Copyright © 1997-2009 Demand Media. All rights reserved.
The new peony that I picked up the other day greeted me with its first bloom yesterday!
The others are bursting with buds and enjoyed the wonderful rain showers today!
Mom and I took a little day trip today to a fabulous nursery that is a bit of a drive north of our town. We typically go there once every spring. On my list for sure was a hardy begonia. I used to have one of these, but I had planted it with the Vinca Major and the Vinca won the fight last year. I was planning on moving it this spring, but the poor little guy didn't make it, so I needed a new one. To my delight, they had one. SO, i got it and also picked up 3 Astilbe Color Flash Limes (Astilbe xarendsii hybrid). This same plant is usually priced $13.99 at our local nursery, but at the one today they were only $5.75 so I could afford to get 3 of them. Hooray! They are said to get 15-20 inches high with lime green foliage that changes color throughout the season and purplish/pinkish blooms. I planted all my new goodies in front of the azaleas to the right of all the new hosta starts. The shade bed is coming together!
I also picked up some little moon flower vine seedlings. I put some of these seeds in the ground, but they don't always germinate, so I picked up some to guarantee that I get some of this wonderful vine this year. They got planted by the arbor in the back. Once everything was in the ground...I got to watering.
The veggies are looking great! Most exciting is the tomato bed:
>The plants are looking great and the spinach and allysum is already germinating.
d, the corn has germinated VERY well:
The blackberries are blooming and we are looking forward to the berries to come:
The peach tree that bloomed in early spring now has little fruits on it! I am surprised b/c I just planted it last year:
The allium blubs are starting to do something:
In the front yard, where I spotted lots of little seedlings in the spring and wasn't sure what they were...well, they are thousands of datura babies!
The feather grass is just beautiful with all its new growth:
The double knockouts are just ready to burst:
And finally, the autumn ferns have some wonderful new fronds and look beautiful as I sit on the front porch:
Despite the Iris Patch having a MAJOR aphid infestation, they continue to bloom :) They have never really done too much in seasons pasts (they are relatively new to my garden- passed along from my husband's grandfather's farm), so its fun to see what color they are. So far we have white and today, the purples are blooming. In the picture, they look more maroon colored. It depends which way the sun is hitting:
I am also very pleased to report that some of the veggie seeds are starting to come up already and the freshly planted hostas are looking good. Also, the peony buds look like they might burst open any day now!
Oi Vey! Just had to take a quick break from writing this to go tell 3 neighborhood kids to get out of our creek and not mess up all my freshly planted goodies! They were swinging from bank to bank from the grape vines that I cut back! ARGH! I hate being THAT neighbor....but really, I don't want them to get hurt either, would be our liability you know. They quickly sauntered off with their tail between their legs.
The other day I picked up a couple of ferns to naturalize by the creek and I finally got them planted. One is an Ostrich Fern:
The other is a "Robust Male Fern" Tee Hee:
From what I have heard, these can be invasive when happy and both of the plant tags confirmed that. I am hoping that is true. I would love for this creek to be just FULL of fluffy ferns!
Also got the 10 Mexican heathers dotted around the front yard and picked up a Pink Peony (thats all the tag said). She went by the other 2 peonies that I had originally planted 4 years ago from a bag of rhizomes that I got for $6. But, only 2 came up and they have required much patience. This is the first year they have really looked like much of anything. One is red and one is white, so I though a pink one would complete the grouping nicely. Its the one to the far left:
The Bearded Iris in the back that came from my hubby's grandfather's farm started blooming yesterday. I haven't had these very long. The first season I had them, they didn't bloom, last year they didn't bloom due to the drought, so I didn't even know what color they were. SO, the whites are blooming and the ones about to come out look purple.
See that lady bug? well, once I got down close to take this picture, I saw that the entire bed of irises is infested with Aphids! Yuck! So, I gave them a good spraying of insecticidal soap and will rinse them off tomorrow with the hose.
The tulips are really looking good! I planted 60 in the fall and figured this would be quite a show...it looks great, but I realized I probably could have planted double that amount and planted them closer together to really get an even better show. They tend to be annuals here, so maybe I will try that next year...
And, finally...a good shot of my view of my front yard as seen from sitting on my front porch:
I have had a wonderful couple of days in the garden! All the planning that I did over the winter months is starting to come together and since our last frost date has come and gone (April15), I got to start planting!!!! HOORAY!
First thing I did was put in all the annual flower seeds for the bed I laid out around the porch:
It doesn't look like much now, but soon it will have (from back to front) Sweet Pea Vine, 2 Varieties of Sunflowers, Bells of Ireland, Nemophila: Baby Blue Eyes and Sweet Alyssum.
I also had a great helper:
Then, when hubby got home he was kind enough to help me plant and divide all my new hostas! (Its a bit hard to bend over these days at 9 mo preggers) HAH!
We divided up and planted a few different varieties of hostas and put some under the saucer magnolia:
And the rest in the evolving azalea shade bed:
I also moved a couple of hostas from the hydrangea bed over to the azalea bed. This will make for a nice collection and I think they will fill in very nicely. They were all actually easier to divide than I thought and I was able to save a lot of money that way!
But, perhaps the most exciting part of the afternoon was installing the veggie bed plan! Here is a pict of the master companion planting plan:
And the results:
I know, doesn't look like much...I started everything from seeds except the tomatoes, eggplants, bee balm, peppers, and strawberries. I am super excited to see how all of this comes together! Hope the companion system proves to be effective. The only thing that didn't get planted yet are the sweet potatoes. Still waiting on those in the mail. They won't ship them until after May 15th....apparently they only like REALLY warm soil.
The plants that I purchased are as follows:
Tomatoes: Yellow Pear, Husky Cherry Red, and Better Boy
: Black Beauty and Ichiban
ers: Mexibell, Gypsy, and Yellow Bell
All of the varieties of seeds can be seen by looking at a previous post and clicking here. I also added a sweet basil plant and Dark Opal Purple Basil to that as well as okra, but I forgot to jot down its variety :(
We finished up just as the sun was setting and I tell ya, it felt SO good! Especially to have this done before I have the baby :)
Now we will just water and wait:
So much is happening in the garden, it is SO exciting! I took another trip to the nursery today. I was going to pick up my veggie plants to have ready to put in the ground next week, but i forgot my list...so I just picked up a purple bougainvilla. I have always wanted to try one of these up the front porch railing...but have never been willing to spend the money on something that won't come back, but I decided to go for it this year. It will go in next week. We are forecasted for another freeze on monday, so I still have to be patient! When I got home, I took a nice stroll around the garden to admire all the spring happenings and take some picks. Here is a sampling:
The Viburnum is blooming and looking so pretty:
Those Iris in front of it are starting to bud out, the mystery oxalis bulbs that came free with my order from direct gardening are coming up, the peonies are up and have buds on them, the small allium bulbs have formed their buds, the hellebores look amazing, the pineapple lily is coming up. And, the miscanthus that I have been experimenting with lately is looking good. I have some that I always wish didn't grow so tall, so I decided to keep cutting them back in spring to stunt their growth. So far, so good.
The coral bark maple is all leafed out:
The hostas are coming up very nicely. There are some that didn't seem to survive the drought though. I spent some time last night cutting back the ivy so that the hostas can breathe.
The Solomon's Seal clump that I dug up from mom's is looking great and I know I will just love having this in the garden. The cannas are also coming up, the crepe myrtles are leafing out, the euphorbia that i got for $1 b/c it was half dead looks great:
Also, the fig tree is leafing out and so is the wisteria (although I have yet to get blooms off this vine).
I think one of my favorite parts of the garden right now is all the autumn fern fronds that are emerging:
The 60 tulips that I planted are up and the purple are blooming. Its funny how short they are, but the other ones aren't...
The honeysuckle on the side of the house that is supposed to like sun, but is in shade...looks good:
Another exciting thing is that the birdhouse we put in last year now has a nest in it. We weren't sure b/c we did not design it with housing birds in mind...it was more of an art piece. so, its cool that the birdies are liking it!
The trumpet trees are coming up and the Daturas as well. The daturas made TONS of babies:
I am wondering if some of those seedlings are poppies. I did scatter some seeds out there in the winter. Will have to wait and see, I guess.
Another exciting thing is the deciduous honey suckle start that mom gave me is coming back. I thought for sure it was dead! And last but not least, the Elephant ears are all coming up.
e are some broad shots of the garden as of today:
Well, I have had a few very fun nursery shopping trips over the last few days. Somehow the blow to the wallet hurts less when smaller, but multiple trips are made HAH!
Anyway, each time, I came home with quite a few goodies! I found some 1 gallon azaleas for $2 each, so I got 4 of them to complete and fill in some empty spots in the existing azalea bed.
They were all labeled "assorted azalea" I have learned that there are SO many varieties of azaleas that identifying what I currently have may be more difficult than initially thought. So, for now...its "assorted".
I also got a cool looking plant that I had never heard of. "Acanthus Mollis 'Oak Leaf'" (Grecian Pattern Plant) The plant label says that it is extremely fast growing to a hight of 4 feet tall and wide. It also says that it is semi evergreen and somewhat invasive when happy. Oh, and it likes shade too...so I thought, isn't that PERFECT for the creek bank! The guy at the nursery agreed :). So, in it went and I have great expectations...
Right after that pict was taken, I got up there with the weed eater and trimmed everything back to our property line. I had been struggling as to how to control all the growth back there...with roundup, by hand, or with the weed eater. I had been hesitant about the use of roundup...I really don't like to make a habit out of using that stuff and especially being on a creek bank. Plus, I am planting a lot of plants that are said to naturalize well and if I continually spray roundup that certainly will not help things. Then, I saw a gardening show about a lady who had a huge moss garden and she said the best thing to do to help it along is keep it free of debris, so I set out with my weed eater and did notice that once I got everything trimmed, there is a layer of moss under that...so I hope to help it along.
Also, while I was weedeating, the tornado sirens started going off!!! Its such a chore climbing up the creek bank with weed eater in hand (and at 9 mo preggers) that since I was already back there, I just wanted to get it done, so I went super fast and was able to make it inside before the storm hit!!!
I also picked up some other things at the nursery that will stay in my studio until the last frost date here (April 15th). Even though they are all perennial, all their nice spring growth would get zapped should we have another late freeze. Here is a breakdown of the goodies waiting for their homes:
10 Annual Mexican Heathers (These will get dotted around the front and back yard. They are so drought tolerant and always perform well for me. Last year, when I waited until after the frost date to purchase things, I had to drive to 3 different nurseries to find these, so I went ahead and got what I wanted.)
2 Sum and Substance Hostas (I really wanted 6, but the budget wouldn't allow, so I got 2 that looked like they could be divided and i will break them down into 6 total. They will look puny this year, but in years to come will be awesome. 3 will go in the shade bed in progress with the azaleas and the other 3 will go under the saucer magnolia in the front yard.
1 Minuteman Hosta - Nice variegated variety. I will divide this one as well. Not sure how many divisions I will get, but they will all go in the azalea shade bed.
2 Blue Cups Hostas - Very cool cup like leaves in a nice cool blue. Will also divide these ...hopefully into 4 total and will put 2 with the azaleas and 2 under the saucer magnolia.
1 Ostrich Fern - I wanted 3 of these to put under the saucer magnolia with the hostas, but once again the budget prevailed. This one can not be divided, but I will plant it by the creek and if it lives up to its reputation as a fast growing clumping spreader, I should be able to take some clumps in the next couple of years to dot around the garden.
1 Robust Male Fern - Never heard of this one...funny name, semi-evergreen, glossy fronds, fast growing to 4 feet tall...so, it will be another plant to find a home by the creek.
Whew...and imagine, when I set out to write this entry, I didn't think I had that much to say. HAH!
I spent yesterday afternoon tootling about in the front yard. I mowed our "lawn" , which is really more a patch of weeds than anything. After its mowed, it actually looks pretty decent. My dreams of fescue were squelched by the drought last year....maybe this fall i can do that. Once the mowing was done, I pulled some weeds, cut back some vinca, hacked down the curry plant (it had gotten very raggedy and woody, will be interesting to see if it comes back), and I also watered the autumn ferns. It looks as though the layer of compost applied to the top of that bed last summer is really coming through for us...I have never had so many new fronds appearing at once on these ferns. It looks so pretty! Here is a view of the front yard as seen from my front porch today:
As you can see, my girl and my hubby are enjoying the freshly mowed weeds :)
The redbud looks so amazing right now as well! Also, the ajuga is blooming and is adding a nice shot of color:
The dogwood is almost in all of its glory. It is in the same bed that got the compost dressing and i do think it is helping the dogwood also, in seasons past, the dogwood has suffered from one of its common fungal diseases that causes the blossoms to fall off before they fully open. It looks like we might not have that prob this year :)
On a recent shopping trip with my mom, I picked up this cool garden art windchime and I have been enjoying it as I sit on my front porch:
Its very overcast today and a bit cool and breezy, so I am not sure if I will venture out in the garden later or not. I have been thinking more about creek planting lately and trying to decide what to plant on the opposite bank...I still have yet to have the moment of brilliant inspiration. I do need to get back there with the weedeater so that all my hard work spent cleaning everything out doesn't go to waste....it will if I don't stay on top of things back there. I am anxiously awaiting the emerging of the great gunnerra that went in the ground a few weeks ago...i check for growth every day :)
I did hear an ad on the radio that our local home depot has 5 dollar coreopsis and hostas, so i may venture down there this afternoon. Tomorrow the forecast is thunder storms, so I better do what I have to do today :)
Copyright © 1997-2009 Demand Media. All rights reserved.