Monday, April 28, 2014

Ooh! Ooh! Mr Kotter!

Showing my age.  Never did watch that show, but everybody saw that part.

I was looking at a picture of last summer's front border, and thinking:  alchemilla mollis between the hosta and the kerria.  Obviously.

Just didn't want to forget that.

Also, two attempts at West Bed design-- from left to right, that tiny thing left would be a New Jersey Tea, followed by a Pink Velour crapemyrtle, then three nice foliage-intensive shrubs that I cannot possibly make up my mind on, then the Dragonlady Holly, and tree on the left is the closest approximation I could find to the Sweetbay Magnolia actually planted there.

The one below is a doctored winter shot.  Confusing, huh?

The important elements are the crapemyrtle and the three shrubs to be named.  The other stuff just has to be nice perennials that won't make me crazy.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Working Hard Here

So. Much. To. Do.  Not just in the garden but in life.  In no particular order:

Pulled out the dead Japanese Maple.  DH planning to turn something out of it on his lathe :)

Marked out beds with landscape paint and leveled the path part (what a relief-- DH did it in about 15 minutes.)

Enlisted the daughters to lay cardboard and mulch for extending the putative West Bed.  They do not enjoy this, but we got a lot done in an hour.  DH was a Trojan.  I hope this works as well it has in the past, and that I didn't forget some crucial step resulting in disaster.

Planted my tiny vulnerable seedlings, namely Rose Campion, Verbena boniarensis, penstemon, foxglove.  Have a fussy tent of evergreens over the wilty looking penstemon.  Here's hoping.

Mulched Kit Isle and part of Hemlock Hillock.

Pulled some small dead shrubs, replaced the destroyed boxwoods and moved the few viable ones, moved a baby peony, planted some veronica something or other from Walmart... lots really.

But So Much Left to do and it still doesn't look great out there.  But it will.  Right? Right.

Latest thought on West Bed... crape myrtle, manhattan euonymous or maybe fothergilla, dragonlady holly, face down with amsonia, liatris, catmint?, caryopteris, spirea Neon Flash-- whatever will fit.  At some point I will have to stop the iterations and put in actual plants.

Monday, April 21, 2014

April Q&A

1. Why do I feel so old and lazy?  Also fat?

A: See "also fat."

2. How do you keep a dog from ruining a boxwood?

A: Pepper spray (the plant, not the dog), and a fence.  Possibly Wilt-Pruf.

3. When should I transplant my Siberian Iris?

A: Spring is best, evidently.

4. How many calories in a Peep?

A: About 30.

5. Is it worth it?

A:  Eh.

6. Is there any better or more useful tool than a Japanese weeding knife, and do you feel cool and a little bad-ass when you casually replace it in its sheath?

A: No. Yes.

7. What groundcover will I not regret planting?

A: Veronica Georgia or Waterperry Blue perhaps too invasive.  Perennial geranium, though it's $$.

8. Are those plumbago dead or just slow to wake up?

A: Per High Country gardens, "slow to leaf out in spring."  Here's hoping.

9. Is it too late to overseed lawn?

A: You let them put crabgrass control on for the first time EVER so probably not a wise plan.

10. Are those summersweet dead or late risers?

A:  Pretty sure they're dead.

11. That's upsetting.

A:  Yes, it is.

12: What handsome low blobby mound should I put near the rock garden after moving the iris that the dog like to lie on?

A: Something prickly.

13.  Why is blogger randomly underline words in blue?  It's like the Bible where random words are italicized.  I never got that.

A: No clue.

14. Does garden blogging time count as gardening time?

A: Absolutely.

Sunday, April 20, 2014


Beautiful 50ish sunny day here.  All family/church duties have either been successfully completed or avoided, my chocolate bunny fueled youngest is whirling like a dervish (ok, she's dancing The Cat from Peter and the Wolf) and I am slowly working up to the 8 yards of mulch in my driveway.  I've been working, really I have, and it's been lovely.  DH and I planted a sweetbay magnolia, cultivar ned blah blah let me look at the tag, but it only gets ten feet wide supposedly-- I planted it near our awkwardly positioned Bilco doors which are near the living room windows, to provide yet another layer of lacy screening between us and Mr Nursing Home.  We also put in a rather frighteningly expensive Dragon Lady holly.  I managed to get my Costco bagged liatris bulbs, ferns, and hosta in the ground.  I planted some Chocolate Chip ajuga (irresistible in full blue bloom) in the rock wall.  Much dividing and clean up remain.

In the casualty list, all of the Franklin's Gem boxwoods are so peed upon, trampled, or traumatized by cold that we're taking them all out and replacing them with Winter Gems from Costco ($15 each, yay).  The big spruce seems ok, if not loving life, as does the Edith Bogue magnolia.  I have had passing thoughts that the monster butterfly bush might be dead.  The Japanese maple is absolutely dead, but I don't mourn it. Camellia has left this mortal coil.  The Serviceberry appears to be alive. The Otto Luykens cherry laurel got the hell knocked out of it, but with some shearing I think it will be okay. My white vinca minor, ordered in a persnickety manner from the other side of the country-- to my belief, the ONLY white vinca in this zipcode-- bloomed a lot, so that's cool.  There's some purple in there too but O well.

A lot of my seedling have made it So Far, but they have to make it to actual planting.  I have them on my porch approximating what I consider hardening off.  I am hopeful seedling perennials won't be kilt by frost.

From Pickering nurseries, my bareroot Rosarium Uetersen (aka Seminole Wind), Mayflower (David Austen), and Golden Celebration (ditto) are all planted.

For the west bed plan, I am moving more towards (left to right roughly), the R. Uetersen on the fence, perhaps a blueish mounded evergreen/pine arrangement, Blacklace Elderberry, Pink Velour crape myrtle, three staggered holly type things or some other tough evergreen, the Dragonlady Holly and a boxwood by the door.  Some flowery things like the Mayflower rose, my much-tried peony, and either caryopteris or spirea to front down the evergreens, and then groundcovery stuff (geranium?  wall germander?)

I ordered my wonderful goodies from Santa Rosa nurseries and am looking forward to: Rozanne geranium, alchemilla mollis, a dwarfer type of catmint, and agastache Black Adder.

So now I either take a nap or put on a talking book and go work.  Hmm...