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We are well into spring here at soapHOUSE and loving every minute of it! I took some picts yesterday of recent garden happenings:
e shot of one of the beds in the back
That deodor cedar in the back will grow up big one day to hide that fence :)
I am loving the viburnum!
The Iris looks so pretty with the virburnum in the background:
onie In Waiting:
This hosta suprised me...I thought I had gotten them all moved to the azalea bed, but this one remains in the hydrangea bed and is looking quite nice this year :)
Hellebore seed heads:
The autumn ferns have lots of new growth in the front porch bed:
Another view of the front porch bed:
>Tulips by the front walk:The vinca is really doing its thing this year!
Despite a major aphid infestation on my roses and Iris, they seem to still be doing ok...the Mdme Alfred is blooming on the arbor:
I think I may go around with a soap spray this weekend. I did some internet research on this and I was hesitant to spray with soap b/c I read that this affects the beneficial insects as well...but the aphids really are all over, so I do believe spraying is in order. I don't know why I have so many this year. I did read that they particularily like fresh spring growth and with all the rain we have had...we have a lot of that, so maybe that is why?
Work on the deck continues and hubby will start laying down the decking tomorrow - HOORAY!
My little girl and I came down with strep for the 2nd time in 3 weeks, so while hubby took the baby to church, we stayed at home and had a lazy morning. We did step outside in the beautiful weather for a short walk and a photo session of early spring in our garden. Here is a sampling:
View of the front garden:
Some of the tulips from last year came back and the newly planted ones are emerging too:
The above photo was not digitally altered...came out of the camera just like that...cool, huh?
View coming up the front walk:
Nice shot of the back yard:
This is only the 2nd time in the 6 years that we have lived here that I have gotten to see all the azaleas in bloom...usually a late freeze gets them. We are supposed to get freezing temps on tues and wed this week - AAHHH! So, hubby went and bought some drop cloths and we will be covering lots of things! What a pain...I thought we were going to avoid that this year...but I guess our last frost date of April 15th is that way for a reason...
View of the back, from the back:
Creek shot...will be time to weedeat soon:
The ostrich fern is coming back in the creek and I am so excited! I planted 1 clump and it is coming back as 3...it is said to be quite the spreader and I am counting on that for the creek area. Also, we are getting some great purple asparagus coming up and have tasted a couple of sprigs freshly picked. - so YUMMY! They are in the 2nd year, so I think next year is when we really start to get a great harvest.
The Virburnum will be in its full glory soon (see that little guy?):
After the little ones went down for their afternoon nap, I set out to move some more of that mulch. I also dismantled the rotting compost bin. I hope to get one of those fancy ones that you can turn one day. The deck is coming along nicely as well....hubby is going to pick up the garapa wood on Thurs! Hooray!! Hope everyone had fun digging in the dirt this weekend!
My little baby and I had a nice afternoon in the garden this past Friday (while big sissy was napping). The two of us got a lot of the winter chores done:
We mostly focused on cutting back the double knock outs.
I cut them back quite a bit. They got SO tall last summer and that was only their first season in my garden. Our local gardening expert reccommends to cut them back to 1/3 of the height that you want them to reach, so I look forward to lots of blooms!
The new single knockouts will hopefully fill in nicely around this sculpture next season. I think I will give them one more year before I cut them back. I also love the way the sun bounces off this garden art.
Then, while doing some light weeding and stick pick up, I captured these winter moments:
Jasmine in all its glory:
THe hellebores are looking great. This is their second year to bloom for me :)
And, I look forward to the wax mahonias every winter:
MIlo had fun eating the sticks as I picked them up :
Here is a nice shot of the front yard this time of year as seen from the street:
Also, some of the tulips from last year are coming back. They tend to be annuals here...don't know if these will bloom, but I just bought over 140 on 75% off clearance that hubby is going to help me plant this afternoon. I got a nice mix of pinks and purples. Last year I did 60 tulips (which I thought was a lot), but once they were blooming, I realized that i could do with double or triple that amount...so this year we will see.
And, last but not least, a nice shot of the bottle path in the back yard keeping things colorful for the winter :)
HAPPY WEEK EVERYONE!
So, my wonderful hubby took the girls out erranding this morning so that I could have some "me" time and I used it in the garden :)
I was able to get a lot of cleaning and straightening done. I spent most of my time in the back yard pulling weeds and cutting back. I also swept the path and raked. Makes everything look so much better!
Amazing what a difference tidying up makes!
I still need to decide what to put in that bed with the coral bark maple. I was thinking some grasses, but I want all the items to stay fairly low so the maple can stay the star. I also tied the climbing roses to the arbor and got them neatened up. Funny thing, I selected this variety "mdme alfred cartierre" because it was thornless:
Hmmmm??? Not sure what to make of that...but it is still pretty...
I also did the same tidying in the front and here is a pict of my view from the front porch:
I also cut down the elephant ears some more. they get so mushy and moldy this time of year. we have also had a lot of rain lately, so it had gotten pretty yucky, so i did that task...which is not pleasant as the "juice" from the foliage, makes me itch...even through gloves. I did get it done though, and it looks much better!
Here is a pict of the front of the house in the drizzle of the day:
I also speant some time looking back at past blog entries. It was a nice remider of the progress I have made and the things to look forward to in the spring! I find I am a very hopeful and forgetful gardener - HAH!
Soon, it will be time to cut back the knock out roses and grasses and get all the pinestraw down to get ready for next spring.
I also have a $25 credit from Dutch Bulbs from the great gunnera that never could, so I need to decide what to get with that...I might try the gunnera again. I really had my heart set on it for the creek. I may need to start it in a pot first.
I also plan to check my garden centers after Christmas a buy some tulip bulbs on clearance. (I did that last year and got a great deal!)
Merry Christmas Everyone!!!
The other day I picked up a couple of ferns to naturalize by the creek and I finally got them planted. One is an Ostrich Fern:
The other is a "Robust Male Fern" Tee Hee:
From what I have heard, these can be invasive when happy and both of the plant tags confirmed that. I am hoping that is true. I would love for this creek to be just FULL of fluffy ferns!
Also got the 10 Mexican heathers dotted around the front yard and picked up a Pink Peony (thats all the tag said). She went by the other 2 peonies that I had originally planted 4 years ago from a bag of rhizomes that I got for $6. But, only 2 came up and they have required much patience. This is the first year they have really looked like much of anything. One is red and one is white, so I though a pink one would complete the grouping nicely. Its the one to the far left:
The Bearded Iris in the back that came from my hubby's grandfather's farm started blooming yesterday. I haven't had these very long. The first season I had them, they didn't bloom, last year they didn't bloom due to the drought, so I didn't even know what color they were. SO, the whites are blooming and the ones about to come out look purple.
See that lady bug? well, once I got down close to take this picture, I saw that the entire bed of irises is infested with Aphids! Yuck! So, I gave them a good spraying of insecticidal soap and will rinse them off tomorrow with the hose.
The tulips are really looking good! I planted 60 in the fall and figured this would be quite a show...it looks great, but I realized I probably could have planted double that amount and planted them closer together to really get an even better show. They tend to be annuals here, so maybe I will try that next year...
And, finally...a good shot of my view of my front yard as seen from sitting on my front porch:
So much is happening in the garden, it is SO exciting! I took another trip to the nursery today. I was going to pick up my veggie plants to have ready to put in the ground next week, but i forgot my list...so I just picked up a purple bougainvilla. I have always wanted to try one of these up the front porch railing...but have never been willing to spend the money on something that won't come back, but I decided to go for it this year. It will go in next week. We are forecasted for another freeze on monday, so I still have to be patient! When I got home, I took a nice stroll around the garden to admire all the spring happenings and take some picks. Here is a sampling:
The Viburnum is blooming and looking so pretty:
Those Iris in front of it are starting to bud out, the mystery oxalis bulbs that came free with my order from direct gardening are coming up, the peonies are up and have buds on them, the small allium bulbs have formed their buds, the hellebores look amazing, the pineapple lily is coming up. And, the miscanthus that I have been experimenting with lately is looking good. I have some that I always wish didn't grow so tall, so I decided to keep cutting them back in spring to stunt their growth. So far, so good.
The coral bark maple is all leafed out:
The hostas are coming up very nicely. There are some that didn't seem to survive the drought though. I spent some time last night cutting back the ivy so that the hostas can breathe.
The Solomon's Seal clump that I dug up from mom's is looking great and I know I will just love having this in the garden. The cannas are also coming up, the crepe myrtles are leafing out, the euphorbia that i got for $1 b/c it was half dead looks great:
Also, the fig tree is leafing out and so is the wisteria (although I have yet to get blooms off this vine).
I think one of my favorite parts of the garden right now is all the autumn fern fronds that are emerging:
The 60 tulips that I planted are up and the purple are blooming. Its funny how short they are, but the other ones aren't...
The honeysuckle on the side of the house that is supposed to like sun, but is in shade...looks good:
Another exciting thing is that the birdhouse we put in last year now has a nest in it. We weren't sure b/c we did not design it with housing birds in mind...it was more of an art piece. so, its cool that the birdies are liking it!
The trumpet trees are coming up and the Daturas as well. The daturas made TONS of babies:
I am wondering if some of those seedlings are poppies. I did scatter some seeds out there in the winter. Will have to wait and see, I guess.
Another exciting thing is the deciduous honey suckle start that mom gave me is coming back. I thought for sure it was dead! And last but not least, the Elephant ears are all coming up.
e are some broad shots of the garden as of 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!
I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas! I have been taking advantage of both the season end sales at the garden centers and my time off from work to get a lot of things done in the garden. My local garden center has all their left over bulbs on sale for 75% off, so I planted 20 purple and 20 orange tulips in the front yard. I also planted 30 daffodils by the azaleas in the back yard. I am still waiting on some allium bulbs I purchased on line. Those will go in the back yard so that I can see them while I do dishes :).
I got 2 more double knockouts for 50% off to compete the grouping by the bird house.
I also spent a good bit of time applying a generous layer of pine straw over the front beds. It took 36 bales! It used to take 90+, but now that the plants are growing in niceley...it takes less. It feels so good to have this done. Here are some picts:
Yesterday, after taking down most of the Christmas decor, I spent a majority of the afternoon weeding the back yard and getting it ready for its winter pine straw application. I have 2 Madame Alfred Roses on order that I will plant on either side of the arbor in the back. I selected this particular rose because: it is thornless, evergreen, climbing, and blooms white....the only rose I could find that met all of these criteria (which is what I wanted for the arbor).
While I was doing this work in the back, I noticed that for the first time, my hellebores are blooming! I got these as little seedlings from my mom's garden 4 yrs ago...patience pays off!
Can't wait for my goodies to come in the mail...but I really can't wait to see the bulbs come up in the spring!
Happy New Year Everyone!