Monday, April 30, 2007
Sunday, April 29, 2007
Saturday, April 28, 2007
*Impatiens- I have about 90 plants. These are a little fussy about transplanting. Those which were not transplanted, but left in the peat pellet did the best, the next best are those that were not disturbed but placed along with peat pellet into a larger peat pot. Those that fared the worse are the little ones that were too crowded and didn't receive enough light. I thinned them but hated to throw any away. I tried to save every plant, but these are obviously not healthy. I will still place them in the flower bed, who knows maybe they will perk up and begin to grow. These actually could be started earlier. I have no blooms yet, just a couple with buds. Mine look pretty pathetic compared to the store bought.
*Foxglove- It is actually healthier than I thought. I really neglected these because so many germinated and I didn't want to thin and transplant all of them. It has basically been survival of the fittest. I think I will separate the peat pots and just let them fight it out. I have another seed packet and I'm going to sprinkle some on the ground. Hopefully, one way or another I'll have beautiful pink foxglove. If I ever grow this from seed again, I will sprinkle the seeds a little more finely. They have a very good germination rate and obviously take some neglect. They can be started earlier than Feb. 27th.
Friday, April 27, 2007
I am partial to hosta and have always planted quite a few of these wherever I live.
This is my favorite color of impatiens. I try to get a flat of these every year. Last year I planted them too early. Some were damaged by the cold, but when I went back to get more I couldn't find them. They obviously sell out quickly. I am waiting a few more days to plant these.
I love the tulips next to this white railing.
I am ready for the weather to clear so that I can finish my new bed on the side of the house. I have quite a few packets of seed, mostly zinnias and cosmos and am thinking of creating a cut flower bed. I have already spent quite a bit on containers, trees, shrubs and perennials and I think this would be a great place to use the seed I already have.
Wednesday, April 25, 2007
The Purple Wave petunias are blooming and they look pretty healthy considering the issue I had a few weeks back with the leaves turning a purplish black color. I think I was watering too much. I watered less, removed affected leaves and the problem was resolved.
My Moonflowers are really beginning to vine now. I have the trellises ready and waiting for them.
The gnats are becoming a problem, for some reason they are swarming around the impatiens. Kitty likes gnats and that is becoming an issue too. So far she has behaved very well with the exception of digging in the container that had my just planted elephant ears in it. What a mess that was! I should have taken a picture.
Next year I would like to use the grow lights for overwintering a few things and some propagating. I will also grow a few of the things that did well, (not as many coleus) from seed and try my hand at winter sowing outside.
Today I had one of my favorite little getaways. I went to Barnes and Noble, got a white chocolate mocha, a stack of gardening magazines and sat for about two hours. I usually do this two or three times a year. I probably flipped through every gardening magazine they have. I think my favorite is Fine Gardening. I also currently have all back issues from the last two years that I checked out from my library.
The one gardening tip that stands out in my mind came from Backyard Living. The reader said that they line their containers with newspaper before planting. This helps keeps the soil from drying out, and also provides insulation keeping the roots from over heating in the summer.
Rain is in the forecast for the next few days. I'll soon be itching to get my project finished, with my new hoe of course.
Tuesday, April 24, 2007
The side yard is an eyesore especially since we are on the corner lot and beside the common area. We have a difficult time growing grass since the builder scraped all of the top soil away and we are left with nothing but clay. The dandelions however do very well here. We also didn't like the builder issued plant that had been in the front flower bed so we just stuck it here on the side. I don't like it here either, so out it came today. Here is the before picture.
Here is the after. I was able to do about 2/3 of it today. I was going to lay down newspaper to smother the weeds but I just couldn't stand knowing that millions of dandelion seeds were in my bed so I scraped and weeded just about all afternoon until dark. I'm not sure what I'll plant here, but I want it as maintenance free as possible. Maybe a few shrubs, few easy perennials and some hosta. I really need something to add vertical interest. Maybe a couple of trellises and morning glory or a rose bush. I purchased the manure, peat, and top soil today and will add that before planting.
Today I replanted a Japanese maple that I had in the back, I think it was getting too much sun. I have two in the front, bought at the same time, and they are so much bigger and prettier. So I moved it to a more shady spot in the front flower bed. While I was planting it I smelled honeysuckles, it turns out that these daffodils smell like honeysuckle.
Here is the new flower bed on the left side of the patio. The tag on these hosta say full sun, I sure hope they will take the sun because I would love more for the back yard.
I have been searching everywhere that I can think of for the perfect container to go on this wall. Pam, from Digging suggested more of a bowl shape. I found a picture of a container that I think would be perfect. It was more of a bowl on a small pedestal . I can't find anything like it in the garden centers or local nurseries.
I found this today and I can't decide if I like it or not. My husband likes it better than anything I've brought home so far. What do you think? Does this work?
I've been busy planting other container groupings today. I planted variegated ivy and pink verbena with the dwarf spruce today.
This is variegated lily turf, I planted this to add some greenery to the patio. I will plant purple wave petunias on the wall above it.
I love the colors in this one. It will be beautiful once it's filled out and spilling down the sides.
This one is on the front porch railings and has the pink superbells, (Calibrachoas).
Monday, April 23, 2007
Here is what I accomplished today:
*Pulled all of the Yarrow from right-side flower bed, (lamenting ever planting this weed), it spreads vigorously from the roots and was very difficult to remove.
*Planted two more Blue-eyed grass.
*Replaced the Dracaena spikes in container with purple fountain grass, (I like it so much better).
*Did some mulching
*Planted variegated Lily Turf in planters on the patio. I saw a picture in Fine Gardening magazine that I'm copying using Lily Turf as the base of a container garden, (will post pictures when finished).
*Watered everything morning and afternoon - the wind was causing everything to dry out quickly. (I must finish that mulching tomorrow.)
*Finally fixed the outside water spigot that had never been connected to the house properly.
*Picked dandelions. Since I don't like to use chemicals I try to pick the dandelions before they go to seed. Quickly realized I was fighting a loosing battle. I would have done nothing else all day had I continued this vain task.
*Weeding has been done in all flower beds.
I wish that I had been more organized and efficient today , I could have accomplished so much more. I guess I was in the mood to piddle rather than get down to business and really labor. Tomorrow I will have some extra time, maybe I'll get more accomplished.
Sunday, April 22, 2007
While I was outside waiting for my daughter to go for our nightly walk, I immediately noticed the dandelions in my front flower bed. There were quite a few and I got busy pulling them out of the bed. After several minutes had passed, I saw, for the first time, that the beautiful pink tulips were in full bloom. I couldn't believe it, there they were right in front of me and I didn't see them. How could I have not noticed the beautiful tulips first? My total focus had been on the dandelions, the weeds instead of the flowers. Sometimes I do that in life too, I don't fully enjoy the blessings and beauty of life because my focus is on the problems, the ugly weeds of life that keep popping up, robbing me of joy. I can do this with people too, it is sometimes easier to see the faults in people rather than focusing on their good. To be negative rather than positive. I pondered on those thoughts for quite a while and vowed that I would try not to miss the tulips again. It has become a little saying now in our home, "Let's focus on the tulips rather than dandelions".
Here are those same beautiful tulips back again this year. They are so pretty. I had quite a few duds in the front bed too so I've weeded them out. I will have to plant more this fall. This is a small bed between the front porch and sidewalk, I think I'll plan a mass planting of pink tulips.
Here are a couple of pictures of the violas in the from flower bed with the pink tulips. I love just spring flowers!
My very patient hubby, of 25 years tomorrow, drove me around to several garden centers today trying to find three more aborvitae. We were finding them but the dirt was like concrete and I was concerned that the trees would die from being so dry. Finally, at our fourth place we found three that were in acceptable condition. We planted them on the right side of the patio. This gives us a bit more privacy on the playground side.
Saturday, April 21, 2007
I couldn't resist this pink gerbera daisy. If you click to enlarge it looks like pink curled ribbon in the center.
This is a grass that blooms, I think it is called star grass.
I shopped at several garden centers today (still looking for that perfect container) and then worked in the yard until dark. I planted two Wine and Roses weigela, five hostas, several perennials. I also bought about six grasses and just a few annuals, I'm still afraid it might cool down, so I didn't get many annuals. I had my favorite color of impatiens in the cart, but took them out. Hopefully we are past the last frost date, but I'm still hesitant to buy tender annuals,(thanks to the advise of several friendly gardening bloggers).
Friday, April 20, 2007
Before last fall I had nothing, not even a shrub, planted on the left side of the patio. Now I have a lovely flower garden. and when the grasses grow the air conditioner will be hidden. This should also help with some of our privacy issues.
I finished the flower bed this evening, including the mulching. Trellises are in place waiting for the Moon flowers.
I finally found the planter I wanted for my front porch. I have one for each section.
I'll be planting the Superbells in the new front porch containers.
For some reason the stems of the daffodils are weak. They are falling over once they bloom.
Pretty tulips are blooming! I must have bought a mixed selection, because there are several different kinds and colors blooming.