Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Sidetracked again!

I hope you enjoyed your Fourth of July holiday weekend. We relaxed with friends, our favorite way to celebrate.
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

Mulch, Lattice and Yard Art

Finally, photos. This is the entrance garden mulched. I used a dark brown dyed mulch that supposedly won't fade. It took longer to pull out the weeds than to lay down the mulch, but neither activity was fun for my back, knees, and shoulders. Inside the gate, I had to leave two patches uncovered. That's where I planted the tiny seeds for the Russian sage. The sage is sprouting, but I can't tell those seedlings from the weeds. I'll have to wait a few days until the sage starts putting out recognizable leaves. All of the other plants look so much happier with the mulch.

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.
The frame between the bushes is for the mosaic that's lying in the grass beyond it.
The lattice that was installed a few days ago has really changed the look of the yard. We used the style with smaller openings on the stairwell railing in hopes of keeping some of the autumn leaves from blowing in. It gives that area a nice finished look.

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.
I thought I was caught up on the picture taking, then Lloyd moved the two large Mexican urns to the area between the kitchen garden and the fence, where the stones are. They block the view of the rainbarrel as you enter the back yard. Its presence was annoying him. You'll have to wait to see them, though, as it's now too dark to photograph.