Friday, May 14, 2010

Spring doings

Thank goodness for spring--we thought it would never get here!  The winter seemed so long, but all is  warm and mostly sunny and  the grass has been cut 4 times already. Don't mean to rub it in for all of you who can't plant til after Mother's Day! I've spent a small fortune between Lowe's and the local nursery, but don't tell Jack. 8^)  Last year's perennials have caught on and are doing great!

Remember the dying oak and two juniper bushes I lost last fall? Well, I had the stump ground and once I cleared out all the wood chips, I mixed in some garden soil and compost and planted a couple of yellow rose bushes.  I still need to edge it and mulch it, and I plan to add a couple of chives since they are supposed to keep aphids away, but the bushes already have lots of buds on them and I check them every day to see if any have opened yet!

Last year I planted 3 Sweet Williams, but two were eaten by slugs.  The third one I placed in a different bed, and there it is to the left of the birdbath--doing its biennial blooming. See the daylilies in the background?  I dug boo-koodles of them up and planted them in another part of the yard, and it looks like I never touched this bunch. Just outside the right of the picture are a couple of white impatiens, waiting to be planted on my next offday.

The Japanese maple you see in the middle (Crimson Queen)  has lived for the last two years in a pot bought at the truck market.  Obviously it's a hardy little thing--as is her stepsister, Bloodgood, who is still in a pot awaiting her transplant at the end of the house. The hostas were orphans I transplanted here and they have shown their appreciation for their new home by billowing out.  I am in need of some taller plants here, so bought a couple of purple phlox to poke in the ground this weekend. .

And the bachelor buttons went crazy on me!  It sends out runners  and has grown so large, I may have to dig up parts to move around or give away before it creeps up the sidewalk and into the house.

I planted two kinds of lavender last year--English and French--and I can't remember which is which, but one of them has tiny buds just about to open.  And the Dusty Miller, which should be just an annual, has come back, too. I bought a small 3-pack of dianthus to put at the end, but they're so cute, I may have to buy some for the rosebed, too.

As if all this weren't enough, I decided to plant some sunflower seeds, and they were so eager to meet the sun, they germinated 3 days earlier than the packages said they would. There are 3 different kinds, and heaven knows where I'm going to transplant them, but I couldn't resist.

In this pot, I planted the root ends of some green onions. They emerged in a hurry and another one has poked its head up since I took this picture.  I usually buy a single bunch at the store, but rarely use them all before they turn slimy in the bottom of the refrigerator. This way, I can cut off what I need and let them grow until I need more.

Oh, and Coleus, how I love thee!  Some of these will be repotted for a shady spot on the front porch, and the others will be planted just to the right of these steps, where they'll get only about an hour of sun a day.  They're obviously very happy there, as they are all about to outgrow their pots. I succumbed to temptation and bought a package of coleus seeds, as well, but they've yet to poke their reluctant little heads above the soil. It's a shame they're only annuals.

In addition, the house has been power-washed, lots of weeding has been done (though you can't tell it), the hammock frame is up and waiting for me to get to the laundromat to wash and dry the pillow and mat in some  heavy-duty machines.  The screened in back porch is all cleaned up and vacuumed and Tandi and I have already put it to good use. 

It's a large yard, and although I've done a lot of work this spring,  I'm not showing you the bare patches, the weedy area at the end, the empty spots where trees used to be, or the dying spruces in the backyard. Not yet, anyway. And the only thing in last year's lasagna garden right now is wood chips from the fallen trees, though that's where the newly seeded coleus will live--should they decide to come out and taste the fresh air.

But I figure in about 5 years the yard will be just like I want it. 

Oh, who am I  kidding?  


AnnieO said...

Hi Stephanie (waving to you out there in your garden)! You've been very busy. My poor neglected garden fortunately does pretty well in the frontyard,with lots of daylilies, some Kangaroo Paws and a huge Mexican sage. But the stepsister for sure! It is showing its 20 year age and needs major revamping, which of course is far down the list of things desperately needing updating around here! Thanks for the garden tour and I'll look forward to an update on the sunflowers and roses and everything else :)

Lori said...

Oh wow--I had to get the BenGay out to just READ what all you did! Yes, I am jealous, we had frost a few days ago.

SueR said...

You've been very busy, and it shows! Your gardens look lovely. I really do love plants and flowers, and I wish I loved gardening too... but I don't. We have lots of hostas in our garden, which take care of themselves!

Anonymous said...

Your garden is shaping up beautifully. I am looking forward to seeing it develop.


Finn said...

Love all your planting *VBS* Makes me lonesome for my house, which I sold in 2003..oh well, such is life. The dianthas(or pinks) will self seed, even here in WI. And yes, the bachlor buttons will take over the yard...LOL
Dusty Miller often winters over even here in our frigid climate, kind of a nice bonus. They look a bit tough early on, but come back as the year progresses.
It's so pleasant to read about all your yard activities, still way too early for most of it up here. Happy gardening, Hugs, Finn

audreypawdrey said...

You have been busy! Everything is looking so great, too. I guess it is time to start weeding, isn't it? Your garden does give me the impetus to get started, though.

MightyMom said...

Love the green onion idea!! I should do that too

I plan on trying again on roses this summer .... I'll remember the chives....but I've never known the difference btwn those two