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Over the last couple of days I have gotten some fun things done by the creek! I picked up some creeping jenny plants for the opposite bank side...of course, after planting them, I also drove stakes through the root ball to hold them in. The water usually doesn't come up this high though....
Today, I also decided to try digging in some stairs. I am not sure if they will stay put with a heavy rain and the rushing creek water, but this whole thing is an experiment... I used some pavers that were on our property when we moved in and have just been sitting in a pile. I figure this way, if it doesn't work out...I haven't spent $ on nice pavers and I am only out about an hour of time. If it does hold up....I may change out the pavers over time for nicer ones. I also transplanted some variagated ivy pieces in between the blocks, so hopefully they will grow in nicely. I pinned them down with landscape pins.
Not too shabby for an hour's worth of work and free materials! I finished just in time for the forcasted rain, so these pictures might be the only thing left of this by morning :0
I also spent some time getting more brush to the curb...I will do more of that tomorrow
Wow, I never thought I would be able to write this entry! Its finished! All of the brush, limbs, vines, and trees has been removed from the creek! Its the first time we have seen this 80+ foot area of creek line on our property since we bought this house. It has always been overgrown...and now, it is beautiful! Its will be even prettier when I start to plant it up! My husband brought his chainsaw out yesterday to help me get the last of it:
Looking at this pict gives a good idea of scale too! He took down 3 trees over 30 feet tall and 4 or 5 smaller trees! So nice to have his help. Here I am, doing the final pruning:
, after a pass with the weedeater and moving all the limbs and brush over the fence, all done!
Of course, I still have to get all of that brush to the curb, but that can wait until this next week. Here is a shot w/o the fence in it:
I also used my panoramic photo stitch utility on my computer to merge some shots together to give an overall picture of the area.
I can hardly believe its finally cleaned up and ready for plants! SO EXCITING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
After discussing the area with my mom (who is a landscape designer) I decided against the mountain laurels for the shrub screen on the far left. She said they tend to not do as well here in our climate and that they are more suited for mountainous regions (hence the name i suppose) and that they are fairly prone to disease and become spindly with age. She suggested Acubas which I think would be much better! I was hesitant to do those at first b/c they grow very slow here and larger sizes at the nursery tend to be on the pricier side. But, it really is a better choice and I want to do it right b/c I have put some much time and sweat into this project already. SO FUN to dream of all the possibilities.
Today, I transplanted all the wax mahonias and nandinas that I found on the other side of the creek. Turns out there were more than I thought: about 27 mahonias and 2 nandinas!
Here is a picture of the area before:
I know out of the 27...a few are bound to grow in niceley :)
I put the two nandinas in a pot that lives in the front by the gate:
I think it looks pretty nice. Plus, can't beat free!!!
I am starting to think about what I might want to plant on the opposite side of the creek, where the bank is really high. Our property extends about 4 feet beyond that. I would like to just plant some dense, evergreen shade shrubs that will help ward off the privet. Any ideas would be great!
On the far right of this picture, I will plant a weeping willow. So I need some ideas for the area to the left of that. In the low part...near the creek, I will be putting my great Gunnera that I have on order. ITS STARTING TO COME TOGETHER!!!!
Tomorrow, hubby has promised to get back there with his chain saw and take down what I can't get with my loppers :)
Have a great gardening weekend everyone!
Its been a great couple of days in the garden! Yesterday, I spent the entire afternoon after I got off of work, working on the creek. It was very satisfying as I was finally able to venture to the other side of the creek! I thought that would never happen. Especially when you look at where all this started:
In case you are wondering where the creek is in that shot...its to the left of the fence, under all the brush! Its very encouraging to look back at this to see how far I have come. Sometimes it seems like I will never finish this, but when I look at how far I have come, I know I will! Here are some current shots of the creek:
This afternoon I worked on getting the brush to the curb. The hardest part of this was that all of the brush had to travel over the creek and then over the fence then through the gate, then all the way to the curb! I was very thankful for my galoshes. Needless to say, Privet is now a very bad word in my world! I was online the other day browsing nurseries and one had gallon privet for sale for $19.95!!! I could make a fortune, just sell what I am ripping out :) Why can't something amazing be invasive...like peonies or something! But, I digress...
I did place another plant order for the "bones" of this project:
I also found a lot of volunteer wax mahonias back there that I will transplant so that they can thrive and be enjoyed. Also, one nandina that I will dig up for a container in the front yard. And, some nice woodland ferns that I uncovered and will hopefully do better now that they are not crowded by privet! Gotta love free plant suprises :)
Its just so exciting to see this all coming together!
On another note, my arbor came in the mail last night and I got it all assembled and installed:
On the left side, I planted a honeysuckle vine of some sort that was passed down from my mother. I am not sure of the variety. It is desiduous and had really neat seed pods in the fall that hang down. On the right side of this arbor, I plan to put out miniature gourd vine seeds. I think if this works...it will be really cool to see the gourds hanging down through the arbor!
I suppose the best part of winter gardening is getting all those catolog orders in the mail! I thought my new arbor was going to be awaiting me when I got home from work today...it was not. :( But, I was greeted by my Burpee seed order! YEAH! Most of these seeds will be used in my new sunny bed by the back porch. Here is a break down of my goodies:
Sunflower: Honeybear (gets 5-6 feet tall)
Sunflower: Sun 'n Sun Hybrid Mix (includes 10 different varieties of colors and sizes reaching heights of 4-6 feet.
Nasturtium: Alaska mix (contains a mix of gold, red and yellow all with variegated foliage)
Bells of Ireland
Sweet Pea: Sweet Dreams Mix
Gourd: Small Fancy, Mixed Varieties (I will grow these on the new arbor that I am awaiting in the mail)
Nemophila: Baby Blue Eyes (aka california blue bells) will use this as an annual ground cover in my shady bed
Alyssum: Royal Carpet (packet contains 1000 seeds, so I may be able to use this in several spots)
...and the freebie pack of seeds is a Sunflower: Burpee's Summer Cutting Mix :)
Also, the yard trash pick up came, so after work tomorrow I can spend more time dragging creek brush to the curb. My hubby said he will get back there with his new chain saw this weekend and help really clean out some of the remaining big stuff! YEAH!
Well, yesterday we had snow all day...with accumulation, which is very unusual for us here! Of course b/c of snow...I am sure you can all imagine that it was quite cold! This means my plans for more creek clean up were put to a rest for this weekend at least. But, it did give me a good chance to get some things done inside the house. I worked on painting the nursery for the little one to come and I spent some time tootling around on various gardening websites. But, most exciting of all is that I got all of my past blog entries printed out and put in a 3 ring binder. I had NO idea how much I had written! I have enjoyed and found it very helpful in the past to look over my old entries. Now that they are all on paper...I have a great essay of the garden for most of last season and I can write notes in the margins and highlight and it will be just a great resource for future garden planning. It ended up being over 300 pages of blog entries! Now, I will try to maintain the discipline of printing out my blog on a monthly basis so that I always have it up to date.
One thing that I have found most helpful with it right now is looking back on the creek project and the progress. I am really starting to plan what to plant in that area as it is almost cleared out....but, since everything is dormant right now, looking back at old entries has really helped me notice where I still need to clean out and areas of sun and shade.
I have also been making a lot of mental to do lists for future garden projects. I think I ought to get them down on "paper":
Whew....now that I got that out of my system!
It will be great to look back on this and see what ends up getting done! LOL
Once the weather warmed up and it dried out a bit...I headed out to do more creek clean up. It really is starting to take shape and all the dreams I had for it can now become a reality!
I have also been taking time the last couple of days to print out all of my blog entries. I find it so helpful to look back on the past pictures, successes, and failures when thinking of the future in my garden. I plan on putting all the pages in a binder and keeping them for future reference. Of course, that means lots of time at the computer, so I am looking through all the catalogs that have been flooding my mailbox and I have been ordering some fun things!
I placed a great order today with Van Bourgondein......
em>The main thing I am excited about is a "Great Gunnera" for the creek!
This is of course, the pict from the website, but I have very high hopes that the bare root that will arrive in the mail, will look like this beauty one day! The website said it is perfect for creek banks and likes wet feet. The leaves are said to get up to 6 feet accross!!!!
also ordered a Kamata-nishiki tree peony (which I have always wanted) and a collection of hardy fuchsias!
em>I couldn't resist all this temptation....they even had an offer of $25 off!
I will work on more creek clean out so that when my goodies arrive I can put them in the ground...
I had another great weekend in the garden. Got LOTS done as I am taking advantage of the warm daytime temps we have been having lately. I spent so much time on the front yard this past growing season, that now I am excited to get more work done in the back. I have been doing things such as defining the beds and putting in paths. I ordered another load of the free woodchips from the city and got busy spreading it:
I laid down a path in between the beds leading to the back. The bed to the left contains hydrangeas and hostas. I just transplanted all the hydrangeas to a better layout and added 2 variegated hydrangeas on either side of the sweet gum tree - I am looking forward to seeing how it looks come spring.
Here is the same path, from the back view:
My husband cut down the remainder of the trunk of the tree we took out last weekend. He was excited, because this meant he got to buy an electric chain saw. He always loves getting new toys...as you can see it definately did the trick:
I also transplanted the nandinas that were in the front of this tree over to another space so that now I have room to put in a nice conifer garden :) I also finished spreading all the pine straw (this helped to define the beds and create some new planting areas in the back yard. Here is a good shot of the back yard as of today:
The creek area even got some attention this weekend. Once I finish dragging the brush to the curb, it will be all cleared and ready to plant up with ground covers and ferns. I also plan to put an arbor at the gate with a nice vine on it and an outdoor hammock so that the area can be fully enjoyed!
I am interested to see what survived out of my bargain fern purchases that I planted back here in late summer. Once the drought hit, they began to suffer...so we will see. The creeping euonymous is doing well, however :)
On the list for this week: finish spreading wood chip pile and dragging creek brush to curb!
Thank you for the advice and ideas on what to do in the blank spot by my window seat. I decided to do a sculpture (the final product came from chatting about it with my Mother In Law). I didn't want to do another vine on a trellis because I thought that would be too symmetrical and matchy matchy. I love the idea of doing something fragrant...but the window on the window seat doesn't open...so it wouldn't get appreciated. The other thing I was really leaning towards was a nice evergreen, but I was worried how well it would do right up against the house. And, to get the instant gratification that I wanted, I would have to spend a small fortune to get a good size plant. So, a sculpture it is!
I took advantage of the after Christmas sales. The tall pole has a large Christmas ornament on top and all 3 have little christmas balls wired around them. The other 2 balls are "gazing" balls that I got at Old TIme Pottery for super cheap. The pipes are from the plumbing section at Home Depot. I think they pull in the iron on our shutter hardware in nicely.
I really am very happy with how they turned out! It will be fun to see how they weather. I also think I will get a clematis to grow up them. Or, I may do an annual sweet pea vine. And, the best part about going with a sculpture....no pruning or weeding. And, its drought tolerant! LOL!
We had quite the weekend in the garden! Very productive! I got a lot of things checked off of my to do list :) I divided some Iris, transplanted some cannas to pots, spread pine straw in the back yard, moved a pile of compost to the veggie bed, planted 70 allium bulbs and started the sculpture for the front window seat bed. But, most noteworthy is the 30 foot tree my husband took out for me! I felt kinda bad as it is a nice tree, however...it had been planted way too close to the tree next to it and during the growing season, it was growing crooked trying to reach the sun. Not a huge problem now, but would be in the future and then would be too costly to fix, so my hubby took it out.
Its funny, it looked much larger once it was on the ground LOL! Now it will be another chore getting rid of all the brush! Whats going in its place? 3 Threaded False Cypress and possibly a blue evergreen of some sort. The vines are doing fun things right now too. The winter jasmine is just starting to bloom :) I look forward to watching them in the spring as they cover the chain link fence.
This week I will finish spreading the pine straw in the back and will finish up the sculpture in the front. But I tell ya, I sure am worn out! I don't have quite to energy now that I am 6 mo pregnant. I guess I better get as much done as I can before I am 9 mo!