This past Sunday I planted up all the veggie beds! I learned a lot from last year's garden. The main thing I learned was that we could not get enough of certain crops. So, instead of planting a lot of different things, we decided to plant more of our favorites. Also, I am still using the companion planting system - primarily with marigolds, onions and nastursiums. I had to go to 4 different stores to find all the varieties. While at Lowe's, I found a Fireworks Clematis (Clematis Fuegos Artficiales) for $5 that I could not pass up, it looks to be purple and red striped and I planted it by some knockouts in the front window seat bed. I also picked up 2 annual potato vines. One went in the back sun bed in progress to act as a ground cover and the other one went in a container by the front steps.
So, I planted 10 tomatoes:
Sweet 100 (2 plants)
Husky Cherry Red
Ic hiban (3 plants)
Basil Sweet Bush (2)
Basil Siam Queen
Basil Sal's Italian Choice
Basil Osmin Purple
And, one token Mammoth Giant Jalepeno ( I love to make stuffed jalepenos)
I spread this all out between 3 beds and in the center of each bed I planted Mammoth Sunflowers and then planted a variety of items to grow up the sun flowers: sugar snap peas, Yard Long Asparagus Beans, Burpee's Tenderpod Garden Bean, Peas, Sequoia Purple Bean and Golden Wax Bean. I also sprinkled around marigold (crackerjack) and nastursium seeds (alaska mix).
In one bed I also started Emerald Green Artichokes. I interplanted them with Oriental Poppies and Lady Bird Poppies. Since these are perennial/self seeding items, this bed will be a permanent planting.
In my asparagus and strawberry bed, I stuck in someStuttgarter Onion Bulbs.
One of the three beds that got the tomatoes still have kale, lettuce and parsley that we have been enjoying since spring. I think they will die back as the tomatoes are ready to take over.
It was a fun day in the garden for all the ladies!
We are well into spring here at soapHOUSE and loving every minute of it! I took some picts yesterday of recent garden happenings:
Nic e shot of one of the beds in the back
That deodor cedar in the back will grow up big one day to hide that fence :)
I am loving the viburnum!
The Iris looks so pretty with the virburnum in the background:
Pe onie In Waiting:
This hosta suprised me...I thought I had gotten them all moved to the azalea bed, but this one remains in the hydrangea bed and is looking quite nice this year :)
Hellebore seed heads:
The autumn ferns have lots of new growth in the front porch bed:
Another view of the front porch bed:
>Tulips by the front walk:The vinca is really doing its thing this year!
Despite a major aphid infestation on my roses and Iris, they seem to still be doing ok...the Mdme Alfred is blooming on the arbor:
I think I may go around with a soap spray this weekend. I did some internet research on this and I was hesitant to spray with soap b/c I read that this affects the beneficial insects as well...but the aphids really are all over, so I do believe spraying is in order. I don't know why I have so many this year. I did read that they particularily like fresh spring growth and with all the rain we have had...we have a lot of that, so maybe that is why?
Work on the deck continues and hubby will start laying down the decking tomorrow - HOORAY!
Well, on Monday night, hubby spent 3 hours covering things in the garden! God bless him! He covered the azalea bed, the peonies, hydrangeas, and japanese maples. Here is a view from the sunroom of the backyard all covered:
We left the covers on until wednesday. The low on Tuesday night was a chilly 28 degrees, so I was glad we had everything covered. When hubby got home from work on Wed, he took all the covers off and I am happy to report things did ok. I did a little experament and left one small azalea uncovered to see if it was worth all the trouble. Here is the azalea that was left to fend for itself:
See all those brown blossoms???
Her e is a nice shot of the azaleas that did get protected:
No brown blossoms! Looks like it was worth it!
The maple in the front yard still suffered a bit, even though we had it nice and covered:
See those brown spots? Guess it is just really sensitive.
Also, the viburnum suffered a bit, it is too big to cover:
Hubby says only I would know it...that it looks fine to him. So, I guess that is a good thing.
I am glad the freezes are over now....and onto thinking about the veggie plantings! We are going out of town the weekend of the 18th, so I will think about the veggie installation when we return.
My little girl and I came down with strep for the 2nd time in 3 weeks, so while hubby took the baby to church, we stayed at home and had a lazy morning. We did step outside in the beautiful weather for a short walk and a photo session of early spring in our garden. Here is a sampling:
View of the front garden:
Some of the tulips from last year came back and the newly planted ones are emerging too:
The above photo was not digitally altered...came out of the camera just like that...cool, huh?
View coming up the front walk:
Nice shot of the back yard:
This is only the 2nd time in the 6 years that we have lived here that I have gotten to see all the azaleas in bloom...usually a late freeze gets them. We are supposed to get freezing temps on tues and wed this week - AAHHH! So, hubby went and bought some drop cloths and we will be covering lots of things! What a pain...I thought we were going to avoid that this year...but I guess our last frost date of April 15th is that way for a reason...
View of the back, from the back:
Creek shot...will be time to weedeat soon:
The ostrich fern is coming back in the creek and I am so excited! I planted 1 clump and it is coming back as 3...it is said to be quite the spreader and I am counting on that for the creek area. Also, we are getting some great purple asparagus coming up and have tasted a couple of sprigs freshly picked. - so YUMMY! They are in the 2nd year, so I think next year is when we really start to get a great harvest.
The Virburnum will be in its full glory soon (see that little guy?):
After the little ones went down for their afternoon nap, I set out to move some more of that mulch. I also dismantled the rotting compost bin. I hope to get one of those fancy ones that you can turn one day. The deck is coming along nicely as well....hubby is going to pick up the garapa wood on Thurs! Hooray!! Hope everyone had fun digging in the dirt this weekend!
More rain here at soapHOUSE! The news reported that we are now officially out of the drought! But, they still haven't lifted the watering restrictions, as a precaution. But, not that that matters with all the rain we are getting these days! I really do love the way all the plants look in the rain, but I am itching to get outside and do some work too. SOmetimes I will work in the rain, pulling weeds and such, but today it is forcasted for thunder storms, so I do believe we will be house bound.
THe deck is coming along and hubby is going to call the distributor today to order the decking boards. He is almost done with the framing. We were planning on using Ipe all along, but the other night when we were researching the best prices, we came accross another type of brazilian hard wood called garapa. It is exactly the same as ipe in all its properties except it is a light honey color instead of a deep walnut color. I think this coloring will look better with our house and the garapa is a fraction of the cost of ipe...so, we ARE excited!!! Interesting, we found out this wood has the same fire rating as concrete...pretty impressive! Can't wait to see it!
I am still inspecting the shade bed daily looking for more signs of hostas coming up and astillbes. I know it is early yet, but this is always the time of year when I start to wonder if things will actually come back or not...