Saturday, June 30, 2007
Friday, June 29, 2007
Wednesday, June 27, 2007
Garden buddy got this for me. I love this thing already! It's a garden bucket organizer! It fits right inside a standard 5 gallon bucket and has inside and outside pockets in various sizes. I don't have very much stuff in there right now, just my gloves, knee protector thingy, trowel, the pruning scissor things, vinegar and water spray bottle, and awesome new plant labels (also courtesy of garden buddy) so I won't forget the names of stuff in my garden. The material the bucket protector is made from is a nice heavy canvas and seems like it will last forever! Thank you garden buddy!
Here's a recent picture of the watermelon. I still love this thing. I love the shapes of the leaves and the plant behavior.
Funny conversation with non-gardening-boyfriend:
"do you think it's too late to plant lettuce?"
"YES! IT'S 9:30 PM!"
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
The lily of the valley I got from nice freecycle.org lady is alive but barely holding on, the other unknown plant she gave me - dead! The bachelors button from garden buddy - dead! The raspberry and coneflower garden buddy gave me that just planted on Sunday - not looking good!
Here is one of the Coneflower plants from this morning. WTH??
Sunday, June 24, 2007
The garden walk consisted of 11 houses in 2 of the villages near me. We pulled up at the curb of the conservatory and the little old lady passed us our books with maps and off we went. Garden buddy had the great idea of starting at house number 11 instead of house number 1 to avoid crowds. Great idea, garden buddy! Each garden had a bio in the garden walk guide that seemed to be written by the gardeners themselves. While I drove to each house, garden buddy read the bio so that when we arrived we had the garden's background.
One thing we noticed after the first couple of houses is that, the gardeners who had help from designers started out their bio by describing the look of their garden and what was planted there. In the last paragraph we always found out what designer or landscaper did the work. Contrastingly, the gardeners who did their own work started out their story by telling us how much hard work they had put into their gardens and described their trials and errors, saying much less about the actual plantings. Before I started gardening myself I might have guessed that they described their gardens like this to make apologies for not having "proper gardens" but now that Ive put in all this sweat equity, I realize we gardeners who dig our own beds need for people to know I DID THIS! I DID IT ALL BY MYSELF! AREN'T YOU PROUD OF ME?? I'm not knocking landscape designers. I have said before that if I could afford it, I would hire one myself. But since I did all this myself, I can relate to others like me.
Well, those I-did-it-myself gardens turned out to be our favorites. For me, the gardeners story really reeled me in. Before we even got to the house we had decided "I love this lady and I love her garden!" A few of my favorites were a father-son garden team whose garden began with a son pressuring a father to help him build a pond, then going off to college and leaving the pond for dad to maintain. The garden was beautiful and although we did not get to meet Mr. Gardener, garden buddy decided he was rather romantic because of the iron candle chandelier he placed in one of his outdoor dining areas which seated only two. They called their garden "Shangri La". Here's a picture.
Another favorite was a lady who called herself a "plant collector" rather than a gardener. I loved that she had her big strawberry pot (filled with actual strawberries) on a column so that it stood tall as a centerpiece in one garden even though she knew placing it there meant even easier access for strawberry-loving birds. Take a look.
My I WANT THAT moment came when I spotted this Tamarisk (I think that's what the lady said it was). I think this is the most beautiful thing I've seen in a long time. It's so delicate and feminine and it just screams TOUCH ME....which we did. I'm gettin one of these if I can locate one and find a place for it! One of the volunteers said this was actually suppose to be a shrub but the lady didn't know she was suppose to prune it so I got really big.
Every garden was beautiful and I really admire these gardeners for opening their homes to all these strangers. I bet they have spent the entire summer planning for that one day. I heard one of the gardeners tell someone that she had just had fresh mulch delivered yesterday in an effort to downplay her weedlessness.
It turned out to be a wonderful rainy day. I told garden buddy that, when my house is on the garden walk someday, my bio will say "I did all this myself, with consultation, motivation, and digging help from my garden buddy."
Friday, June 22, 2007
Immediately in front of the beautiful Host blooms it looks like a murder has taken place. This is a big pile of bird feathers. This was not the only pile. In fact, right next to this one was a hunk of feathers that looked like it was still attached to a hunk of skin, but it seemed a little graphic.
I'm going on the garden walk tomorrow and I'm very excited about it.
Wednesday, June 20, 2007
This is a baby tomato on my one Roma plant. I think these are so cute because they are oblong and I never get to use that word "oblong" so I thought I'd better seize this opportunity. Plus, I LOVE ROMAS and I LOVE MARINARA and you know what that means!
That's it for the pictures. In other news, I'm going on my first Garden Walk on Saturday with garden buddy and I have been planting seeds like crazy. In addition to the last seeds I told you about, I have now planted Double Hollyhock, Zinnias and Scabiosa. I also have Moon Flower (or is it Vine) seeds soaking per the instructions and they will be planted bright and early tomorrow morning. I really excited about the moon ones!
Like I do most things in my life, I started this blog after thinking about for about ummmm 3 minutes. Seemed like a good way for me to 1. share my gardening experience with my family back home who wouldn't otherwise believe I'm outside doing this ON PURPOSE 2. document this for myself so that I can see the transformation of my property from "yard" to "garden" and 3. nurture my inner egomaniac that hopes maybe some stranger out there might want to see what's going on in my backyard.
I have gotten a few comments from other blogging gardeners whom I envy and aspire to copy and little by little I've been making my way over to their blogs to read their stories. The one I'm currently reading is from a fellow I-use-to-live-in-the-south-but-moved-to-Chicago blogger.
Carolyn, over at http://www.sweethomeandgardenchicago.blogspot.com/ read my blog and left me a few comments. Thanks, Carolyn! In the first comment Carolyn questioned why I say on my profile that I'm trying to get rid of my "annoying southern accent" and I remember thinking "oh great, I've already offended a fellow blogger." Since then I've been reading Carolyn's blog daily but recently decided to go back to her very first blog entry, you know, to see what she's all about. After reading only 1.5 months worth of her blog, here are my thoughts in no particular order.
Holy crap - she's a real landscape designer!
Holy crap - she's been in the Chicago Tribune! She's famous!
Holy crap - she's a vegetarian too!
I don't know why I was so surprised to see that real life landscape designers blog. I'm sure it has something to do with some ridiculous stereotype that I picked up about bloggers. The only famous ones are usually killers, right? Anyway, I've already learned some great things by reading Carolyn's older entries, like Forsythias will grow here and there are smaller varieties that might be more suitable for my little garden. And, it's okay for me to grow Rhododendrons and/or Azaleas here. I'm sure she has lots more great information for me and I can't wait to finish reading her entire blog.
Most importantly, reading Carolyn's blog made me realize that no matter how much I'm glad to have moved out of the South, I really miss some things about it. I never realized how many Azaleas we have in Tennessee, or how NOT seeing them would make me realize just how pretty they are.
Monday, June 18, 2007
I know what you're thinking - "WOW! That green looks spectacular up against that lovely straw colored background!" Hey, it's the best I can do for now. I planted these this morning before work but unfortunately the other unknown plant the nice lady gave me doesn't look so good.
I have no clue what this plant is, and from the looks of things, I never will. It was very close to the LOV so the lady told me to go ahead and take it. Since it is unlikely that I'll be able to fill my gardens with passalong plants, I've come up with another plan for my barren gardens and empty wallet - SEEDS! I read this great article on HGTV.com about how stupid everyone is for not just planting seeds. The article talked about how much more economical seeds are and how the selection is so much better because garden centers can really only sell what is IN BLOOM and that limits them. I'm sure it's not THAT simple but it was all I needed to hear. I'm grasping at straws here! (pun intended)
So, I planted 3 packs of seeds this morning! Giant Delphiniums, Canterbury Bells, and Columbine. Unfortunately, AFTER I planted the seeds I read on the inside of the Columbine seed packet that you should sow them outside before it gets cold, and fertilize them with something special, and call the preacher to bless them etc. I'm kidding about the preacher but DANG there were lots of stipulations with this stuff! Oh well, at least its only a couple of bucks down the drain.
So my plan for MSG 08? Plant millions of seeds. Direct sow because I'm too lazy to do pots, indoors, under lights, in the fridge, or anything along those lines. I'm not chasing off birds or squirrels or any other varmints. If they don't make it, they are not for me!
If anybody has any suggestions on things that I can plant NOW in Zone 5, please let me know.
Sunday, June 17, 2007
After battling with my weed wacker for weeks I finally threw it in the car and drug it to Ace Hardware. Thank you bald Ace Hardware guy in Forest Park for fixing me up! I'm officially boycotting Home Depot! Anyway, I took it home, cranked it and started working and then I noticed a few Cicadas in my yard. The next thing I know, the things are dive bombing me! I think they thought my weed wacker was another Cicada tryin to get it on! So one of them comes flying at me and my reflex reaction was to use the weed wacker as a sword or some other weapon, and, you guessed it, the Cicada was chopped to smithereens! I feel bad about it! Sorta. I kept trying to tell myself that the news people said they will not hurt me but it didn't help. Every time one came at me I tried to fight it off with the weed wacker. At one point I hit my grill and a everything on it went flying. I was screaming like a 5 year old. I don't care what they say, these things ARE dangerous! I thought about asking Mr. Wonderful to fight them off me while I finished trimming the backyard but they freak him out as much as they do me. At some point I just gave up. These things are only suppose to live for 3 weeks. The weeds will just continue to look like crap for a bit longer...
Rose Garden after straw. It actually doesn't look so bad and the roses are all doing pretty well, even the sickly one that I thought wasn't going to make it.
I finally decided to try my hand at composting! Since I have no container whatsoever but lots of stuff to compost, I decided to throw it over beside the garage and see what happens. I don't plan to leave it there because I'm worried that it will damage the fence or the garage. I also won't be putting any food there because I'm way more afraid of rodents than I am of Cicadas.
One final note on Cicadas. I googled them and I think it's actually the male that makes the noise so I guess those were girl Cicadas attacking me.
Saturday, June 16, 2007
I purchased my first Hoe! This is getting serious! I was watching that gardening show the Manic Organic the other day and the guy said this is his favorite kind of hoe for weeding. It's an "action hoe" and I'm sure you all already have one and know how magical they are but just let me enjoy this, okay?
THIS THING IS MAGIC! It slices right through the weeds in record time! This morning I finally had time to weed the rose garden since I'm pretty much done digging up grass. It only took me like 15 minutes for 72 feet! Listen up gardeners - if you don't have an Action Hoe - get one! Today! I'm sure you also noticed the big ass bale of straw in the picture. I finally resigned myself to using straw as mulch for this first year for the following reason.
- I'm broke and it's very cheap. Only 5.99 at the garden center
- My soil needs amending and after reading lots of organic gardening stuff, they say this will break down over time and be good for the soil.
- I don't want to spend my summer pulling weeds from these new beds.
I took this picture this morning and I've actually already distributed this straw to all the beds except the kitchen garden. I spent 3.5 hours this morning weeding, getting rid of big piles of sod and spreading this straw all over. My yard smells like a farm. Not a bad thing but boy does this stuff make me sneeze. I'll be honest though, after using my magic hoe, I'm thinking that weeding wouldn't have been such a big deal and this straw is not the most beautiful thing in the world. Stay tuned for pictures of the freshly strawed beds...
You can't see them but my itty bitty Clematis vines are planted on either side of the window. They don't seem to be growing but they don't seem to be dying either so I'm hopeful! This is the foundation bed that I finished clearing. The next time you see this, it will be covered with straw. Can somebody please come over and haul off these big piles of crap that I dug up? I'M EXHAUSTED!
Thursday, June 14, 2007
Tuesday, June 12, 2007
After reading a few blogs that mentioned "pinching basil" I freaked out this morning and ran out to the garden to pinch off basil and oregano so they wouldn't "go to seed" - whatever that means. I have no clue if I did it right, or at the right time, but it sure smelled good on my hands.
Anyway, take a look at my poor jalapeno pepper plant in the next photo. It's getting worse and worse and I don't know what is going on or what to do to save it. SOMEBODY CALL A PLANT DOCTOR!
How bout this next picture. Is it my imagination or does that look like a random robin egg laying in the middle of the dirt of the recently cleared (this past weekend) garage bed? I only know this because I think one of the garden blogs I've been reading had a nest full of these on a picture. There is no tree close to it and I have no clue where the nest could be or what the hell I'm suppose to do with this thing. SOMEBODY CALL A BIRD DOCTOR!
Sunday, June 10, 2007
Saturday, June 9, 2007
Springhillnursery finally sent me an email that they shipped my 2 Clematis. I'm already disappointed with them because I feel like I ordered these things soooooo long ago. The 4 trellises I bought are still leaning against the back of the garage. My goal for the weekend was to remove all grass from the new beds and hang the trellises. I don't see how it's gonna happen unless some actual garden fairies show up in the middle of the night.
Wednesday, June 6, 2007
Monday, June 4, 2007
If anybody has ever seen one of these and knows what it is, PLEASE, PLEASE, help me solve this mystery.
In the meantime, garden buddy says I should put a big pot with plants on top of it and some small ones to hide the metal things.
Sunday, June 3, 2007
I also bought a pack of Shasta Daisy seeds and threw them in the pots (they are behind the threesome.) I'm sure it's probably way too late to be planting seeds but these Shasta's say you can plant them in the ground 2 months before the first frost, so maybe they'll be okay. I'm very attracted to any "daisy-like" flower. I don't know the term for them but I'm referring to any plant with the center surrounded by small colored petals (echinacea, black-eyed susan, sunflower and any and every daisy.) I'm sure a garden full of these would be beautiful but I'm not into theme gardens...
While strolling through the grocery store garden center I smelled what I thought was a very large citronella candle. It turned out to be a shelf full of Citronella Scented Geraniums. I had to have it. It smells so fresh and clean! I thought it might deter bugs if I placed it on the patio but unfortunately the sweat bees were all over it before I could even get it completely re-potted. I had planned to put it right in the middle of the patio table but I may need to rethink that.