Thursday, March 22, 2012

I Want to Do This

I can't buy all the things I want, especially delphinium and foxglove and heliotrope.  Don't do great growing them from seed in the ground. If I had a nice bench like this outside, I could easily recognize what I have and they'd be ground-ready, versus what I do under lights.

Speaking of lights, so far I have had luck with lupin, heliotrope, penstemon, dwarf hollyhock, sweetpeas.  Not so much luck with delphs and hollyhock for some reason.  First attempt at winter sowing-- jury is still out.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012


Our church is planning a community garden.  I sent them four pages of notes.  Meanwhile we have actual farmers in our congregation who have been making a living at it for generations, so I'm not sure that my contributions are going to be that valuable.  But it's okay, 'cause I'm psyched.  Now I want one at home.  Correction, I've always wanted one at home, except for the fact that all my level ground in is front and I am not brave enough to rip up the front lawn.  But I can still dream:

And also:

Not forgetting:

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Ground Covers vs Mulch

The former are more expensive, but so much more entertaining.  Two suggestions from M Roach of A Way to Garden podcast (such great, tranquil listening when you're stuck in the car or doing dishes):  bigroot geranium and epimedium.  She also loves hellebores, but that is a little too elite for my zip code.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Just Did It

Our house is five years old.  I have two lovely landscape plans from different talented designers.  Lack of money and the slope in the back has thwarted me thus far.  Do I have an excuse for my barren sideyard?  No I do not.

Yesterday, on a very warm March day, I lured my 16 year old daughter who is old enough to have an interest in such things.  We outlined the projected bed with hose, broke down cardboard boxes and laid them within the outline, put landscape fabric down and weighted the whole thing with rocks.  My 10 year came out and helped us with the rocks and the watering.  So after five years of gnashing my teeth, an hour and a half got us this far:

Now comes more plotting.  What luscious things will go in this south-facing bed?  That's a viburnum (Birkwood I think?) and a yellow rose my dad bought me at Hershey Gardens whose name is failing me, and further down the way there is a stack of unused stone (hm!), an AC compressor (ugh!) and a lilac my DH got me for Mother's Day a couple of years ago.  I have some peony roots and a single bearded iris to go in here somewhere.  I'm thinking Shrubs!  With an exclamation point!  Yay!!!

Today was another warm day.  Creepy warm, 70s, but I'll take it, and anyway, it's not like I have a choice.  It was so peaceful and placid out there with the birds chirping soothingly.  Pruning the New Dawn was not so placid.  Most of my roses are reasonably well-behaved but the New Dawn I optimistically planted in a very narrow space by a highly traveled walkway is waiting for its chance to scratch your eyes out .  It was me against it.  NB:  Foxgloves while awesome gloves are useless against climbing rose teeth, er, thorns.  Be advised.

I also tackled the hulking buddeleia.  Started tackling it.  Lost interest after a while.  I'll get back to ya, buddeleia.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

The limit I'm thinking of is $5,000.  That's what it would cost to get a stacked stone retaining wall in my sloped backyard.  Instead I went back to grad school.  Do I, at times, question this ordering of priorities?  Yes!  But for today we'll let it stand, and figure out what can be accomplished without the $5,000 or the wall.

This is my bit of garden by the side of the porch from a couple of years ago:

There.  That's for encouragement.  I don't have a pic from last year.  Things get much bigger.  Today it's supposed be 60 degrees in our Zone 6 town, I'm planning to go out there and hack some stuff.