Sunday, November 15, 2009
What makes them even more special is that they also bloomed last spring, for Easter. Let's see ... Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving ... what holiday will they celebrate next?
With a note to the outside garden, we bought a rotary lawnmower yesterday. It's not self-propelled. I don't see much point in that, since the areas of grass are losing ground to the ever expanding flower beds. Why a power mower when I profess to enjoy using the non-motorized reel mower? Well, the reel mower won't chew up leaves and small twigs. When the rain stops and the leaves still on the ground have had a chance to dry out, I'll use the power mower to turn them into mulch to spread over the daylily and lily beds. I don't see much point in buying mulch to keep the plants cozy and prevent the frost from heaving them out of the soil.
Friday, September 18, 2009
Saturday, August 1, 2009
The bleeding heart has passed on to botanical heaven. I'm not sure if it thinks August 1 is the time to go dormant or whether it just up and died. I guess we'll find out in the spring.
The tomato is not exactly the picture of health, either. It is just now flowering. It's on the north side of the fence, but it does get sunlight several hours a day.
Lloyd's cacti, however, are thriving. He has plans to replant them, but while they're patiently waiting for new homes, they're blooming quite well.
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
On Monday I got back to work, digging and planting the lily garden. Three cheers for Walmart's 50% off sale. There are three heights of lilies. The shorter ones in the front are a pale pink, but they're finished blooming already. The low plants in back and in the front are hostas. When they fill out, this corner should be green and blooming nearly all spring and early summer. The garden is framed by the little Japanese maple on the left and the crabapple tree. Very pleasant, and the cranes look right at home here. Next season I may plant a vine on the trellis, but for now, the cranes rule.
This morning, Tuesday, I went out to finish spreading the mulch but got seriously distracted by the startburst pavers. I bundled off to the farm store for paver base and a tamper and got to work. This is how far I got ... the stones in place on the paver base. I need to get sand to fill in between, and Lloyd promises to stake the frame so it won't shift.
By the time I finished this much, it was getting too hot to mess around outside, so I came inside to work on the kitchen. I got most of the cabinets, ceiling, and woodwork washed, so tomorrow we can begin painting.
Friday, July 3, 2009
The pachysandra stands out against the mulch. You can see in the front a few that aren't going to make it. I left them in place in hopes that the roots are still viable. The plants farther back are much more robust.
I finally planted the arbor vitae bushes at the entrance to the back garden. The mud dauber wasps were unhappy, as they had begun to look upon the holes I dug and watered well for several days as their personal mud mine. They are building their little channeled home in the shed. I bought some wasp spray today. I hate to evict them, but it's too scary to duck into the darkness of the shed and not know what's buzzing around.
Here is a better picture of the mosaic sunburst. The tomato props on the fence are metal pipes. As the tomatoes grow, I'll use bands of cloth to tie them to the pipes. It looks nicer than tomato cages, I think. The "rock" edging the raised tomato bed is concrete from the old gate that was dug up to make room for the arbor vitae. I have some rocks to fill in the middle part. It was nice to be able to reuse what would have gone to the landfill.
Two of the lattices went up by the kitchen garden. [I'm calling it that because it has edibles planted in one section. :) ] At the base of the one on the left you can see the trumpet vine peeking out of its protective collar. It has a little way to go to reach the lattice. When it gets a little taller, I'll add some strings for it to use as a ladder. There is nothing planted under the one on the right. Instead of using a 4x8 foot lattice and trimming 2 feet off so it wouldn't stick up over the 6 foot fence, I had them cut in half, so each section is 4'x4'. I think it will work just as well, and at half the cost!
This section of lattice is on the north side of the yard, by the screened porch. The Autumn Fragrance clematis is growing in its protective collar. I marked it with a circle so you could find it in the dirt.
The last of the trellis/lattices is in the northeast corner, which is becoming very oriental. I had the handyman put it at an angle to soften the look of the fences meeting. I think it will get a trumpet vine. The metal cranes came from the farm store, on sale. (I'm jumping ahead here, but I want to tell you about the half-price lilies from Walmart. I just happened to see them on sale this afternoon and bought up a whole bunch. The area in front of the cranes will be planted with the lilies and hostas. If it doesn't rain in the morning, I'll get them planted.)
This sun caught Lloyd's eye at Big Lots several weeks ago. He said he didn't need it, but he kept mentioning it, so I got it when I was in Sedalia a few days ago. The picture doesn't do it justice. Looks as if it's skimming along the back fence.
I got another piece of yard art at Big Lots, the metal flowers above the shed door. The plain bulkiness of the shed has been annoying me. The flowers help soften it a little bit. Sorry for the blurry photo. There are three 18"x8' strips of the small lattice left over from the stairwell project. I haven't figured out what to do with them yet, so they're temporarily resting against the shed wall.
Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Then it was off to Sedalia, a haircut, lunch, and a stop at Big Lots with NJ. At BL, I snagged a couple of metal wall art pieces -- one for the back fence and one for over the door of the shed. By the time we got back, there was time for a little yard cleanup. After supper we headed over to the farm store and got a dozen bags of cocoa mulch, showed off our progress to some friends who stopped by, and then watered everything well.
In the morning, I'll start weeding and mulching in the front, which gets the most sun, and then work my way around to the back yard, which is shadier and doesn't dry out as quickly.
Monday, June 29, 2009
On the left side of the porch, where the hollyhocks are, I added an echinacea "Pink Poodle" (red circle) and nepta "Blue Dragon" (blue circle). Inside the yellow circle are three hollyhocks. The larger one is from Michigan Bulb; the two smaller ones are from seed. I have no idea what the tall leggy flowers in the center are. The ID stick was missing from the pot. They have lovely white flowers. [Click on the photos to enlarge]
Moving to the back yard, I finally planted the four lilies I got on sale at Walmart weeks ago (red arrow). The only ID on their little tag said Lily, pink. In the foreground are three heucheras (coral bells) I got at the nursery sale last Friday. From left, they are: "Miracle", "Berry Smoothy", and "Lime Rickey." The stick in the background (yellow arrow) is one of the witch hazel bushes from Michigan Bulb. It's leafing out nicely. The other two aren't as robust; one has some leaves, smaller, and the other seems to be dead, but I'll leave it where it is for a while, just to be sure.
In the peninsula end of the Maple Island, I added a columbine (yellow arrow). I don't know its proper name, but I'm sure it will be lovely all the same.
Have you noticed something depressing about these pictures? The flowers seem to be awash in a sea of gray: dried dirt, dead grass. I think I'm going to have to break down and start mulching the areas that are planted. I was hoping to avoid mulching, and maybe I can cut way back on it next year, as the plants get their growth, but this year I think it is a must. I hope I can find enough mulch so that it can all be the same kind. It's getting a bit late in the season and the stockpiles at the farm store are dwindling.
Despite all of this planting, there are still a few in their pots. I took the begonia out of the turtle planter and put in a creeping phlox plant. The other small plants will go into the crevices of the wall itself. I'm going to stuff more of the Miracle Gro potting soil with moisture beads into the cracks in hopes that they will be able to root into the dirt mound behind the wall before they dry out and die.
Sunday, June 28, 2009
This is the yellow one. This photo is a bit green. In real life, the blossom is a beautiful clear yellow. The blue tape is how the plants are marked for digging. You go up and down rows and rows of plants to choose the ones you want. They're marked by one person with your name on the tape and dug by another.
You may have noticed a bunch of greenery in the first photo, along the fence at the right. I saw it for the first time today for what it is: poison ivy! I did a round of weed killing before I started planting this morning, and this puppy was hit with both RoundUp and Weed B Gone. Last year there was a small poison ivy vine on the big oak tree, but Lloyd managed to kill it off.
The main reason for the killing spree this morning is this vine. It has heart-shaped leaves, grows about 6 feet a day (it seems) and seems impervious to RoundUp. I'm hoping the 2,4D in the Weed B Gone will do the job on it.
This is the infected part of the yard. The main body of the vines is on the other side of the fence, so I sprayed all of that, too. I want to plant decorative grass along the fence here, but there's no point in doing that until the vines are gone.
Saturday, June 27, 2009
Here's the reason for the temporary ferry service in Glasgow, Missouri: a new bridge is being built to replace the decrepit one. I was used to White's Ferry at Poolesville, Virginia. The boat is called the Gen. Jubal A. Early. The fare there is $4 one way/$7 round trip. The Glasgow ferry is $8 one way! I was amazed at the price difference. But, that said, any day with a ferry ride in it can't be all bad. :)
We wended our way through Glasgow and out into the countryside to Armstrong, Missouri, the home of Lilywood Farms. I was surprised to see how hilly the land is south of the river. Some of the roads were like roller coasters. Wheeeeeeeeeeeee! NJ was a good sport about waiting while I stomped around in the lily patches. She was waiting in the car for me to get my purchases wrapped up and snapped this shot of me in the side view mirror. It really doesn't tell you much about the day, but I think it's a cool shot.
Here are some of the many workers trimming and bagging clumps that have been purchased. The deal was, the landscape clumps that normally sell for $30 were on sale for $15, cash and carry. These are plants that are quite nice, but didn't make it into the gene pool of the hybridization program. They aren't registered, don't have names. I got one that is a pretty clear yellow and another, taller one, that is deep burgundy.
Some of the registered lilies were on sale at 50% off for double fans. I bought 7 or 8 different kinds. These won't be dug until the plants begin to go dormant toward the end of summer. I can pick them up Labor Day weekend. That gives me time to decide exactly where each one will go, and I won't have to worry about them while we're away in August.
When I came home, I found the flowers here all gasping for water. It was 98F. I spent an hour giving them a good soaking. About 7 pm the cold front finally arrived. Now, at 9 pm, the temp is down to 81. Tomorrow should be a good day for planting.