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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???
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.
We have had SO much rain this week and we are forecasted for more. Of course we pick the week of national flood warnings to build the new deck - LOL! But, I must say, hubby is quite the trooper. He has worked through most of the rain...unless it has been just pouring. He has gotten a lot done and it is looking SO good!
Probably one of the hardest parts was making multiple trips to the stone yard and shoveling gravel to cover the bottom for drainage:
Then he got a majority of the framing done:
He is still out there as I type working by a shop light in the dark - God bless him!
Now that we have gotten both of our little ones on the same nap schedule, I am able to get back out in the garden for good chunks of time during the afternoon. SO, I have been taking advantage of the wet soil and getting lots of weeds pulled.I am also pleased to say that I do believe we will get to see the azaleas in full bloom this year. Usually, they start to bud out and our late freeze zaps them. But, the last freeze we had was early enough that they are doing well now:
And, all 3 of my peonies are peeking out:
Also, the hostas just started to show their little green tips :)
Here is a nice shot of the front. See the dark spot in the front lawn? Thats where I filled a dip in the ground with some soil:
And, the backyard:
See the coral bark maple in the foreground? When I cleaned up the driveway the other day, I took some clumps of the blue grass and put them in this bed. I think that will be so fun come 4th of july to have the red and blue together. I think I have settled on the idea to make this little berm an ornamental grass bed, with some creeping phlox on the edge by the path.
I just love the way everything looks in this rain...like its glowing...and our creek has turned into more of a river, which is neat. we can hear the sounds of the water from the house.
I still have yet to get all the mulch moved, so If we get enough dryness this weekend, I will try to finish that. Happy gardening weekend everyone!
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!
We have had a wonderful Easter weekend in the garden! Yesterday, i was able to sneak away to my favorite local nursery to check out their spring inventory. It was SO exciting! Everything looked so wonderful it was very hard to control myself :) But, I was a good girl and only picked up 2 small single knock outs- hot pink variety and 5 small sized creeping phlox (2 lavender and 3 hot pink).
The knockouts have been on my list for a while. I have been wanting to plant them at the base of the new "sculpture" at the front window seat bed. Not only will they add nice color all season, but they will give some interest to that bed during the winter when all the perennials are dormant:
See them on either side there? I know...they are small now, but luckily those guys are fairly fast growing!
The Creeping Phlox went in the berm in the front yard along side the driveway. I just love the little punches of color and I know they will fill in nicely and provide great weed supression:
That was all done yesterday. Today, after Easter service, we had a wonderful little egg hunt for my daughter in her grandmother's back yard:
She has such a wonderful yard for that and my little girl had so much fun!
When hubby and I got home, he finished up the veggie bed fences - now they are all ready to plant up come April 15th (our last frost date)
Speaking of frost, it is supposed to get down to about 32-34 degrees tonight...not too cold, but enough to make me worry a bit, so I attempted to cover the budding azaleas, my newly planted tree peony, the lilac, and the 3 Japanese maples. I do hope this helps....I guess its worth a try, not sure if I needed to bother but it makes me feel somewhat proactive.
Hope everyone had as nice of an Easter as we were blessed with!
So if you read one of my previous posts, you know the saga of the green "giant". Well, i am still awaiting the 3rd one that mysteriously got left out of its bag...the 2 that were planted already are suffering a bit of transplant shock, but we have had enough rain lately that I still have hope for them. So, today I stopped by the local nursery (SO many temptations!!!!) and they had 3 gallon sizes of the green giant :) So, I picked one to plant in the spot reserved for the 3rd one:
The sticks that you see on either side of the tree represent the other ones that were ordered through the mail. It will be interesting to see and compare the growth of the different sizes...HAH!
The freshly planted weeping willows (from the same supplier) are looking great and getting all their new leaves:
I think it will be so pretty weeping over the creek side :)
Once I got my new tree planted, I set out to mow and edge the front yard. Looks so nice when that has been done. I also got some picts of more spring happenings:
Azalea buds bursting:
I must say I am learning to love my azaleas. They came with the house and would not have been what I chose, but the were in good condition so I left them. I have really started to put some more time and energy into the back beds and I am starting to form a nice shade bed with the azaleas as the foundation. Last year they didn't bloom (due to an extremely late frost that zapped all their buds) and the years before I did not pay much attention - other than to notice that they are various shads of pink. So, I have no idea their varieties or how big they are expected to get. This year...when they bloom, I plan on taking cuttings to the local nursery to have them tell me the varieties so that I can fully develop the design of the shade bed. Should be interesting and fun :)
The newly planted lilac buds are starting to open so I am looking forward to watching that. I have never grown a lilac before:
The oakleaf is budding out nicely as well. Year before last, we transplanted it from a very awkward spot close to the house and the following year, its form and shape was way out of wack, so I had to prune it and sacrifice some blooms, so this year it should be in its full glory :
I also transplanted some large pieces of variegated ivy to the shady side of the creek bank. Hopefully they will fill in and cascade nicely - providing a nice evergreen cover and weed suppression.
I would say, all in all, a great afternoon in the garden. I certainly feel blessed that I could spend my afternoon that way and not cleaning up rubble from the tornado that hit just south and north of us. Amazing that a tornado blew through downtown Atlanta. They say that has never happened before....first time for everything, I suppose.
I guess its official that the daily chores of spring/summer began today since it was my first lawn mowing of the season. I mowed the back where the veggie beds are. I really have created quite an obstacle course back there with all those veggie beds and fruit trees...but my dream is to eventually do away with all the grass back there. It looks so nice all freshly cut :)
I also did the first spring turning of the compost pile and added some nice shredded leaves to bulk it up a bit and get it ready to cook away in the summer heat.
rain is in the forecast so i know all the plants will love it!
My tulip magnolia is starting to bloom, the daffodils by the azaleas are beginning to bloom, the tulips are coming up in the front yard, and the azaleas are bursting with buds...
THE EXCITEMENT CONTINUES....
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
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