Copyright © 1997-2009 Demand Media. All rights reserved.
Happy January! The holidays have come and gone and now we are finally getting back to normal life and schedule here at soapHOUSE. I am glad! We were so excited to have a white Christmas here in HOTlanta!
That was super fun – but, I am ready for some warmer weather. It has been too cold for me to convince the little ones to stay out in the garden very long – so, the gardening has been few and far between. I do have some late fall purchases that I need to get into the ground soon, when I have a chance: Patty’s Plum Poppy bulb, 2 threaded cypresses and 1 loropetalum. I also hope to rake and put out pine straw soon. The ever-tempting seed and plant catalogs have started arriving – I haven’t given in yet!
I am excited to start this year as a new me – I was able to quit my job and be a full time mommy who is now expecting her third! Hooray!
Happy gardening everyone and stay warm!
Hydrangeas: I have been adding to, transplanting and babying my collection of hydrangeas over the past couple of years and this year I really started to see their potential and envision what they will be given a few more years.
Cast Iron Plants: Same as above, except I tried something a
bit different and watered the tar out of them this season so that I hopefully
wouldn’t have to watch their tips brown like they always do – it worked! They
are still lush and green and make me smile. All the extra water prompted a
mystery canna to spring up out of the ground near one of these – so weird…I will
move him to a sunny spot in the fall.
Caladiums: Tried growing these from discounted bulbs and they have worked beautifully – I suppose I will go to the trouble of digging them this winter and try putting them back out next spring…
Here is a shot, from a distance, of the bed where the above mentioned plants are:
Mountain Oats Grass, Salvia, Sedums and new Butterfly Bush are all filling in nicely and making my sun bed lush:
The lawn in the front: Only my check book can take credit for this one, but I am so happy to have a nice fluffy lawn – the brown spot is where we are still waiting for the Bermuda to fill in. The guy that comes and fertilizes it does a great job!
Ichiban Eggplants: They are a proven winner for us. We love them and they are always reliable. May try to grow the striped variety from seed next year – they are just so pretty.
White Eggplant: LOVE these, wish I had planted more than one plant.
Yellow Crook-neck Squash: Finally grew squash successfully and we have really enjoyed it!
Cucumbers: My first year growing them – hubby hates them. BUT, guess what – he likes them now!
Bush Beans: So easy and fun.
Edamame: Even easier than bush beans – want more of these next year.
Marigolds: Put in a new double variety from seed this year
and they are so pretty – they almost look like carnations. I am wondering if
they will self seed like my single variety…
Blue Cypress: The two that went on either side of the drive totally bit the dust – It was a rapid death at that! I think for 2 reasons – that area gets full sun ALL day long, with no shadows and I planted them about one week later than I really should have – but hey – they were on sale!
Weeping Pussy Willow: We moved him a bit late in the season and the prognosis is not good – but I will wait until spring to officially declare his death.
Fern Spray Cypress: Suffered quite a bit of brown out and I
finally couldn’t’ stand to look at it any more, so I pulled it out. Plus, I got
him for free, so not too big of a deal – I will try again next season.
Tomatoes: Well, between the Chihuahua, the squirrels and the fact that I only planted heirlooms – we have yet to have a ripe tomato! ARG! I suppose I can’t say for sure that they are failures and I am sure I will be jumping for joy when I am eating garden fresh tomatoes on Thanksgiving! BUT, I want some now :( So, next year I will be planting some hybrids as well.
Jalapeno Peppers: I think I just didn’t give them enough room this year and they got crowded out by one of the aforementioned tomatoes….
Artichokes: Maybe b/c we had such a hard winter, they never came back this year – I will try again.
Yet to be determined:
My late plantings of white patty pan squash, zinnias and purple pole beans. They are all looking good, but I have yet to see if they will produce anything in time.
Other things I have learned this season:
And my aspirations for fall:
Speaking of fall veggies, maybe I should pull out some of those “failures” and replace with something new and more hopeful! Stay cool everyone!
My local gardening center has now started reducing some of their inventory to 75% off, in addition to the buy 2, get one free special that they continue to have on trees and shrubs. DANGEROUS for the plantaholic. But, super fun! It has enabled me to work on my goal of adding conifers to my garden. The first round that I purchased were 3 "Sungold Threaded Cypress." They went into the bed to the right of the front steps. For some reason, I have really struggled with the best things to put here. I used to try to do a lot of annuals, for some color right by the door. But, I have grown tired of the cost and upkeep required for a successful annual bed. Other things have found there way into this bed at some point or another as well: trumpet trees, roses, grasses, hyacinth bean vines, moon vines, basil, etc.... What has ended up staying there for the past few years is a wild bunch of yellow iris. It looks really nice when it blooms in early spring, but then after that it just becomes a mess of dying foliage. So - in went the cypress, and out came a majority of the iris.
I was at the nursery getting these guys, I was so overwhelmed with all of the other great sales, but couldn't think straight with 2 toddlers in tow - so, when hubby came home, back to the nursery I went!
That time I came home with 3 small-medium sized blue cypress and a "Purple Pixie Loropetalum." The loro found its way into the above bed. The lime green with the purple is so fun:
The tag said this variety will get 1-2 feet tall and 4-5 feet wide.
One of the cypress is a "Baby Blue Sawara Cypress" that found its way along the chain link fence where the neighbor cleared out. This should grow to 6 feet tall and 4 feet wide, according to the tag. Should provide a nice screen there: (This guy was originally $39, but I got him for $9!)
The other 2 cypress are "Chamaecyparis obtusa Blue Feathers, Dwarf Blue Hinoki Cypress." The first one found its home in place of the massive overgrown and somewhat odd weeping pussy willow. About 6 years ago, I bought one of those adorable miniature weeping pussy willows at Easter time from the local grocery store. Well, the tag said it was hardy here, so I stuck it in the ground - not at all expecting for it to do much. Well, here it is today:
See that massive ball ish looking thing? That is it! Every year, I have tried to prune it into something - and it just always looks this way. The weird thing is that since it is a grafted tree, the trunk is only about 10-12 inches high, then the graft is a giant bulbous looking thing with the unruly weeping shoots coming out in a tangled mass. See photo here: (this is the whole hubby had to cut to be able to access the root ball)
The neat thing though, is that it is nice in the winter to have the pussy willows when they bloom. So, dear hubby dug it up for me and in the place of it went the first aforementioned Cypress:
ks a bit puny now, but tag says it will get 5-8 feet tall and 3-4 feet wide.Should be a nice size for this spot and the blue will be a nice contrast against all the green in this part of the bed. This is the bed that is right by the street.
The massive pussy willow got transplanted to the creek edge. It may not make it as this is the worst time to transplant such a massive shrub, but I will do my best to keep it watered and hope for the best:
As you can see from the picts - this project went well into the evening!
On the other side of the driveway in the front, we put the other one of the same kind of cypress, behind the miscanthus:
See it? Nestled in with the daturas? When they get nice and big, the symmetry on either side of the drive will create a nice informal formality - i hope!
AND, if that wasn't enough - there is another location of this local nursery in another part of town, so I made a third trip to see what kind of sales they had going on. Turns out, in addition to the great sale items, they also had a much more diverse selection of conifers. So, I picked up another variety of blue cypress: "Falsecypress Boulevard." This guy found his way into the front window seat bed. I have been wanting to shove something in the already full bed for winter interest as right now the majority of it is a japanese maple and lots of perennials. SO, this little guy found his way smack in the middle of the solidago, in front of the sculpture. Here is a before picture:
there he is:
I am already dreaming of when he gets to his promised 4 feet of height, that the yellow blooms of the solidago will just glow against his blue!
I may have to make another trip tomorrow for that dwarf mugo pine that i wished I had bought! See, DANGEROUS! :)
Well, its been over a month since my last post, but I have been busy enjoying my favorite time of year! I just love fall...for many reasons, but mostly all the gardening. There is something so refreshing about cleaning up the garden and getting it put to bed in anticipation of another growing season!
My camelia bush has been in full bloom for the past few weeks and is just beautiful!
I think this is the best it has ever looked.
I have also been enjoying the White Muhly grass that I ordered online last year and wasn't sure what they were going to do...
I suppose next year it will get fluffier and start to look more "cloud like"
The first frost has come and gone in late Oct, so I also have had some fun with the pruners and cut the laurapedalums and junipers way back in the front. unfortunately, the junipers have a lot of dead wood in the middle (as I know junipers are prone to do) so, I am hoping that the pruning will help.
It felt good to get things opened up a bit.
We also limbed up the redbud a bit and I had some wonderful help from my hubby
look like much now, but I understand these have a decent growth rate. The chicken wire is to protect it from our 3 puppy dogs until it gets well established. I have great visions of what it will look like one day :)
I also picked up a threaded cypress that i have been wanting for a while. I would like to add more, but only got one for now:
It went in in the front of the deador cedar and is surrounded by autumn joy sedums and some grasses. It also crossed my mind to replace the junipers in the front with these if the junipers don't bounce back nicely from the pruning. we'll see...
And I also picked up a cripii (?) cypress that said it took shade and gets 8 or so feet tall, so I put it at our property corner back by the creek and I think it will anchor that nicely.
You can't even really see it in the picture yet...its so small :)
Here are some shots of the creek area as of late:
And, finally...my latest edition of garden art:
The mirrors on either side of the tree trunk...a rescue from the dumpster at hubby's job. My hope is that the ivy will grow up the chain link fence and surround the edges of the mirrors and they will look all nestled in like they have always been there.
In the veggie beds, the spinach, brussel sprouts, sugar snaps peas and onions are germinating. We finally dug up the sweet potatoes and i made a big batch of them in the oven and didn't even need to add sugar, they were so sweet! I don't know if i will grow them again as the harvest yield was quite small for what i paid for the starts. but, it was fun none the less :)
I still have kale, bok choy, romaine lettuce and parsely to sow once hubby goes to get more dirt.
This weekend will consist of more cleaning, pruning and straitening :)
Enough rambling for now...have a great gardening weekend everyone!
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
We had quite the weekend in the garden! Very productive! I got a lot of things checked off of my to do list :) I divided some Iris, transplanted some cannas to pots, spread pine straw in the back yard, moved a pile of compost to the veggie bed, planted 70 allium bulbs and started the sculpture for the front window seat bed. But, most noteworthy is the 30 foot tree my husband took out for me! I felt kinda bad as it is a nice tree, however...it had been planted way too close to the tree next to it and during the growing season, it was growing crooked trying to reach the sun. Not a huge problem now, but would be in the future and then would be too costly to fix, so my hubby took it out.
Its funny, it looked much larger once it was on the ground LOL! Now it will be another chore getting rid of all the brush! Whats going in its place? 3 Threaded False Cypress and possibly a blue evergreen of some sort. The vines are doing fun things right now too. The winter jasmine is just starting to bloom :) I look forward to watching them in the spring as they cover the chain link fence.
This week I will finish spreading the pine straw in the back and will finish up the sculpture in the front. But I tell ya, I sure am worn out! I don't have quite to energy now that I am 6 mo pregnant. I guess I better get as much done as I can before I am 9 mo!
Copyright © 1997-2009 Demand Media. All rights reserved.