Copyright © 1997-2009 Demand Media. All rights reserved.
You would have to be in a cave to not know about all the crazy rains that this part of the country has had! Quite crazy, really! I think the weather channel has dubbed it "the Deadly Deluge". Well, we are blessed! The only way this has impacted us is all the schools have closed down, which makes for an interested week in the land of little children. HAH!
It has cleared up very nicely today and it is just gorgeous outside right now! We are forcasted for more rain the rest of the week. The news is still reporting 90 roads closed in our county....
I took advantage of the dry day to go take some picts. With all the rain, mixed with sun, the grass is SO high and it is still too wet to mow...
The trumpet trees are all just bursting with blooms and they are over 8 feet tall with all this rain we have had. They will start opening any day now!
The creek had quite a time in the "deluge" Our back yard was full of water, prob about 6 inches high at one point and the creek looked like white water rapids. (If it hadn't been so wild out there, I would have stepped out to take a picture) All the rain did a bit of re-shaping to the creek and took up some dead wood:
Our raised veggie beds really paid off, if we didn't have them, they would have been washed away! I have been slowly clearing out summer's spent crops while I wait for the garden centers to get their fall merchandise in. I am ready to plant! Good thing I hadn't yet - the rain would have drowned any seeds!
All that is left to produce anything is the pepper plant and all my basils.
Funny thing is... I pulled out all the marigolds that had died back and with all this rain, all the dropped seeds are growing. Nice fall color!
Hope none of you have damaged homes due to this rain. My boss had her entire downstairs flooded and has had to take vacation time to clean it!
Happy gardening and Stay dry!
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.
I haven't been doing much in the garden lately, other that trying to find time to mow and weed. I did manage to get the yard mowed today.I have been doing a lot of projects indoors, most of which includes hanging out with my two little ones :)
I have been enjoying the recent happenings in the garden and managed to sneak outside with the camera to capture some.
The Pineapple Lily has bloomed for the first time ever!:
We have been enjoying our hardy hibiscus blooms too:
>Last fall I divided my green eyed susan and plopped a piece of it in the front bed so that the blooms would peek out and give some color from the street side. I think its doing the trick and will look even better next year:
We have been harvesting lots of goodies from the veggie garden too. We ate our first spaghetti squash last night for dinner...yum! We have also been enjoying lots of eggplants, tomatoes and beans. The corn will be ready soon and the newly sewn zucchini is taking off like wild fire! As things begin to die back I will start sewing the fall veggies. I will get the brussel sprouts started soon, I will put those where I pulled out the broccoli and beets. Then, soon to follow will be lots of great greens and lettuces and then some sweet peas. I am looking forward to it!
Still no growth from the 2nd attempt of the great gunnera...I will call the company next week and see what they suggest. I was so hoping this would grow...maybe all hope is not lost yet. Everything else by the creek is looking great. Willows are growing like crazy and the arborvities are looking great. Its about time to get back there and weed eat again...maybe tomorrow....
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.
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 :)
Had a wonderful weekend in the garden. All the work I did in the fall and winter is paying off....there is not too much to do now other than routine weeding and maintinence. The most fun, of course, is watching all of the plants doing their spring things! On Friday, mom and I stopped by the nursery and I picked up 2 more georgia blue bells. They went along the street side of the front bed along with the other one. The blue of their bloom is so nice in contrast with the hot pink of the creeping phlox. The redbud is really popping out and looks so wonderful right now!
The tulips are all coming up nicely (I was afraid a lot of them had been hijacked by the squirrels). Some of them have formed their flower buds! They will look so nice blooming around the bridhouse :)
The hostas are starting to show themselves as well as the peonies! I always wonder about these late arrivers, but they have yet to dissapoint...you would think I'd learn! I also spotted a fun surprise while perusing the garden...One of the autumn ferns that I dug up from mom's yard had a little piece of Japanese painted fern in it... Once it gets bigger, I will dig it out and find him a home of his own.
On Saturday I mowed the backyard and weedeated by the creek, just in time for a fabulous rain storm that lasted well into the evening. So nice to sit on the porch and watch the plants in the drizzle!
Hooray! My goodies from the Dutch Bulb Company were waiting for me by the front door when I got home from work today :)
In the box was 1 Great Gunnera, 2 Hardy Fuschias (one pink and white and one purple and white) and 1 Tree Peony.
I had ordered these back in January, but they don't ship them until planting time...which actually is quite handy. I promptly went out and planted all my goodies.
The Great Gunnerra went on the far creek bank. The 2 Fuschias went by the Lilac in the back of the azalea bed and the Tree Peony went in the new bed where we took out the maple tree this past winter.
I would have taken picts...but they were all shipped bare root, so the picts would not have looked like much. Hopefully they will thrive and be amazing :)
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've had a great week in the garden! Spring just keeps on springing and I have enjoyed watching it unfold in my garden :) On Thursday, the order that I had placed on-line for the "bones" of the creek plantings arrived. I ordered everything from Direct Gardening (which I had heard bad things about, but for the price...I thought it was worth taking a chance) I ordered 3 Green Giant Arborvitaes, 2 Weeping Willows and 1 Colorado Blue Spruce. The total order was barely $30, so I pretty much expected the worse, but thought it was worth a try. Needless to say, when I received the order, I literally stood in my kitchen, laughing out loud as I unpacked the wee plants! The "Green Giants" looked like twigs with a few roots. More like the jolly green giant. HAH! But, I thought...for the price and considering they are supposed to grow like 3-5 feet a year, I will just take my chances. What's even funnier is that they were packaged in vacuum sealed plastic bags. My order did include 3 of those baggies for the green giants...but, only 2 had plants! So, I called the customer service # and they were quite nice (to my surprise) so, hopefully I will receive that 3rd arborvitae :) Funny thing is that those were the most expensive out of the order and they were the smallest...the willows (which were $1 a piece) were the largest. The colorado Blue Spruce was a fairly decent size too. The order also included some freebie bulbs labeled shamrock and exotica. These were about the size of raisins, so I plopped them in the ground by my irises in the back and we will see what happens :) On Saturday I got around to planting the goodies...
The green "giants" found a home on the back creek bank to hopefully create a nice privacy screen:
I topped with a good dressing of compost and marked it with a stake, so hopefully he will have a fighting chance!
Here is a pict of one of the willows, planted on creek bank to help prevent erosion:
The Colorado Blue Spruce found a home where we took out the maple earlier this winter...I have great hopes for this guy:
On Friday I had a great day helping my mom in her garden. She is a landscape designer, so she always has some wonderful project up her sleeve...on Friday, I helped her lay some fescue sod in a pathway. I had never worked with sod before, so it was fun to learn how to do that...and talk about instant gratification! Of course, she let me take some divisions of things in her garden too. I came home with a great bunch of hellebore seedlings, 2 autumn ferns, and a huge clump of sedum autumn joy! Love those freebies :) I got them planted around on Saturday also:
s landed amongst the liriope in front of the azalea bed with the other variety of hellebores. Will be very pretty when they grow up to start blooming:
The autumn ferns went under the fig tree with 4 other autumn ferns I transplanted from under my redbud (they were not getting along well with the vinca) I know the fig will give them a nice shady home come spring:
And, when they grow up all nice a fluffy...they will help hide all the utility nonsense! I am still thinking about where to put the sedums...
This Sunday afternoon, I just did a couple of odds and ends: some weeding, moved 2 artemesias from a shady spot to one where they will get more sun, and leveled out some ground in the back of the azalea bed ( the former owner of this house, used to dump his house plant soil in a mound back there). I also took a few minutes to take some pictures of the early spring bloomers:
Larger Daffodils planted under redbud in the front yard. I love the white...just brightens up that spot perfectly:
Georgia Blue Bells are full of blooms and such a wonderful blue color:
And, the first crocus has shown itself:
In the next few days, my husband will be working on the rest of the chicken wire surrounds for the veggie beds...planting time will be here before I know it :)!!!
Oh, and on a side note...turns out the "owl" in my previous post was actually a hawk! My mom noticed from the picture and then it was confirmed again when we saw him again this weekend! Guess we will have to come up with a name for him too :)
Over the last couple of days I have gotten some fun things done by the creek! I picked up some creeping jenny plants for the opposite bank side...of course, after planting them, I also drove stakes through the root ball to hold them in. The water usually doesn't come up this high though....
Today, I also decided to try digging in some stairs. I am not sure if they will stay put with a heavy rain and the rushing creek water, but this whole thing is an experiment... I used some pavers that were on our property when we moved in and have just been sitting in a pile. I figure this way, if it doesn't work out...I haven't spent $ on nice pavers and I am only out about an hour of time. If it does hold up....I may change out the pavers over time for nicer ones. I also transplanted some variagated ivy pieces in between the blocks, so hopefully they will grow in nicely. I pinned them down with landscape pins.
Not too shabby for an hour's worth of work and free materials! I finished just in time for the forcasted rain, so these pictures might be the only thing left of this by morning :0
I also spent some time getting more brush to the curb...I will do more of that tomorrow
Wow, I never thought I would be able to write this entry! Its finished! All of the brush, limbs, vines, and trees has been removed from the creek! Its the first time we have seen this 80+ foot area of creek line on our property since we bought this house. It has always been overgrown...and now, it is beautiful! Its will be even prettier when I start to plant it up! My husband brought his chainsaw out yesterday to help me get the last of it:
Looking at this pict gives a good idea of scale too! He took down 3 trees over 30 feet tall and 4 or 5 smaller trees! So nice to have his help. Here I am, doing the final pruning:
, after a pass with the weedeater and moving all the limbs and brush over the fence, all done!
Of course, I still have to get all of that brush to the curb, but that can wait until this next week. Here is a shot w/o the fence in it:
I also used my panoramic photo stitch utility on my computer to merge some shots together to give an overall picture of the area.
I can hardly believe its finally cleaned up and ready for plants! SO EXCITING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
After discussing the area with my mom (who is a landscape designer) I decided against the mountain laurels for the shrub screen on the far left. She said they tend to not do as well here in our climate and that they are more suited for mountainous regions (hence the name i suppose) and that they are fairly prone to disease and become spindly with age. She suggested Acubas which I think would be much better! I was hesitant to do those at first b/c they grow very slow here and larger sizes at the nursery tend to be on the pricier side. But, it really is a better choice and I want to do it right b/c I have put some much time and sweat into this project already. SO FUN to dream of all the possibilities.
Today, I transplanted all the wax mahonias and nandinas that I found on the other side of the creek. Turns out there were more than I thought: about 27 mahonias and 2 nandinas!
Here is a picture of the area before:
I know out of the 27...a few are bound to grow in niceley :)
I put the two nandinas in a pot that lives in the front by the gate:
I think it looks pretty nice. Plus, can't beat free!!!
I am starting to think about what I might want to plant on the opposite side of the creek, where the bank is really high. Our property extends about 4 feet beyond that. I would like to just plant some dense, evergreen shade shrubs that will help ward off the privet. Any ideas would be great!
On the far right of this picture, I will plant a weeping willow. So I need some ideas for the area to the left of that. In the low part...near the creek, I will be putting my great Gunnera that I have on order. ITS STARTING TO COME TOGETHER!!!!
Tomorrow, hubby has promised to get back there with his chain saw and take down what I can't get with my loppers :)
Have a great gardening weekend everyone!
Its been a great couple of days in the garden! Yesterday, I spent the entire afternoon after I got off of work, working on the creek. It was very satisfying as I was finally able to venture to the other side of the creek! I thought that would never happen. Especially when you look at where all this started:
In case you are wondering where the creek is in that shot...its to the left of the fence, under all the brush! Its very encouraging to look back at this to see how far I have come. Sometimes it seems like I will never finish this, but when I look at how far I have come, I know I will! Here are some current shots of the creek:
This afternoon I worked on getting the brush to the curb. The hardest part of this was that all of the brush had to travel over the creek and then over the fence then through the gate, then all the way to the curb! I was very thankful for my galoshes. Needless to say, Privet is now a very bad word in my world! I was online the other day browsing nurseries and one had gallon privet for sale for $19.95!!! I could make a fortune, just sell what I am ripping out :) Why can't something amazing be invasive...like peonies or something! But, I digress...
I did place another plant order for the "bones" of this project:
I also found a lot of volunteer wax mahonias back there that I will transplant so that they can thrive and be enjoyed. Also, one nandina that I will dig up for a container in the front yard. And, some nice woodland ferns that I uncovered and will hopefully do better now that they are not crowded by privet! Gotta love free plant suprises :)
Its just so exciting to see this all coming together!
On another note, my arbor came in the mail last night and I got it all assembled and installed:
On the left side, I planted a honeysuckle vine of some sort that was passed down from my mother. I am not sure of the variety. It is desiduous and had really neat seed pods in the fall that hang down. On the right side of this arbor, I plan to put out miniature gourd vine seeds. I think if this works...it will be really cool to see the gourds hanging down through the arbor!
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
Copyright © 1997-2009 Demand Media. All rights reserved.