Wednesday, April 23, 2014

garden progress report

I hope everyone had a Happy Easter/nice long weekend.  Good Friday always comes as a surprise to me.  Easter isn't really on my radar, but it's a day I get off work.  So about Wednesday someone usually tells me we have Friday off, and it's always a great surprise.   Who doesn't love a good 3 day weekend??

Long weekends are meant to be spent on the porch.
I spent my 3 day weekend outside working in the yard, and I think these were my last big yard days for a while.  Which is good timing, because mother nature looks like she's going to do that thing again this year where she skips spring and goes straight to summer, and it's going to get hot.  Anyway, I'm glad I sucked it up and got the hard work out of the way before I would be drowning in sweat.

I used a push weed eater to clear paths through they ivy & to the pond.

This guy thought he was sneaky.  He was not.

The biggest project was prepping 3 foundations beds for planting.  Even though I had done all the right things by mulching the beds for a year, and watering them before I started digging, none of that removes rocks and tree roots.  That job was left to me and an maddock...which was then followed by a job for me and a heating pad.  But it's done!! In the past week or so I have cleared those 3 beds, and planted in two of them.
This bed is the smallest of the three.  I started here first because I thought it would be the easiest. 
WRONG. It was full of clay, rocks and tree roots.  It's ready for planting after we install a window box.

Before, with composted manure piled up at the back of the bed.
After.  These hostas should bloom white.
I'd like to add some Lupines that I started from seed behind the hostas.
Front bed before.
Phase 1, adding a rose.  This is Buff Beauty.  This bed has been completely prepped for annuals & herbs.
All of the beds were dug 12" deep with a mattock, mixed with manure & top soil, then mulched.
The next project was finding a home for my other rose.  Both roses that I purchased are as shade tolerant as roses go, but I wanted to find a spot that was got as much sun as possible.  It's a challenge, but I was able to dig up some Yuccas and steal a sunny spot near my driveway.

It's a baby Cramoisi Superieur, but it had some delicate blooms on it before I transplanted it.

The spot is between two boxwoods that I really want to get rid of.  I like boxwoods, I do, and I'm happy with the other 6 or 7 that I have, but I've wanted to get rid of these since I moved in.  They look diseased, and there is a lot more I would like to do in that spot.  They came from "The Old Homeplace", and I'm going to have to find a creative way of convincing my Grandmother that they have lived a happy life and need to be retired.

The rose is much prettier than the boxwoods.

The last of my big projects over the weekend was planting my remaining $2 azaleas. Of the seven I purchased, I really only knew where I wanted to put two of them.  That left me with five hot pink - not pale pink like the picture on the tag - bushes.  But my goal is to add more flowers, and these can be seen from a mile away,. So they found a home in my front yard near my fire pit.  I'll be able to see them from the porch, but they won't get in the way of the view of the pond.  It's a win all around.

It's hard to see but there are 5 new pink azaleas mixed in with the Huckleberries.

All in all I've done a good bit of work, and I'm pretty happy with where I stand so far.  This is my list of garden goals for 2014, and I'm doing pretty good for April :)

Here are my garden plans for 2014:

The first window box is up!
  1. Fertilize EVERYTHING.  A friend boards horses, and my parents have a truck.  I have no excuses.  The 'to fertilize' list includes, but is not limited to: my rose, the boxwoods, the rhododendron, the azalea, and the hydrangeas. (roses, boxwoods, holly, & magnolia 3/11/14; azaleas, bulbs, & raspberries April)
  2. Make a map of my house & garden for the blog. (yeah, about that.....)
  3. Install lattice for my Confederate Jasmine to climb. (check, completed 3/16/14)
  4. Plant a rose. Probably Buff Beauty. (If they're sold out by the time I try to order I will hunt you down.) (ship date 4/7/14, 4/19/14 planted both  ofmy roses!! )
  5. Plant morning glories around a tree. (I need to start these seeds)
  6. Build at least 2 window boxes.  (2 built, 1 installed 4/19/14)
  7. Plant impatiens in my tree stumps. (soon, very soon)
  8. Plant goosenecks by the new day lily bed. (check, 4/8/14)
  9. Design & plant in the beds around my foundation. (design - check, planting - started)
  10. Grow things from seed as much as possible. Basil, purple coneflower, black eyed susans, moon flower, morning glories, foxgloves, there are SO MANY SEEDS, and it's so much cheaper than buying plants! (Most of my seeds are started, just one more round to go)
  11. Experiment with cuttings (wild azelea, mock orange, etc?)
  12. Clear ivy in at least 2 more sections of yard.
  13. Plant more bulbs. (gladioli & fresia 3/15/14)
There's something pretty gratifying about that strike through.

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