Last week I had what seems to be the largest pile of mulch in the history of gardening delivered to my yard! We are so lucky that we can get this free from the city:
Of course, my girl had a great time climbing the "mountain" as I set out to spread it on the side yard.
I did get a good bit done. This is where my hubby parks his truck and every winter, I spread a fresh layer. I have also been working on the usual winter clean up in preparation for spring. I had a lovely clematis armandii and wisteria growing on the side of the house. Well, the clematis had turned all crispy, which its not supposed to do since it is an evergreen. Well, it looked terrible, so Hubby helped me cut it way back to the base. Will be interesting to see if it comes back...I have my doubts.
Here is what it looked like in its glory, before turning brown:
And now, after the BIG prune :
Bummer! At least the fig tree will leaf out in spring to cover the ugly gas line.
Also, a few weeks back my trusty weedeater died! UGH! So, while hubby and I were at Home Depot pricing a new one (quite expensive actually), A stranger walked by and said he had a used one that we could buy for $10. So, we took him up on it and after a bit of tinkering, hubby got it working and cut back the grasses for me!
>HOORAY! Its a big job. We do have a lot of those grasses. I will divide the larger clumps and put some back by the creek before spring.
He did say it is a bit finicky, but it should hold us over for the time being :)
My little one had fun using her new camera to take pictures of daddy too:
Today the goal is to clean up the grasses from their hair cut and move more mulch.
We have been busy over the past month with all sorts of things! I have managed to carve out some time here and there to do the usual garden clean up that needs to be done this time of year. Our final moments of fall have passed:
And we are well into winter. We saw a couple of dear the other morning out by the creek which was so magical and my little girl was so excited to get to meet Rudolph :)
See them back there?
Most of the garden clean up is done now except for a few odds and ends and we have moved on to decorating for Christmas:
I always do a bit of a garden theme with my christmas decorating: using a lot of greens from the garden along with fresh herbs and grapevine. Here is a nice closeup of an area of the tree with a small grape vine wreath. I have these spaced all over the tree this year:
I love the look of the rustic grapevine against the shimmer of the lights and the ornaments :)
I did a bit more clean out in the garden this afternoon. Shook some dead leaves off the hardy clematis, cut back some mint blooms, and cut down some spent cannas. Once the holidays are over, I will set out to get pinestraw over all the beds and start all my spring planning. Unfortunatley I didn't get the compost in the veggie beds soon enough to get out a fall crop :( so, I will have to enjoy planning for the spring.
To celebrate our wedding anniversary (and to keep our minds off of the fact that I am overdue to have our 2nd child), My wonderful hubby took me plant shopping and said that when we got home, he would plant what we bought :) So sweet!
The first thing we got was a Clematis "Liberation" Evifive. "A free- flowering variety with 9" deep - pink flowers, blooming in Spring and again in late summer." We planted a Clematis Jackmani when we had our first daughter...in her honor. So, we wanted to do the same for this daughter. It will grow up the new sculpture:
Ter rible pict, I know...hard to get a good shot in all those shadows...but, you get the idea.
Then, we got a fatsia japonica. I just love these plants. I want to put them under the crepe myrtles to add more evergreen screen against the chain link fence. They tend to be a bit pricey for some reason, so we got one and hubby said "just get one each time you go to the nursery, that way it won't seem to cost so much" Ahhh...he is getting the idea now! :)
And, finally...we got a Juncus effusus Spiralis or "Corkscrew Rush". Fun, hardy water plant that we put in the creek. Said to take full sun and get to 2 feet tall. Plus, its very fun to say that for my wedding anniversary, my husband got me "Juncus" HAH!
I am very excited that our little cold front was a small one and we were back into the 60's today. Yay! When the little one went down for her nap, I began work on my to-do list. It actually didn't take me much time at all :) I did some various small pruning tasks and then set out to try my new pole pruner. It was a bit tricky...but after a good lesson from my hubby, it seemed to do the trick. We just took off some lower branches from a large tree in the backyard...to keep things opened up. My husband was kind enough to pick up a load of compost on his way home from work, so I also got that spread. I spread it around the back porch where I plan grow a flower garden from seed this spring. It looks great and the small bit of leftover compost is sitting in water tonight for a good batch of compost tea that I will use to water the azaleas with. Tomorrow is my hubby's day off, so we will hopefully get the veggie beds finished up :)
Here are some fun shots I took around my front yard today in between chores:
The daffodils are emerging under the redbud tree:
< p> Double Knockout Rose Bushes are forming their new leaves:
Crocus bulbs emerging: ( I always forget that their foliage has that great variagation on it until I see it each spring)
m>Creeping Phlox starting its first flush of blooms:
Clematis Armandi forming its buds:
< p>And finally, the blueberry bush that I transplanted in the fall seems to be happy...its forming its new buds :)
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!