehold. I'll try to get the orange cosmos planted out there this coming week, so there's something bright and cheerful in the area.
I also moved the sedums ('Matrona' and 'Purple Emperor' to the grass/shrub bed; the others to the mixed shrub bed, near the Forsythia) to give some fall color in these areas. Plus they're full sun so the plants should do better there than they did in the shady bed near the deck.
We spent the rest of the day at MIL's, installing metal landscape edging around the pool, leaving a 12" bed for Liriope grass plugs we'll thin from ours and plant for her next weekend.
Friday, May 27, 2005Busy, busy day. (And HOT - high was in the 80s and it felt like 90s.)
I built a new three-bin compost system from netting and garden stakes, and filled up the first two bins with leaves and grass clippings that were sitting in a big pile. I tried to layer the piles and add dirt, old compost and comfrey leaves regularly to help speed decomposition. (I also added about 20 gallons of water to each pile when I was done - just wish I had thought to drag the hose back there and moisten as I built.....)
Also weeded around the tomato and corn plants, then gave everything yet another watering.
Thursday, May 26, 2005Nice again today - a little hotter, but still a nice breeze to keep things comfortable.
Finished weeding the vegetable garden, cleaned out the big pond's pumps, then mucked out the pond while I was at it. I also weeded the grass & shrub border and watered the east-facing bed.
Wednesday, May 25, 2005Woke up this morning to a pleasantly cool house - the overnight lows were in the upper 40s. The weather was really nice today - warm (upper 70s) but a breeze made it feel cooler.
Weeds. The story of my life ;o) Spent most of the afternoon clearing bermudagrass from the mulched paths in the vegetable garden. (Makes it looks a lot better, and hopefully once I'm done I can control any new growth with a shot of roundup as soon as they stick a tiny green speck above the mulch.
Tuesday, May 24, 2005Spent most of today finishing the weeding back in the wildflower area. Also put down two bags of mushroom compost and three bags of soil conditioner around the wildlflowers, to give them a better environment and make it easier to throw mulch on the beds (anything not covered with compost/soil conditioner is fair game ;o)
A really nice day today - high was probably in the 70s, but there was a nice breeze all day, so it wasn't too hot (just really smoky from the burning behind us - sigh.)
Dug out the trench for the downspout drain and filled it with pea gravel - one task done. Watered everything on the deck, plus the containers and the bed next to the driveway. I also mixed up a batch of Neem-based fungicide spray and used it on the roses, phlox and one azalea (I'd like to make sure there wasn't any residual round-up in there before I get too carried away - I rinsed it with a mix of ammonia and water, then ran a gallon of plain water through the sprayer, which *should* have cleared out anything in the tank...
Tomorrow I should probably add the Caladium bulbs and extra hostas around the trees in the front, so when I'm ready to lay new pinestraw they'll be ready to go.
Monday, May 23, 2005Spent most of the day weeding the wildflower plot (got about halfway done - ugh!)
I also planted more beans (bush - snap and lima) now that I've got my handy-dandy fencing up to protect the new shoots from the rabbits.
Stopped by Martin's and got a Habanero and a "Red Cowhorn" pepper plant, and set them out as well.
Things to-do this week:
1) Try the Neem oil on the roses and azaleas - DONE!
2) Finish weeding the wildflower bed - DONE!
3) Put the blocks around the Oakleaf hydrangea
4) Dig a trench for the downspout diverter - DONE!
5) Plant the Caladiums and a couple more hostas around the trees in the front
6) Get mulch - pinestraw for the front beds; a scoop or two of hardwood mulch for the beds in back
7) Weed the vegetable garden and fertilize the plants - DONE!
8) Stake the tomatoes - DONE!
9) Find some buckets and get alfalfa pellets to keep a supply of liquid fertilizer going - DONE!
10) Clean out the greenhouse and figure out where to put the remaining plants
Other bigger projects to finish between now and late June:
Finish the firepit
Finish the seating area near the pond
Raise the feet on the bench next to the pond with some additional gravel
Tear out the extra post and fencing alongside the pond
Power wash and stain the back of the fence
Sunday, May 22, 2005Another two scoops of mulch went down next to the vegetable garden and around the forsythia bush (heavy cardboard underneath.) The remaining mulch went in the bed around the smaller pond.
Saturday, May 21, 2005Busy day today, but nice weather - high in the upper 70s.
Started out this morning replacing a tiny hosta (not sure what happened to the roots last year) in the front bed with a good-sized H. sieboldiana 'Elegans' - in turn, that hole was replanted with a 'Scooter'
The tiny hosta was potted up along with my liners-in-waiting hostas for some TLC this summer.
I also planted the Euphorbia 'Chameleon' in the front bed, although they looked pretty sorry after spending time in their cell packs.
I also plucked off the galls from the azaleas, then set out the red 'Nicky' Nicotianas in the side bed, and sprinkled cottonseed meal around the hostas in the front bed.
Pruned the roses, then put plastic fencing around the vegetable garden, and mulched the east-facing bed. Tony planted all the shrubs in the new border, and we got it mulched, too.
Friday, May 20, 2005Very warm again today. Strong storms moved through the area yesterday evening and overnight; we also received the tag-end of the rains this morning.
Once the skies cleared, it warmed up considerably. I got the bed around the small pond weeded, as well as the path through the bed.
I also took the six-packs of impatiens and petunias and potted them in the galvanized pails I've had sitting around. They look pretty good!
A quick trip to WalMart for plastic mesh fencing for the corn and some stakes to hold down the red plastic mulch, plus two more pots for the bog filter, and a pot of corkscrew rush. (I found a 'Ruffles' taro in the greenhouse yesterday, so I potted up a start of it in the 5th pot.) Placed the additional pots in the bog filter, and everything seems to be doing fine in there so far.
Thursday, May 19, 2005Hot again today - high in the 80s. We're due for rain tonight, so I cleaned out all the pond pumps this morning.
I got a barley bale for the big pond plus some biofilter bacteria "stuff" and a supply of pond plant food while I was at the Co-Op.
Also scratched in fertilizer around the azaleas.
Rain is likely to continue through tomorrow, so I'll garden in between showers if I can!
Wednesday, May 18, 2005Warmer today - high in the mid-80s. Rain expected tomorrow, so I scurried to get some things done beforehand.
I planted the Byzantine glad corms (finally) in a choice spot in my cutting garden. Hopefully they'll take off and do well, although I suspect they may sulk a while, as they did when I had them in the greenhouse.
I also planted a section of the Rudbeckia laciniata that was removed from the east bed, and got in the second planting of corn.
Cleaned out my rolling garden cart and stocked it with the tools I use the most. (I figured it was high time to make good use of this handy little thing.)
Tuesday, May 17, 2005Warmer today - high in the mid 70s. Cleaned out the bog filter, then planted the violet-stemmed taro and banana plant in their new planters. The biggest container on the deck was really soggy - stuck my finger in the drain hole and realized it was blocked - when it started draining, it ran for several minutes - yuck!
Planted the three terra cotta pots with the apricot trailing begonias - hopefully they'll do well.
I refilled the small pond after it drained out and floated up. I also added dechlorinator as I filled it up, since there are a couple fish in there.
Monday, May 16, 2005Cooler today - high was only in the upper 60s/low 70s.
The paths near the big pond were treated to new pea gravel (I need to finish weeding one path and putting in more gravel.)
We came out this morning to discover the small pond had drained out overnight and floated up - eeek!
Sunday, May 15, 2005Warm today - high in the 70s. Spent the afternoon working on the path leading out from the pond through the arbor - dug out the old stones and sand/dirt mix under them, laid the pavers along both sides and re-laid the bottom step with natural rock. I'll finish the upper step tomorrow, then fill in with pea gravel.
Saturday, May 14, 2005Rainy today, especially this afternooon and a little drizzly this evening. Parts of the state got 5" or more. High was around the mid 70s.
No gardening today - other stuff to do in the a.m. and rain this afternooon.
Friday, May 13, 2005Another (but hopefully last) day of scorching temperatures. Moved the plants around in the new bed and planted the others that were waiting for a new home. It still needs mulch, but other than that, it's done! (Will start on the path next week, and hopefully the temperatures will be lower.)
Watered the garden again - rain is expected tonight or tomorrow, but the seedlings can't wait that long. The patches in the lawn are starting to sprout up so hopefully they'll fill in soon.
Thursday, May 12, 2005Another near-record high day (90, at least). Spent most of the day digging a trench for the landscape blocks in the new east-facing bed.
Still watering all the seeds and transplants in the vegetable garden (no rain, although we may get some tomorrow night.)
Wednesday, May 11, 2005Very hot and muggy day again. These temps are usually reserved for July/August, not May - argh! The weatherfolks are predicting lower temps next week - I sure hope so!
Spent the day power washing then sealing the outside of the fence and arbor in the east-facing bed. Hopefully I can get the landscape blocks in tomorrow, and everything planted and mulched by Friday.
Watered seeds and transplants again - no rain for several days, and the ground is starting to split in spots.
Tuesday, May 10, 2005A couple photos of the cutting garden - still mostly green, but a lot of the perennials are ready to bloom any day now!
Tuesday, May 10, 2005Second image - it's a loooong bed!
Another hot day - I watered everything in, although there's a chance of rain later, then spent the afternoon clearing out the east-facing bed. The details of my afternoon adventure are in a separate diary
Monday, May 9, 2005Filled in the cutting garden today with a LOT of plants (seed):
Lagarus ovatus (Bunny Tails)
Zinnia 'Candy Cane'
Malva sylvestris 'Zebrina'
Nasturtium 'Peach Melba'
Amaranthus 'Black Leaved'
Zinnia tenuifolia 'Red Spider'
Celosia 'Red Amigo'
Ricinus communis 'Carmencita'
Aster 'Dwarf Mix'
Cymbopogon flexuosus (Lemon Grass)
Nigella sativa (Black Cumin)
Ocimum thrysiflora 'Thai Siam Queen'
Calendula officinalis 'Dwarf Gem' (in kettle)
The bed already contained the following Perennials:
Chrysanthemum x superbum 'Crazy Daisy'
Aster 'Purple Dome'
Ornamental Allium (from seed - not sure what)
Stokesia laevis 'Purple Parasols'
Aster 'September Ruby'
Sisyrinchium 'Devon Skies'
Penstemon digitalis 'Husker's Red'
Sunday, May 8, 2005Hot again - high in the mid to upper 80s.
Planted most of my vegetable garden with the following:
Beans 'Trionfo Violetto'
Bell Peppers (6) 'Red Beauty'
Tomatoes (9) 'Homestead'
Tomatoes (9) 'Rutgers'
Tomatoes (8) 'Marion'
Tomato (1) 'German Queen'
Tomato (1) 'Dr. Atkinson'
Watermelon 'Sugar Baby'
Okra 'Clemson Spineless #80'
Corn 'Sugar Dots'
Remaining to be planted are:
Cowpeas 'Blue Goose'
Lima Beans 'Burpees Improved'
Winter Squash 'Bush Delicata'
2nd planting of Corn 'Sugar Dots'
Pepper(s) Anaheim and/or Habanero or Serrano
When the chard and beets are done, I'll replace at least some of that area with parsnips, and perhaps turnips, too.
The watermelon and corn should be replanted with lettuce once they're done.
Bed 1 - Squash 'Bush Delicata'
Bed 2 - Pumpkin 'Jarrahdale'
Bed 3 -
Bed 4 - Beans (all varieties)
Bed 5 - Peppers
Bed 6 - Watermelon 'Sugar Baby'
Bed 7 - Tomatoes 'Rutgers' (4)' & Tomato 'German Queen' (1)
Bed 8 - Tomatoes 'Homestead' (4) & Tomato
Bed 9 - Tomatoes 'Marion' (3) & Tomato 'Atkinson'
Bed 10 - Tomatoes 'Rutgers (5)
Bed 11 - Tomatoes 'Homestead'
Bed 12 - Tomatoes 'Marion'
Bed 13 - Corn 'Sugar Dots' (2nd planting)
Bed 14 - Corn 'Sugar Dots' (1st planting)
Bed 15 - Okra 'Clemson Spineless' and hot peppers
Bed 1 - Shelby's vegetables
Bed 2 - Shelby's flowers
Bed 3 - Asparagus
Bed 4 - Blueberries (3) 'Sunshine Blue'
Bed 5 - Walking Onions
Bed 6 - Chard 'Rhubarb', Malbar Spinach & Beets 'Chiogga'
Saturday, May 7, 2005
Shelby's Vegetable GardenToday we planted Shelby's vegetable garden, with the following:
Birdhouse Gourds (on a bamboo pole teepee)
Sweet corn 'Sugar Dots'
Radish 'Cherry Belle'
Yellow summer squash
We edged this bed with 'Mr. Marvel' and 'Pineapple' marigolds
Saturday, May 7, 2005Very hot today - high in the 80s. It was a busy backyard day:
Cut back the Forsythia to about 6" and removed all the suckers and smaller "satellite" plants around it. I've got some heavy-duty cardboard I'll put down around the main plant, then top with mulch.
Sprayed Round-up on a new (2nd of three) bed for the shrubs and trees I've got potted up and waiting. Hopefully we can get them planted next weekend, and the bed mulched.
Hauled a second load of horse manure home and spread it on the vegetable beds; Tony tilled it in for me, so they are now ready to plant. (Woohoo - no more excuses!)
Friday, May 6, 2005
Start of the flower gardenToday we planted a bed with:
Aster Dwarf Border Mix
Bells of Ireland
Dahlia 'Unwin's Dwarf'
Snapdragon 'Tahiti Mix
Sunflower 'Kid Stuff'
Zinnia 'Candy Cane Mix'
Naturtium 'Peach Melba'
Friday, May 6, 2005
Shelby's GardenToday we planted a bed with:
Aster Dwarf Border Mix
Bells of Ireland
Dahlia 'Unwin's Dwarf'
Snapdragon 'Tahiti Mix
Sunflower 'Kid Stuff'
Zinnia 'Candy Cane Mix'
Naturtium 'Peach Melba'
Thursday, May 5, 2005Much warmer today - high was in the mid to upper 70s. Scattered showers were predicted and we clouded up around 5, but no rain.
Well, the end is at least in sight. Two more vegetable 4x4 boxes to go and the weeding is officially done. I nabbed the truck and headed to OTP for mulch - two scoops did most of the paths in the vegetable garden, but it'll take at least one more to finish it up (and possibly a bit more if I go around the edges with a good bit of mulch.
Wednesday, May 4, 2005Warm-ish (high in the 60s felt good unless the wind blew a bit.)
Another day of weeding the vegetable garden. Every spring I tell myself I will clean it up in the fall.....and I don't. Every fall I tell myself I'll do it in early spring...and I don't.
This year I'm gonna make good on my plans - fall cleanup is high on the list of to-do's. (The mole trails should be incentive to clean it up and remove the shelter the weeds provide.
Tuesday, May 3, 2005A bit breezy; high in the 60s. Frosts last night had me dashing around to cover the tender stuff again. I hope this will be the last night I have to do this for a while!
Well, a day of reckoning: me and the vegetable garden. I made some good progress - the cutting bed is completely weeded, as are the permanent vegetable/fruit beds and under the grape arbor.
The blueberry bushes and grape vines are full - if I can keep the bugs and birds away we might have some good fruit this year.
Since I don't have strawberries in two of the long beds, I think I'll let Shelby have at least one or both beds to garden in this year. More weed-pulling tomorrow....the annual vegetable beds are a disaster.
Tuesday, May 3, 2005Cool today (high in the 50s). Last night was cold - Woodbury got down to freezing, although I don't think we did. Just to be safe, I covered the tomatoes and annuals - no sense in wasting money on ruined plants before I can even get them in the ground! The rest of the week is supposed to be warmer, so it should be a good week to get most of the major spring weeding done.
Sunday, May 1, 2005The rain we've had has kept us from putting in the 'Forest Pansy' Cercis tree I bought in McMinnville, but we were finally dry enough to get it in. Looks nice (but small, compared to the mature plantings!)
Got about half the garden weeded - all the cutting bed, all the permanent vegetable beds plus under the grape arbor, and two of the annual veggie beds. Only 13 more of those to do tomorrow - whew!
Saturday, April 30, 2005Another cold overcast weekend on tap - high in the 50s and a very chilly wind. Since it was so yucky outside, I chose to spend the day cleaning the laundry room (wayyyy overdue). With the counter cleared off again, I might be able to fold clothes in here. Then again I could always set up my light stand and get some perennials started to grow over the summer.....Hmmm.
Friday, April 29, 2005April is definitely been a wet month. Yet ANOTHER day of wet weather; strong storms expected later today. Grrrrr.....I'd really like to be out there getting my vegetable garden planted, but at this rate, it will be another several days to a week before I can!
Thursday, April 28, 2005Rainy and cool (but not as cold as the past couple days), and the sun *did* come out in the afternoon. I potted up the 'Prism Sunshine' petunias in the hanging baskets - I think they'll be pretty en masse.
The nicotiana I got from the high school's sale appears to be a maroon color - it might work well to replace the maroon-colored Tulips tucked between the Caryopteris and Loropetalum shrubs.
Wednesday, April 27, 2005More of the same weatherwise. It was supposed to be high 60s, but cloud cover and a cool breeze have kept it nearer to mid 50s. Ugh.
I went back to Martin's for the additional Calibrachoa and chartreuse "Licorice" plants for the second planter box. Picked up a banana plant while I was there...who can resist? I also picked out apricot-colored trailing begonias to plant in the matching clay pots on the deck.
I got the front containers planted with 'Homestead Purple' verbena, dusty miller and pink impatiens, while the windowbox got double impatiens ('Ole Rose') and 'Silver Falls' dichondra, plus a dusty miller to tie the plantings together.
Tuesday, April 26, 2005Grrrr. It was *supposed* to be close to 70 today, but instead it hovered around the mid-50s all day. Dreary, overcast, on and off rain. Accckkkkk!
Ahhhh well, as long as it warms up tomorrow, I can still get out there and get a bunch done. (Goodness knows there's plenty to BE done!)
Tony aerated the lawn with our new aerator.
Monday, April 25, 2005Cool today, but nicer than the weekend was. Watered things that needed it and put the Viburnum acerifolium in a bigger pot with more soil (it must be root-bound as quickly as it dries out each day.)
The east bed really needs renovating. As soon as I can get to it, I'm going to rip pretty much everything except the Eupatorium, Baptisia and Echinacea 'Magnus' out of it, and start over. I may even have Tony take the rototiller to it once I get everything else out, then edge it with landscaping blocks. It's in a prominent spot (at least from the neighbor's yard) and deserves to look better than it does!
I hand-scattered 50 pounds of mushroom compost over the seeded areas Tony raked/scarified and put out grass seed in the front yard. Rain is predicted for tonight and tomorrow, which should help water it in and keep the seed moist for a day or so - it'll need some TLC to germinate over the next several days...
Saturday, April 23, 2005Much colder today - high was the mid-50s (and not for long.) Very overcast and windy. We spent the day helping the college/young professionals group landscape around the church's office building. My original plan was to take them a couple scoops of mulch, but we ended up helping them quite a bit. Fun, if a long day. The end result was good - new shrubs and mulch, plus dayliles; plus we added a new sign in a much more prominent spot, which should help people looking for the office.
Friday, April 22, 2005Deckboxes filled with orange-y calibrachoa and limelight "licorice plants"
Friday, April 22, 2005Backdoor flanked with cheerful orange calibrachoas and white scaevolas
Friday, April 22, 2005A pretty strong t-storm came through this morning, but when it cleared off, the sun came out and it's gorgeous. Sooooo....container time!
I went back to Martin's yesterday, and my hunch was right - they were just getting in a lot of the "good" (and tender_ stuff. (Of course, the weatherman is now dourly predicting a near-freeze for Sunday night...sigh.)
Anyway, I gathered container plants with "orange and white" in mind:
Containers flanking the back door:
Calibrachoa 'Callie Series Orange' (2 each)
Scaevola white (1)
Big pot: two each of
Gold and Pearls Bacopa
There's room in the middle for something...maybe a tall white-flowering plant, or perhaps just some greenery - phormium, dracaena or asparagus fern?
Two each 'Jewel' dahlias; orange and white
'Chili' ornamental pepper
Deck rail boxes:
Limelight licorice plants flanking another orange Calibrachoa (need to go get another grouping, as I ran out.)
I also need some orange and white geraniums for the pots beneath the window...I moved the big pots to the front where I'll fill them with 'Homestead' verbena and pink impatiens; the hay trough will get rosebud-type impatiens and silver dichondra, and possibly some white diascia or something similar.
I found pale yellow (almost chartreuse) petunias for the hanging baskets (not orange, but shouldn't clash, either), plus red bell peppers. (I am going to be prudent and hold off until next week to set out the tomatoes and peppers, at least.
Thursday, April 21, 2005Got a 'Forest Pansy' Redbud today ($45) while picking up plants for the church office landscaping and Glenn's 'Anthony Waterer' Spiraea foundation plantings.
I also started some 'Ruby Moon' Hyacinth beans for his trellis ;o)
The redbud is VERY heavy (B&B, 8-10') but the guys can surely lift it and get it settled in along the side of the house. woohoo!
Wednesday, April 20, 2005Very warm (again) but storms are predicted for tomorrow and/or later this week.
Monday, April 18, 2005Hot today - high around 80. (Too early!!!!) Cleaned the front sidewalk good - it was getting scruffy with debris from the silver leaf maples and some weedlings popping up between the bricks.)
Time to start getting more stuff planted, especially in the vegetable beds and cutting garden. Danger of frost is passed, so no more excuses!
Sunday, April 17, 2005Very warm and sunny - high in the upper 70s. Didn't do much outside except douse the new plants with some water while they wait to be planted!
Tony fertilized the front and back yards today.
Saturday, April 16, 2005Beautiful day - we went to Knoxville and I journeyed on up to Sunlight Gardens. Brought several nice specimens home with me including
1 - Aesculus pavia
2 - Calamintha glabella
3 - Chionanthus virginicus (2 are for another person.)
1 - Eragrostis spectabilis
1 - Franklinia alatamaha
1 - Halesia dipteria 'Magniflora'
1 - Heuchera 'Jeepers Creepers'
1 - Illicium floridana
1 - Sisyrinchium 'Devon Skies'
2 - Uvularia sessiflora
1 - Viburnum acerifolium
The trees and shrubs will go in a new border, along with a new Aromis 'Sunny Side Up' deciduous azalea, 'Wine & Roses' Weigela, Deutzia, and Sourwood Tree. The Heuchera will join the other Heucheras near the smaller pond, and the Sisyrinchium and Calamintha (smells great) tucked in the cutting border, the Eragrostis in the grass/evergreen border, and the Uvularia in the wildflower area.
Friday, April 15, 2005The weather is looking gorgeous for today and through the weekend (70s each day.) Will try to get to the high school's greenhouse today; I'm also planning to go to Sunlight Gardens tomorrow and pick up the following:
1 - Aesculus pavia
1 - Calamintha glabella
3 - Chionanthus virginicus (2 are for another person.)
1 - Cyrilla racemiflora
3 - Dodecatheon meadia
1 - Eragrostis spectabilis
3 - Uvularia perfoliata
1 - Viburnum acerifolium
The native flowers will go in the back beds, as will the Cyrilla (there's a nice swampy area in the back corner that could use this interesting shrub/small tree. The red bottlebrush buckeye, Grancy graybeard and maple-leaf viburnum will go in "phase II" shrub border (as soon as the Round-Up is applied and takes effect. I need to go through the "holding box" in front of the greenhouse as there are some additionial plants and shrubs that could go in there, too. I'll pick out a few evergreens later in the season to add to it.
Thursday, April 14, 2005Sunny and warm today - nice after yesterday's drizzle and thundershowers. The peonies are budding out, and I really need to get out there and weed the beds.
I think I'm going to go for a mostly apricot/orange + /white + dark blue/black theme for the deck this year. Picked up some dwarf Dahlias in orange and white for two planters to flank the door. (Now to find something to fill in around them - maybe some 'Blackie' sweet potato, and some Nierembergia or low-growing zinnias to fill in around them. I may put orange-flowering New Guinea impatiens in the terra cotta pots under the window, and orange-ish Calibrachoas in the deck planters.
Tuesday, April 12, 2005The big line of thunderstorms never materialized - apparently it fizzled out before they reached us. I finally moved the hostas and hellebores and other perennials outside to the deck so they stand a better chance of getting watered regularly.
We stopped by Martin's today, thinking I could pick out container plants, but their selection was very skimpy - I don't know if it was picked over from last weekend's crowd or of they're still waiting on a lot of their stock. Oh well - I'll try back in another week or two.
Monday, April 11, 2005Warm again today - rain moving in tonight (it would seem, anyway.)
A pickup load of manure is now in the front bed, and around the hostas surrounding the big trees in the front yard. I could definitely use another load (or two) for other areas of the yard, but it'll have to wait until at least next weekend, and possibly next week, given the weather patterns.
Got the Teucrium planted, plus I moved a 'Honeybell' hosta division from the other side of the sidewalk to create some symmetry as you face the porch, and divided the 'Wester Flisk' hellebore to have one on each side of the fountain.
Sunday, April 10, 2005Very warm again today; high in the upper 70s. I had just about written off much gardening for today when I got a call that the pasture was dry enough so I could come get a load of horse manure. Got it loaded; will shovel it off tomorrow morning.
Saturday, April 9, 2005Very warm day today (80-ish) and I'm plumb tuckered out. But the good news is the grass/evergreen bed is weed-free and the ornamental grass has been cut down before the new growth got mower-height. The liriope along the back beds is likewise "shorn" for the season. The surprise lily-and-hardy plumbago bed got weeded, too (I didn't realize how many Claytonias were in there -ugh.
We set up the new fountain in the front bed, using the old bricks as a base, then two "rumble-stones" from Home Depot (which worked perfectly, because they're 8x16 and the fountain is roughly 16" square. I think the fountain will look really nice once I get a couple inches of compost in the bed and get the Teucrium situated, plus find three 'Sky Pencil' hollies to go in back of the fountain, and get fresh pine mulch down. We also got the creeping euonymus out of the bed - I'm not sure if I want to plant it at the lower end of the bed, where it can cover the ugly black gutterspout diverter plastic, or just get rid of it altogether.
I was hoping to get the compost today, but my source says the pasture is still too wet - maybe tomorrow. Sigh.
The tulips are all coming into bloom - Viridiflora, Peony and Parrot-types, and they look nice. The redbuds are in full bloom, and the dogwoods are a couple days away from being fully open.
Friday, April 8, 2005Cloudy this morning, but the sun tried to peek through in the afternoon. The ground is really boggy - hopefully the temperatures this weekend will help dry it out some. Nice day otherwise - high in the mid 70s.
My Bluestone order arrived (actually the order I placed this week arrived; the backordered items are in transit.) I've called my compost source and made arrangements to get a load tomorrow so I can work on the front bed and get it finished - finally!)
I think I'll plant the 'Chameleon' Euphorbia around the front "welcome" sign when the tulips have finished their spring show (they're just now blooming. I think the spurge will look nice in that bed, and leave enough room for a few spring bulbs, pansies, or summer annuals tucked in between the spurge and the Alleghany pachysandra around the edge.
The mandschurica violets will go in with the korean violets and cyclamen; the Salvia nemerosa will go in the Salvia bed. (Just in time to turn around and pot 'em up if we get moving on the new garage and sunroom....
Now to find a spot for the Aquilegia and tennesee coneflowers ('Rocky Top') - I could put them in my wildflower plot, but I am leaning toward putting them in the east bed since they're hybrids.
Thursday, April 7, 2005Rainy this morning, but clearing off and warming up nicely. I slid in an order for Caladiums to Caladium World yesterday - just under the wire, as they're about sold out. (The hurricanes last fall definitely took their toll on the Caladium growers, and when they're offered, they're pricey. These were a pretty good deal at roughly $.50 per bulb.)
The order from Bluestone is en route, so now to wait and see. In the meantime, it's high time to get the remaining debris from last year cleared from the perennial beds and start the annual mulch-a-thon.
Wednesday, April 6, 2005Rain moving in today. High in low 70s. Not much gardening with the front moving this way. But I did find some information on winter-hardy lettuce varieties to try next fall:
Rougette du Midi
(now to remember these when I'm buying seed!)
Tuesday, April 5, 2005Gorgeous weather - sunny and upper 70s.
Today I used my Xmas gift certificate and placed an order with Bluestone Perennials for 3 each of the following plants:
Salvia nemorosa 'Blue Queen'
Echinacea tennesseensis 'Rocky Top Hybrids'
Euphorbia dulcis 'Chameleon'
Aquilegia 'Lime Sorbet'
Viola mandshurica 'Fuji Dawn'
plus 9 Teucrium chamaedrys to encircle the new fountain
Hopefully these will be sent along with my Abeliophyllum distichum and Sambucus 'Black Beauty' back-ordered from last fall.
I spent some time weeding the front bed, east of the sidewalk. The more I work in this bed, the more I think I should:
a) remove the Euonymus (perhaps it can go in one of the new beds in the back);
b) get a load of compost ASAP;
c) add a second red-twig dogwood to add some symmetry and balance; and
d) add an Oakleaf Hydrangea at the end (also for balance)
A quick count indicates it will take roughly a dozen each hellebores and hostas to complete the planting scheme I started on the other side of the porch - hopefully my "babies" in the GH will be big enough to set out once the rest of the plants are in place.
Apparently the 'Wester Flisk' hellebore managed to throw off viable seed before it bit the dust (the good-sized seedling has the finely-divided foliage, so here's hoping anyway ;o)
Monday, April 4, 2005Gorgeous weather, so I finally got out and weeded around the oak trees in the front. It looks like the hostas are in pretty good shape, but they'll need more compost, soil conditioner and mulch soon. I'll also need to find some Caladiums or something else to plant around like I did last year, to fill in. I also pulled weeds from around the Caryopteris and Lorapetalums along the side of the house - they're looking good (although the Caryopteris definitely need to be pruned, and it needs new mulch. EVERYTHING needs new mulch....)
Watered everything in the GH - it was bone dry (shame on me.)
Friday, April 1, 2005
Initial NoteReady, set, garden!
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