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As August comes to an end – I am reminded that it is now time again to complete my annual Successes and Failures list. I have done one of these for 5 years in a row (2007, 2008, 2009
a>, 2010, 2011) – this one to be my 6th. I tend to reference these frequently in the seasons ahead and it is always a good reminder as I plan my spring garden every year.
So, without further ado...
I would say the biggest success of all is that my front yard is finally to a point, after 9 years of working on it, that it pretty much takes care of itself:
And this is the majority of the gardening needs up there:
Well, other than the shrubs that keep not getting pruned because of the birdies that like them too much:
I really am so thrilled with how the vision in my head is starting to work out in real life up there!
Now, the back is a different story. I haven't been actively gardening back there for as long and while I can see the big picture in my brain... it still has a ways to go until it looks like that.
That brings me to my failures:
The main one is this grassy area:
I have been trying to kill this grass for years! I don't want grass all over the place. I hate to mow. But... I am tired of fighting it. So, yesterday as I was mowing it, I decided it actually didn't look too bad and that well... until I can get more beds going back here, this grass will stay. So perhaps it is actually a success?
Another failure is the veggie bed. Really I am the failure here as I really just planted them and expected them to do ALL the work. I hardly gave them a fighting chance. But, I was too busy playing with this little one:
And that, my friends is what I call a HUGE success :) See, she doesn't even mind the weeds!
So, now I look forward to putting the garden to bed for another season and decorating for fall. Oh, and no more mowing of course!
It's HOT, but you already know that! The garden is not the same this year. Things bloomed earlier and are tiring out faster. When I can convince my kids to stay out in the garden long enough for me to get anything done, it's usually just watering and enough time to snap a few picts with my iphone.
The beans don't seem to be minding the heat. YAY!
And we certainly enjoyed lots of blueberries!
The heat has pretty much taken all the squash and the cucumbers and I am trying to keep the tomatoes happy! I know one thing that is happy - the bermuda grass!
With last week topping out near 110, it's the hottest summer yet here in my neck of the woods! I think I am ready for fall!
This is the first year I could have actually gotten away with planting everything before our "safe" date of April 14. It has been so wonderfully warm, I could have planted back in March! But, instead of getting a jump on things, I planted a week late! YIKES! I have always planted right on time. But, I do think one week later will do just fine.
In years past, I have planned, sketched and had a detailed list before heading to the nursery. However, I usually end up with beds packed way over the brim and not enough produce to show for it. So, this year I took a much different approach. No plan, no list...and spent a lot less money! The beds only have 1 to 2 plants each, so I am interested to see how this litte experiment goes. Here are all the picts of what got planted:
This tag broke...Bianca Eggplant :)
And of course, I couldn't leave the nursery with only veggies! I also brought home a new yellow Knock Out, a white creeping phlox and my little girl picked out a sweet bi-color stonecrop.
Hooray for planting time!!!
And I have the fever!!!! This Lilac that I bought a LONG time ago has finally bloomed!
And, look - there is more to come...
The other day, I just had to go to my local garden center and look at all the glorious spring beauty. I managed to come home with 3 creeping phlox. I just love these. Two of them went beside the front walk and the third one went in this strawberry pot:
I also came home with THREE blueberry bushes. YEAH! We have been wanting some by the veggies and I figured this was as good a time as any. I got a Woodard, a Pink Lemonade, and a Bountiful Blue. I got them planted this morning and can't wait to see how they do!
Oh, thank you Mr. Weedeater! You allowed me to attack my garden with a vengeance! You made it possible to do some winter clean-up while still being a homeschooling mommy of 3! Thank you Mr. Weedeater, for you made these before and after photos possible in a mere 30 minute time span...
>Until we meet again, Mr. Weedeater...I will always love you,
I noticed my first crocus bloom today. They always make me smile!
The strange thing is...it is right on time. Why is this strange? Well, it has been so warm here, we haven't really even had a winter. The cherry trees are blooming and the daffs have already come and (mostly) gone. Looks like the only thing that might not be confused is the crocus - HAH!
Its January. The Daffs are blooming. Don't get me wrong - I like the mild winter. But, this is a little crazy, right???
ould I get ready to plant my tomatoes - HAHAH!
Well, despite constant rain and temps in the 60's my garden is still managing to look like winter! I do love all the textures of this season!
Crepe Myrtle's bark is always a nice winter feature:
Its so fun when the fatsia japonica actually blooms - makes me feel like I am doing something right :)
of course - who doesn't love the texture of the oak leaf hydrangea bark???
Stay warm, or dry...whatever the case may be!
I have learned a great deal about my garden recently! I haven't been able to get out there as much as usual and it has been really interesting to see what happens without my intervention!
- The weeds and vegetation by the creek that I usually keep cut really short has grown, turned brown and layed down. I really like it! It gives great fall color and texture and i figure it is also great mulch.
- The remains of the perennials that have yet to be cleared are creating nice winter structure. Also, the ones that I have gotten to clearing were much easier to clear since they had already dried up by the time I got to them.
Of course, there are more weeds than usual, but they will soon freeze and will wait for me until next year - lol!
Oh, how the neglect of this blog reflects the neglect of my garden. As I have watched the seasons change through the windows here at soapHOUSE, I am reminded that I am still in the glorious season of motherhood with a new baby. I am so enjoying every moment with my little one! This is my third and having done this twice before, I am all too familiar with how quickly this baby stage goes away. I am trying to savor every second! Despite my lack of attention, my garden has transitioned seasons beautifully and I am really enjoying the fall colors. This is the first year that I am not even attempting a fall garden. It gets SO cold SO fast here in HOTlanta, that the fall gardens are usually fairly pathetic, so I have decided not to even go there this year. I continue to gaze out the window and enjoy watching things mature and change. I am able to get out with the weed-eater from time to time an enjoy the mass productivity that it offers :) During quiet moments at night I find my creative outlet in knitting and scrapbooking as the sun has long gone down on my garden by that point. Here is to enjoying the season - whatever that may be in YOUR life!
As August comes to an end and we adjust to life as a family of 5 – I am reminded that it is now time again to complete my annual Successes and Failures list. I have done one of these for 4 years in a row (2007, 2008, 2009, 2010) – this one to be my fifth. I tend to reference these frequently in the seasons ahead and it is always a good reminder as I plan my spring garden every year.
The Biggest Success of them all: The arrival of our third girl! She was born a mere 10 days ago and is just a joy!
White Patty Pan Squash: This season I was much too ambitious in the garden and my pregnant self could not keep up with my wonderful plans – so, I had a lesson in what will grow with little to NO maintenance – white patty pans are one of them – they went crazy!
Zucchini: If I had kept on top of watering, these would have done even better
Sunflowers and Zinnias: They made a wonderful pop of color in the veggie beds
Lemon Cucumbers: How many things can a person do with a cucumber??? – that is all I have to say!!!
Caladiums: These did so well last year, but I believe my lack of watering made for a very sad season.
Just about everything else in the veggie beds: I planted all my tomatoes, eggplants, squash, beans, etc….then I hit my third trimester of pregnancy and well, completely ignored my garden! Better luck next year!
Other things I have learned this season:
And my aspirations for fall:
The heat index has been over 100 for 2 months and you are in your third trimester of your third pregnancy??? If you are me, you revisit and old hobby - one that is done sitting down and in the air conditioning...KNITTING! My mother taught me how to knit in my early 20's and thanks to you tube, I have been able to revisit the craft and have really enjoyed learning new techniques. Not to completely abandon my love of gardening...one of my first projects was a blanket for my oldest daughter complete with floral decorations:
I so enjoyed working on this for her! Many days were spent watching them play in the pool as I was busy with the needles in hand. Funny enough, the garden does go on with or without me! In this season of life, the lawn gets a little longer and the weeds are more plenty, but I am blessed to be at home with my kiddos and let them enjoy the outside while I attempt to survive the heat. The one place my lack of diligence is showing in my garden is the veggie bed. I am really finding out this year which crops are drought tolerant! LOL! Despite the lack of watering on my part, the cucumbers, beans, patty pan squash and hot peppers keep on keepin on! The tomatoes, yellow squash and zucchinni - not so much!
Only a few more weeks until we welcome another little one to our family and then we can look forward to some cooler weather and a mommy who can once again reach down far enough to pull a weed :)
One benefit of this massive heat...veggies love it! I checked on everything on Wednesday and thought to myself, "perhaps another couple of days..." Well, the next day they had about doubled in size! Here is the harvest from yesterday - White patty pan squash and zucchini. (Pict taken on cell phone)
They all roasted up in the oven very nicely for dinner with pasta :)
Today, I hope to get out there and water to add to the plant's happiness.a
Happy Gardening Weekend!
May was full of homeschool events, birthdays and vacations. I have managed to get out in the garden but haven't been taking the extra time to blog about it. Time to make up for some lost time!
Hubby had a great idea for the bottom of our deck. We had been wanting to do a patio of sorts, but we weren't sure what would be easiest and most cost effective. He suggested a "living patio!" Well, since we could grab stepping stones from around the yard and divide plants we already had, it ended up being very cost effective. AND, hubby did all the work! Here is a picture of him hard at work:
After all of this was set in , he top dressed with some yummy compost, planted and mulched. So far so good and I will post a picture after some things have grown in.
In the trip to purchase the compost, I also managed to pick up a "White Out" knock out rose. It was a great deal and I decided to put in on a stand in a pot in my sun border to add some color in height. It is looking happy as well. The white does add a nice bright spot.
We were very blessed to have a trip to the beach as well. Hubby and I enjoyed relaxing in the water:
And I couldn't resist taking my version of the "typical" beach picture of one's toes in the sand and water -
HAHAHAH I can't see my feet for my baby bump!
On May 31st, we had temps in the high 90's and it hasn't quit since! Since it is very hot and I am very preggers (9 weeks left) I have mostly spent time keeping up with watering and harvesting. I enjoyed my first harvest of white patty pan squash, zuchinni, green beans and black berries the other day. When it is too hot and I am too beat, I have been working on perfecting my knitting skills and have enjoyed learning how to knit different forms of flowers :)