Its been an exciting week in the garden! It began with some
freebies from my mother’s garden. I brought home a clump of Hakonechola “Japanese
forest grass.” I have always wanted some of this, but cost has prevented it.
Mom had 3 clumps that she was transplanting and was generous enough to share
one with me!
I also came away with a couple of small pieces of salojonil
(sp?). This is a beautiful ferny moss that has a bluish tint to it.
And, last – but not least is a nice hunk of hellebore!
All of the above were nestled in a woodland nook of my shade
garden. I will baby them this year in hopes to give them a good start for many
years to come.
I stayed busy in the garden each day doing bits of weeding, mowing,
trimming and strolling – then the spring fever got the better of me and I
headed to the nursery. I wanted one of everything, but managed to settle on a
small “Red Dragon” Japanese maple. Hubby and I had talked about putting one of
these on the high creek bank to weep over the edge. I know its tiny now – but we
are young and plan to stay in this house forever. So, I am hopeful that we will
see it in all its glory one day!
The green giant arborvitaes are filling in and have loads of
new growth on them. The should provide a nice screen one day on this side of
Further to the left of this on the same bank of the creek,
but in the shade – some wonderful native ferns are sprouting up all over. I got
back there, after this picture was taken to remove some of the weeds around
these ferns. I hope to encourage their growth and spread.
On the opposite bank, the mahonias that I discovered during the creek clean-out 2 years ago and transplanted, look very happy!
The following day, mom and I headed to a native plant sale
and I brought home two plants that have been on my list for some time now. First,
a trillium (“sweet betsy”):
Second, a may apple:
These also went in the woodland portion of the shade garden,
along side the path headed to the arbor.
We had a wonderful rain the day that I planted the above. I was able to get them in the ground between showers. As you can see from this pict, all of the beds got a nice drink:
Of course, one plant stop was not enough for us, so we headed
to the nursery, where I bought a VARIEGATED ANGELS TRUMPET, “Snowbank,”
Brugmansia x cubensis. I could hardly believe my eyes when I saw it! Tag says
that the blooms will be peach. This found a home in the nook between the stairs
on the deck.
I also grabbed 3 “blackie” sweet potato vines to stick
around the back of this sun bed to hopefully spread and act as a living mulch.
Another cool thing that happened this week involves my much
anticipated tree peonie. Its bloom finally opened up and as I suspected – it is
So, since I ordered purple, paid a small fortune and waited 2 years to
see a bloom – I called the company that I ordered it from. They were wonderful!
– said they must have sent the wrong one 2 years ago and that they would gladly
send me the correct one, free of charge! Two for the price of one….gotta love
it! In 2 more years, perhaps I will see a purple bloom :)
Today, I took a few clumps of some of my favorite "steppables" that I have in the front porch bed and moved them to the other side of the walk. These should fill in nicely and provide a feeling that the path is "cutting through" a garden bed.
See that patch of "grass" above - my grass guy promises me that it will fill in over the season with bermuda....heres hoping!
The alliums are in all their glory:
I see peaches in my future - or the bird's!
My sweet girl had fun taking pictures with mommy:
Sorry about the long picture post - but, I had a lot to report!
My wonderful parents took our kids for an overnight yesterday and I took the opportunity to go shopping for veggies and work in the garden! I haven't been able to spend such a concentrated amount of time in the garden for a long time - it was glorious! I started my adventure by hitting several local nurseries and big box stores to find my desired assortment of veggies. It was especially nice to have a record of last year's plantings as well as the successes and failures - all things I had written about in previous posts. So, I pulled up the old entries, printed them off for reference and took them with me to the nurseries. Here is a picture of the beds all planted up: (Doesn't look like much yet - but it will soon!)
From back to front, left to right here is what I planted:
I also bought some fennel seed but can't figure out where to put it. I think I will let everything germinate and then see where I have room for it. According to last year's notes, I wanted to grow cucumber and carrots this year for the kids and crookneck squash to make casseroles with. I also noted that we only enjoyed the asian eggplants and only wanted to grow heriloom tomatoes this year. And, finally that I wanted an entire bed devoted to sunflowers so that i have some for cutting. So, there we are and here we grow :)
I was so excited too to find a purple datura plant at the local nursery!
We had one of these a couple of years ago, but it never re-seeded itself like my white one do - so I am excited to try it again!
And, I picked up several things to fill our container by the front steps:
I found that gorgeous Heuchera, "Tiramisu," then added a purple fountain grass in the back and put a purple wave petunia and hot pink petunia in the front. I am excited to see how this mix does through the season. This is a weird spot as it is under the eave of the porch and get either Full Sun or Full Shade, depending on the time of day. I may leave the heuchera in the pot to come back, or a may transplant it into the azalea shade bed at the end of the season - I am not sure yet.
Speaking of the azalea shade bed - it is only the 3rd season in 7 years that we have lived here that we have gotten to enjoy the azaleas in all their glory. They usually get zapped by a late season frost:
I picked up some white caldium bulbs to put in the other shade bed to the left of this one. I have never grown caladiums from bulbs before, but they were on sale, 3 for $1. I got 6 - I figure even if they don't make it, I will only be out $2. Here is a shot of the bed where I put them:
The hydrangeas in this bed are looking great - as well as the hellebore seedlings that a neighbor gave me season.
My dear sweet hubby trampled my hostas in the front yard the other day during a play time with the kids:
He felt so bad that he went and bought be some new ones after work yesterday!
S o sweet of him! I will wait for all my hostas to fully come up and then I will asses where to add these in.
I am so super excited that my "globe master" alliums may actually look like something this year! I got these on sale through the mail a couple of seasons ago and they are finally starting to look promising:
M y mail-order tree peonie that was planted from bare-root and said to be purple, looks like it is going to pop soon - in pink! I know it will still be pretty :0
The madame alfred cartierre roses on the arbor in the back are starting to bud out and they are just the pretties blush rose color - even though they were sold as being white! I still love them!
Here is a nice shot of the arbor and the bed to the right of it that has all of the peonies and alliums in it:
I am loving the virburnum in that bed as well, so pretty this time of year!
The coral bark maple really leafed out nicely and looks pretty with the blue grass under it:
I plan on that grass filling the majority of the bed and acting as a nice mulch/ground cover for the maple.
Here is a wider view of the back yard:
Here is a shot of the front of the house as you are coming around from the back:
I just love the way the japanese maple is looking! We call her "Jane." My husband used to work for a "white-glove" moving service in Atlanta and they moved Jane Fonda at one point. Her designer had purchased this tree and had it potted for Jane's new place, but apparantly, Jane did not approve, so she gave it to my husband! WOO HOOO! We kept it in the pot until we bought this house 7 years ago - it was one of the first things we put in the ground:)
And finally, here is a nice shot of the front porch bed:
Hope you are all having a great weekend in the garden!
Spring has officially sprung here at soapHOUSE! We have had several days of near 90 degree weather and the plants seem to be growing inches a day!
This photo was taken on Sunday and looks like winter compared to how it looks now - just a few days later!
That is the view of my backyard when standing on the new back deck. Hubby is working on installing a french door on one side of the deck - that will really bring the outdoors in! I am so excited!
Despite my unusual lack of gardening efforts and maintenance through this past fall and winter season - everything is just bursting. Here are some shots:
Northern Mountain Oaks Grass:
I was warned against this - said to be invasive. But, invasive to some means hard - working to me. If a plant takes over and multiplies readily, that just means there is no room for the weeds! I planted this guy in the back right bed of the backyard - hoping he would take over a bit and fill in all the bare spots. He is doing his job quite nicely I must say.
Ah - to the naked eye, looks just like any peonie, doesn't it? Well, I understand this is a bit different. Will get much bigger, more like a tree and the bare-root alone was over $30 - for 1. This is the first year it has had any buds on it - at a mere 12 inches high - HAH! We shall see if he delivers. I have faith he will - mostly because at the end of last summer, I thought for sure he was dead.
In its 3rd year, planted as a mere baby. Looking so pretty! Maybe we will get some peaches. This little lady even survived a terrible case of spider mites last season.
In its third year and have been harvesting a couple of spears daily. Maybe as the weather gets warmer, there will be more and I can actually make a side dish for dinner. Right now we are just picking them off the plant and eating them - so yummy! My 4 year old, who won't eat anything, ate a whole one today!
Anoth er one that I thought for sure was dead last season!
This is the first year in 5 that the flowers on this tree have made it all the way through their bloom cycle without getting zapped by a late season frost. Looks like snow in spring, doesn't it?
I can only hope the same for my azaleas that will be in full bloom shortly:
And of course, who can resist a fresh autumn fern frond in all its glory?
Despite my lack of daily chores - things just keep on ticking! I am grateful for the hard work I put in getting this garden started, it is now starting to take more care of itself! But, most of all I am grateful for ALL of God's faithfulness - even in the smallest of flower buds!
Next week will be time to plant all the veggies - wooooo hooooo!