Yarden maintenance late June into July

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

Guess we need a new thread about now. We've had such beautiful late spring weather this week!
Coming from

I still have shrubs to trim. The promised trimming by my un-hired help (family member) was a light haircut, of a few bushes, at best. Can't complain though. He put the tools away after...after I did more trimming, and then asked him to put the tools away...I get what I pay for!

I was cooking and tidying extra this week so today my treat is repotting some plants. I divided chunks out of a Sanseveria to make pots I will offer at a July yard sale. Then pulled out my fan palm and found that much of the soil had been trickling out the drain hole- HUGE empty space in the bottom of the pot, with roots wrapped around the bottom edge. Horrors! The abuse! It oughta grow like mad now. Potted up my Spideryweb Sedum from Jill, using gritty mix from ssgardener... Its like a visit with friends all the time in my garden.

Thumbnail by sallyg
Salem Cnty, NJ(Zone 7b)

well said, dear!!

Crozet, VA

Thanks for the new thread Sally. You sound much like myself.....have so much inside that needs doing that getting out to do some potting is a special treat this last month or so. I am now down to having only one closet that needs my attention and then I will have time to tend my many plants which are learning to do well despite my neglect. Sure helps that it is summer time and most seem to love their summer homes.

Later today I am hoping to get out and transplant some seedlings in to the beds where hopefully they will live. Will need to add more notes to tend specific newly planted stuff so they don't die due to my neglect. Will also give deck pots a drink of water later too.

Thus far on this Saturday in June, I have accomplished little more than sitting in this very same chair and reading either Dave's Garden threads or breaking local stories on the news channels. The first female President of The University of Virginia resigned on Monday and there is a nationwide hoopla as a result. There is talk of a conspiracy and so much secretiveness and no one is giving any satisfactory answers and this is leaving the UVA associated folk and the community are about fit to be tied. I find it all very interesting and have to admit reading comments on all the different media sources. It will be very interesting to see how things turn out here. Anyway......

Very, very unproductive thus far today. Maybe the cup of coconut coffee I am sipping on will give me a burst of energy in order at the end of the day I can say that I have done at least a few productive things. If not, so be it. I deserve to rest on occasion too.

Here is hoping that those not currently reading or writing are all out enjoying themselves in some fashion....whether it be playing in dirt, or doing any other number of things that take place during lovely summer weather. Enjoy all.


Dover, PA(Zone 6b)

I just love that soil that SSG brought to the swap. It is great for potting up succulents.
Ruby, Today was our Hobby Greenhouse Assoc Picnic. We had the nicest time. There is always a project, this years project was landscaped dish gardens. Everyone's was different an interesting. Ric cooked the chicken, hot dogs and sausages. Then there was the plant raffle. For $5 I came home with some great plants.

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

DH told me our rainfall is still low- I spent some time watering today, there were some thirsty things out there for sure.

Crofton, MD(Zone 7a)

Dry is the word for the day! I am so very fortunate that my new garden bed is within reach and downhill from the 55 gallon rain barrel. But now I need at least a bit of rain to refill. I guess I will be carrying the dehumidifier water outside to at least get the plants near the door!

Middle of, VA(Zone 7a)

Yes, I too instead of planting new babies was watering this evening. I did move the old as well as the new pineapple sage to the front planters in close proximately to the hummingbird feeder. The girls can see the feeder from the living room...figured I'd do what I could to bring them all over to that area. I've gotten hooked on mints this year...so in addition to previous years, I've added candy, lime, orange...hmmmm I'm not sure I remember the rest. God knows I have enough herbs to make a good batch of pesto as well...yumm-meeee

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

I'm with you UprightK- I hate to put any reasonably clean water down the drain. I wish I had a good place for a few rain barrels. My yard is so flat, they need to be elevated.
Its pretty dry out and there's a heat wave coming.

Crozet, VA

Holly, I would love to know more about the dish gardens. Any pics of any? A picture of yours for sure. hint hint...
I while back I found some bright red plastic sort of square bowls that I have enjoyed using as planters this year. I might have to check and see if they are still available because even these I have used outside, they would also look great inside with some succulents or other pretties.

Yep, watered here last night too. At the end of the watering I saw that a cement planter that I sowed some Celosia in a while back were thick, thick and needed some attention. It was almost dark and I was outside ever so gingerly pulling up the larger ones to transplant to other pots or beds. I hope they survive the move. Also got the Summer Poinsettia re-potted in a very large pot and in hopes of something interesting from it as it grows. Just in the last week I am having Petunias pop up in several pots. These were all reseeders and always a surprise to see. Since the swap it seems that my plants are multiplying daily. The front deck has at least three times more pots this year than it has had in the past. I am certainly not complaining, and am really grateful to have the deck.

Yep, Sally I hear you on the heat due later in the week. This is day number two that the house has been comfortable without air conditioner running. I suspect that will not happen often as the week progresses. Bought a kiddie pool for the grand little ones and plan on plopping in it myself if conditions call for it. My two year old grand son Isaac doesn't quite understand the need for swimming trunks and was not happy until he left the pool area, pulled off his trunks and then happily got in to the pool. Hilarious and I wish now that I would have taken pictures last week when they were here. That will be a real winner to show his future bride.

Anyway......enjoy the gardening which you can. Going to be brutal later on.


Dover, PA(Zone 6b)

Ruby, Unfortunately I didn't take any pictures at the picnic. But I can describe what we did. The Club bought planters and provided dirt. At a charge of $5:00. Plus some of the members brought extra plants to share. There were several types of low growing sedums, some Squill, impatiens, vinca, dwarf mondo grass, artillery fern, moss, some blue glass pebbles, pea gravel, polished stones. Then the members brought some of their own plants and cute little accessories to give them some personality. My friend Jane (you might have met her at the swap) used a piece of moss to look like pasture grass and some small twigs to make a corral with mini horses. She used the blue pebbles and small polished stones to make a pond and pea gravel to make a riding rink then added hedge of mini mondo grass, with a couple of impatiens, squill, and a few succulents that she brought with her. One of the other members had a wicker arch with a small wicker bench, mini clay pots, butterfly net and small polished stones to make a path. There were very small semps that lined the path with a hedge of dwarf mondo grass and flowering plants behind the arbor. She tipped the little pots over with just the largest standing up right and put a small semp in it. One of the members used a seashell filled with blue glass pebbles to make a lake, another used dried allium heads to make trees, with a flat stone for a patio with a mini bench sitting on it. Even thought a lot of them used much of the same plants each one looked very different.

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

So cute with Isaac!

Holly, they sound so creative!

Chevy Chase, MD(Zone 7a)

Ssgardener -- Thinking about your hill, this may appall you, but this photo shows how tighly ajuga will fill in -- and fast! I have tons of it. I also have tons of Sweet Woodruff -- I just forgot to take a photo. And the second photo is of bigroot geranium, another good ground cover. Mine isn't as thick as it might be because I keep dividing it to increase the size of the patch. (Ignore the weeds on the edges.)

This message was edited Jun 18, 2012 10:36 PM

Thumbnail by happy_macomb Thumbnail by happy_macomb
annapolis, MD(Zone 7b)


Thanks for pic of your slope! Looks like biggest problem is that you have to use the area below the bed as a walkway to access garbage cans, etc. Have you ever considered using concrete pavers/stepping stones along the bottom edge with mulch on both sides in effect creating a path that can take traffic and keep you above the muddy low spot. It could also finish off and define your bed and could stop at beginning of bed (right side in pic) or vise versa.

There are some plants like Happy has suggested that can survive muddy, but when you add in having to bounce back from being walked on or rolled over repeatedly, it might be asking too much. The pavers sit on top of existing soil with some leveling and are held in place by the mulch.

Your thoughts?

Dover, PA(Zone 6b)

Good idea Cole up, I could see that there were some edgers in there to help hold the slope. You could do a little more terracing with edgers. Of course that would mean more digging which is very hard in that heavy clay. We have that type of clay soil, one of the tricks is to wet the area before you dig or work in it. Not enough to make it muddy but enough to loosen it up.

Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)


In your opening post here, you talk about all the soil trickling out from a potted Palm tree.
And-a big open space among the roots.

I betcha that some rodent had set up housekeeping in that pot....most likely mice.
I have seen that when I was working in the Greenhouse in my first 5 years at the HD.

We even had rats that would move into the bottoms of large pots. Chewed up roots--
constant moisture--what's not to like......

Silver Spring, MD(Zone 7a)

Oooh, HM, I love how tightly the ajuga has filled in! My bigroot geranium and sweet woodruff (all received from previous swaps) don't seem to spread as quickly as the ajuga.

I'd love for my ajuga to get that thick. From what I've seen, they can handle foot traffic pretty well.

Coleup, I've considered stepping stones, but Holly is right. It's just so *hard* to dig. Even an inch would take so long. And since the trash cans get rolled in this area, the stones have to be nice and flat with the ground. If I had the money to hire someone to lay the stones and to get really pretty stepping stones, that's probably that I would do.

Another June yarden maintenance item for me is catching Japanese beetles. I don't remember seeing them last year, but I caught 2 the other day. I think they're the ones shredding apart the crape myrtle leaves. The only method I know of controlling them is catching them by hand and dumping them in soapy water to drown them.

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

Holy cow Gita- I'd just croak of a rodent came out of a plant as I unpotted it- especially a rat!

Beetles- last year I had a lot of brown beetles that were only active at night but were eating mass amounts of leaves of a lot of my plants. Go out one warm night in the darl and see if there are brown 'june beetles' on the leaves getting eaten.

Chevy Chase, MD(Zone 7a)

Coleup -- I have put pavers on my slopes, and to be honest, they are a little dangerous because of the angle unless you level them (which I haven't -- too much work). I'm always afraid I'll go sliding down, especially when they are wet/muddy.

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

I really like the paver idea; given the constraints. I picture pavers laid on the existing ground, some soil to fill the gaps, and let the woodruuf fill where it can. Now , granted, the path will need to be all level and wide enough for the trash cans. I can't help with construction. I don' know how stable a flat paver job you can make on a shallow sand bed and the existing soil.

happy, I have flip flops that are terribly slippery on my wet deck so I understand that .

annapolis, MD(Zone 7b)

lol Happy, sounds like one needs rock climbing gear to tackle your slopes!

Anything is slippery when wet (even ajuga, moss, small trees etc) and I have a few hiking stories to support how quickly one can slide.

Sally, I'm agreeing with you on the put the pavers on (not in) the ground., and then mulch around them. Best leveling can be done when soil is moist and muddy (not brick/rock hard baked) I take one 12x12 paver and try to find the most level place to start my path. From ss's pic where the ajuga is and just to the right looks more level than slopey to me. With the edge of the paver facing the house, I ram the edge into the slope horizontally , shaving off some soil several times til I get and ok fit that is stable when I stand on it and fairly flat. Use shaved off soil to fill in low spots or a layer of an inch of sand would be even better. Then continue every 12 inches or so to install other pavers. About 12 inches between pavers gives a stepping stone for a normal adult walking stride. When finished, mulch at least 6-10 inces on all sides of each paver. Really tamp that mulch in there as it is the glue!

Since the stepping stones are only needed so garbage haulers can roll a trash can or two once or twice a week without getting muddy , keep the pavers as high as possible, not level with the ground! You want the garbage can haulers to be able to walk normally on the pavers, but the trash cans can roll over irregularities quite well, so no need to size the pavers to them. And rolling trash cans flatten plants a lots less than adult foot traffic.

In the alternative, relocate where you keep your trash cans! lol Or, become a "zero waste " household.

Silver Spring, MD(Zone 7a)

Thanks, Coleup! I need to seriously reconsider the idea of pavers now. I'd given up on them when I realized I couldn't bring myself to dig in there again.

The hill is slanted towards the back of the house (towards the picture taker), as well to the right of the picture, if that makes sense. That is, I have to drag the trashcans up that hill when full and down the hill when empty. And it's also sloped away from the house.

That's the reason I'd ruled out pavers: they'd need to be placed at an angle going downhill, because I don't want any kind of terracing on the walkway. And knowing me, I'd trip over the pavers and break my ankle again. Ha! It's ridiculous how clumsy I am.

It's good to know that the wheels make less impact on the ground than actual footsteps.

Anyway, thank you all for brainstorming with me about what to do with my ugly hill. I'm so glad I took these before pictures. They really bring out the ugly side!

This message was edited Jun 19, 2012 6:12 PM

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

Oh, ssg, now I understand better, the problem with slanted pavers and the slope.

Crozet, VA

Thanks Holly for telling about the dish gardens. Sounds too cool. What fun!!! I love the idea of the bluegreen stones used for water.

Sorry ssg, I am not really much with designing anything much, garden wise included. I am sure that some of the ideas being given will allow you to come up with a suitable idea that will work for you. The majority of our Day Lilies are in bloom so there is color in every direction we look. I have mainly done container gardens this year and not much trekking in the yard. So much easier to stay on the deck where it is level versus our sloping front yard that sounds much like Happy's and a place that I say away as much as possible.

In between all that we have going on with the house.....new flooring, new work for a new roof begun yesterday, there is not a lot of time left over for gardening. My partner in crime is working on de-weeding the Iris bed that is the first thing a person sees from my kitchen window and also the first thing when a person walks on the back deck. That was in dire need of weeds being gone. There is actually a nice stand of Calla Lilies blooming there now and I especially love Callas, so that is a treat.

I probably won't be reporting much garden work this week due to the temperature being in the high nineties most the rest of the week. Supposed to be 98 degrees here today. The thought of it turns my stomach.

Anyway.....it will be fun to see the final results of what happy and ssgardener come up with. Always interesting to keep up with other folks projects. Interesting on the Wild Rose discussion. Will be interesting to see what the final consences is. The grow very invasively outside of our yard thankfully. As a child I thought they were the most beautiful flower on the planet.

Stay cool everyone.


Chevy Chase, MD(Zone 7a)

I posted my mysterious maybe-wild-roses on the plant ID forum, but got no takers....

Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)

Ruby---what is your zone? I am 7a.

Do you leave your Calla Lilies in the ground for the winter? or--bring them in?

There is some discussion going on about yes--or no.
I have been given a calla Lilly bulb. First one ever! I planted it in a 10" pot so I can,
easily, bring it in when I have to.

This bulb was a gift--and I don't want to screw it up.
Thanks, Gita

Chevy Chase, MD(Zone 7a)

Gita -- I have Calla lilies and I've always lugged them into the garage to overwinter. I don't pay much attention to them. I'm sure they'd do better if i did.

Somewhere in, MD(Zone 7b)

Hiya all! Gosh, you guys have sure been busy lately! Ss, have you come to any decisions yet about the walkway? Yeah, there is a way to make pavers work for it, but you're so right, it does require digging to make it right. If ya dig in deeply enough, then tamp down some crushed rock, then tamp down some sand into it, you could put pavers in there, but it's a painstaking process (emphasis on "PAINS") to make it level and smooth all the way across on a slope. NOT what you want to be doing in this kind of heat!! In my big front bed, I've got a little patch of Artemesia that I put in in place of a stepping stone, so I can easily reach the back of the bed. I step on it all the time, (that is, when it's not smothered by the Verbena); I stand on it, walk on it, plunk my 5-gallon bucket full of compost down on it, and it keeps shproining back and asking for more. =) The one little 3.5" sized potted plant has gotten to be just over 1 square foot in just under a year. It's a "Stepable", and though it's not "rated" for high traffic, it sure tolerates my bulk dancing on it a few times a week. Here's a link to a site where you might find something more to your liking in that area; they are Stepables that take high traffic... maybe you'll find something there that would work for you... I hope. =) http://www.stepables.com/scripts/prodlist-plants.asp?palntingCatId=5

It's gotten horribly hot here, so I've not been outside to do much, just to water. I **did** install a couple of flats of Intensia this past weekend, but they are not photo-worthy just yet. I gave 'em a major hair cut when I put 'em in because when I brought 'em home from work they were really leggy. While I LOVE freebies from work, (stuff that just won't sell for some reason), I don't understand why no one would want to buy these, they are GORGEOUS!!! They weren't root-bound but they had lots of happy white little roots when I installed them, and though very leggy, they were smothered in blooms. I can't wait for 'em to flush back out again! =)

I finally enjoyed the first fruits of my tomato-labor last evening. My little grape tomato plant has some ripening clusters on it and I was soooooo happy to come home last evening to find that this one I'd been waiting for (to ripen perfectly) had not been eaten by any critters, it was still there waiting for me! =) Mmmmmmm, that baby was yummy, perfectly salty-sweet with a nice loud CRUNCH! I'll try to get a good pic on my way out to work today, there's a few more now that are getting golden... just a few more days 'til they'll be ready for salad! < =D

That's about it for now... oh yeah, and when I installed the Intensia I also cut back the Verbena that was smothering the Artemesia, and I also cut back the Honeysuckle (cut it back HARD) and cleaned out the barrel it's growing in. That sucker was climbing up under the siding of the house in several places, no-no-no!! < =0

I had an epiphany the other day, about my driveway side bed. Maybe I could put up a strip of landscape fabric?? It would only have to be maybe 8" up the fence, then bury the rest of it in the soil on my side so it doesn't get "knocked around" too much from their side with the weed-eater... wonder if that might work? I've got fabric pins too, to hold it down on my side before I cover it. Your thoughts?

Have a wonderful day, all, and STAY COOL AND SAFE!!!!!!!!!!!!! =)

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

It all sounds great speedie-
The landscape fabric, I bet they'd never even notice. Sounds good.

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

Can you tell us more about Intensia? I don't find it in plantfiles.

Somewhere in, MD(Zone 7b)

Alrighty then, that will be my next project... maybe for this weekend. I've already got the fabric and pins, and a nice collection of twisty ties (from Winter Sowing), so I should be all set! And considering how high and dense my Shasta's are, the fabric won't be visible at all... at least from **my** side! =)

Intensia... it's a hybrid annual phlox, and we get ours from Proven Winners. You can read about them here: http://www.provenwinners.com/plants/series/intensia

This year we got Pink and Blueberry, and I brought home mostly Pink with just a couple Blueberry thrown in. I'll share a pic or 2 when they start flushing out again, but for now they're mostly green sticks with a few leaves on them. ;)

Oh, speaking of pics, I got a couple of my grape tomatoes yesterday morning! I'm sorry that they're fuzzy, I don't know if it's my camera, my lack of knowing HOW to use the camera properly for close-ups, or just my lack of a steady hand. =/ Anyway, I think I might have a few more ready to eat when I get home from work today, YIPPEEE!! The pics are of 2 separate clusters. As of now there are 3 clusters on her, each cluster has 3 or 4 fruits.

Thumbnail by speediebean Thumbnail by speediebean
Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

Thanks for the link- pretty!
I guess you get the "First Tomato" ribbon for 2012.
8 ^)

Lucketts, VA(Zone 7a)

Hello all. How miserable the heat and humidity have been the last few days. It was too hot to really get outside when I got home from work, so I have quite a few things on the to do list this morning. I picked up some pretty asiatic lilies from HD that need to be planted - they bring some color into my shade garden at a time when not much else is blooming. I also have some more plants that greenthumb and ecnalg (David & Pat) were so generous with when I stopped by their place last weekend. I had them staged in a shady area, but two of them look like they might not make it - horrible when it gets this hot out, phooey. I love visiting them and their garden - it is beautiful and they always have creative projects in progress. One of the latest is turning old crib panels into clematis trellis. They also always have info about places to check out - best news I've heard in a while is that a Dairy Queen was opening in Leesburg this week. Stopped by after work on opening day and got the turtle blizzard special - yumm, yumm!

Dover, PA(Zone 6b)

turtle blizzard special - yumm, yumm! Think I will have ice cream for breakfast. LOL
I would love to see David & Pat's garden. I would think it would be beautiful.

Lucketts, VA(Zone 7a)

Well, planting the lilies didn't take long. Now on to the plants from David & Pat. Took a few pix while I was out there. The gooseneck loosestrife from Gita at the 2011 swap is doing great - the flowers are really cute and aptly named. The 'blue wave' hydrangea blossom is a real accomplishment. This shrub used to be gorgeous, but about three years ago the deer ate it to the ground. It has slowly been growing back, and with my dad keeping it sprayed with the deer repellent, it finally has its first bloom since the destruction.

Thumbnail by aspenhill Thumbnail by aspenhill
Dover, PA(Zone 6b)

1st tomato ribbon my asparagus! I may not have made Father's Day, but by Wednesday these had very nice color, and Holly's been munching the grape tomatoes by the gazebo for almost 2 weeks. LOL Ric

Nobody told me there was a 1st tomato ribbon! :-}

This message was edited Jun 23, 2012 11:16 AM

Thumbnail by HollyAnnS
Odenton, MD(Zone 7b)

Any idea what this cute little bloom is? It is in a pot at my sisters house and she did not plant anything in that pot.

Thumbnail by Catbird423
annapolis, MD(Zone 7b)

Robin, looks like moss rose (portulaca) to me.

Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)

yep! I agree! Wonderful. indestructible, low-growing, full sun loving flower.

Self-seeds too. Can be rooted from the smallest pieces. Like any succulent.

Salem Cnty, NJ(Zone 7b)

Yeppers!! that was one of my mom's favorites!

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

First Tomato 2012 Ribbon goes to Ric.

; ^)

coleup, so sorry I did not get your message until we were about to leave. Look for dmail so I can give you my home phone as well, sometimes I neglect my cell for a few hours.

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