Monday, March 31, 2008
What I like about the HGTV morning gardening shows is that it gives me inspiration to drag my ass outta bed. I'm hoping to be on the treadmill watching gardening shows every morning at 6:00. That's a tall order for somebody who has gotten in the habit of sitting around being depressed about the snow.
Here's the HGTV lineup:
Monday - Curb Appeal at 7:00 this week. I really don't care for this show...
Tuesday - Gardening by the Yard at 6:00
Wed - Outer Spaces at 6:00. This is hit or miss for me...
Thursday - A Gardeners Diary at 6:00. I love this show!
Friday - Urban Outsiders at 6:00. I'm not familiar with this one but it's that British dude that use to do the city gardens show.
Now that the gardening shows are back on, it must be officially gardening season. We made it!
Sunday, March 30, 2008
Maybe this will heat up and break down now that its piled higher. Wanna know what excited me today? The smell of dirt. I was very shocked by this as I've often thought some of you garden bloggers were sorta wacky when you go on and on about the greatness of the smell of dirt. I get it now.
This is the peach tree I planted last year. Besides the kitchen garden, this was one of the first things I planted. I'm excited to see that it seems to have made it through the Chicago winter. There's all sorts of other great things going on in the garden that I won't bore you with but I'm pretty freakin excited...
Next weekend agenda: cut back all perennials from last year.
Saturday, March 29, 2008
Friday, March 28, 2008
The official definition of a Player Hater is "one who despises or speaks ill of another 'player' because he does not have any game of his own."
I'm a Garden Player Hater. I suppose I don't "speak ill" of other garden players but I sure do covet lots of their crap because, let's face it, I have no "garden game."
Jodi's Himalayan blue poppy
Marc's exotic tomatoes
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
Reply from Ask Extension -- Hort Corner -- Trees & Shrubs
I'm pretty darn excited. I had read that Tamarix can be invasive but considering the photo above is one of the only 2 I've ever seen in my life (the other was right around the corner from the garden walk house), I wondered if it was really that invasive here or if we are really just that compliant with not planting invasive plants in Illinois. And since I was so not looking forward to the moral dilemma I'd face (A. Plant it anyway and hope for the best or B. Compost it) I'm relieved to learn that I can just plant it and enjoy it.
Man, gardening can really be stressful!
Sunday, March 23, 2008
Saturday, March 22, 2008
This is a Jade Tree and I admit I only got one because GB did and I'm a copycat. (good grief my kitchen window is disgusting)
Thursday, March 20, 2008
Monday, March 17, 2008
Towards the end of the show these chicks were screaming and giggling like they were drunk, trying to lure people over. They really made fools of themselves. People were actually screaming back at them to "SHUT UP". They kept marking their sign down further and further until the last one said "50 for $30" but I just couldn't give them any money. Instead, we got a great deal from a very nice Italian (I think) man on some beautiful Canna and Peony.
- Canna Richard Wallace (yellow)
- Canna Red King Humbert (red)
- Paeonia Festiva Maxima (white)
- Paeonia Sarah Bernhardt (pink)
Sunday, March 16, 2008
Now, it wasn't all bad, and I'll try to temper my review since I'm pretty sure lots of people worked really hard on it. The first thing was that the signage was virtually non-existent on the outside of the convention center. The fact that they didn't have any big fancy signs made me a little suspicious - "do they not have anything to show off?" Not to mention, the walkway from the garage to the convention center made me feel like a rat in a science project trying to find my way through a maze.
Eventually I made it in a met up with GB and we took a few minutes to look at the map and circle a few seminars that we wanted to see. Then we proceeded to miss every single one of them. We ended up only making it to the very last speaker of the day who talked about keeping animals out of the garden. There was no new information with the exception of how to sneak up on a caged skunk in a way that will prevent you from getting all stunk up. Frankly, I do not believe this technique will work and I won't even bother explaining it to you. I've never had any skunks so I don't think I need this information and if you do have a skunk problem - GOOD LUCK, PARTNER!
The picture below is of one of the display gardens that I found particularly disturbing. It's got choo choo trains running all through it which is very sweet, but take a look at the pond.
The best thing we discovered at the show was the display area for Rich's Foxwillow Pines Nursery. They specialize in dwarfs and they had some very cool specimens. The one below is Chamaecyparis pisifera 'Lemon Thread' (Sawara False Cypress) and I want it! I apologize for the quality of these pictures but I need to use them for my own personal documentation (shopping list). I just love the color!
The picture below is Pinus strobus 'Winter Gold' (Golden Eastern White Pine)and I want this, too.
The biggest factor in deciding to go with the pavers instead of the composite decking (my first choice) was the price. One guy I spoke to said that brick pavers typically run $10-$12 per sq foot and composite decking is closer to $27 per sq foot - YIKES! He also said that installing a deck at ground level is more expensive because of the level of difficulty in creating the supports for it. OK, I'm convinced, composite decking is out. I hate that they make it so much harder to go green!
That left me with stamped concrete versus brick pavers. Concrete is cheaper but one big factor with this was the fear of cracking. Presently we are dealing with a big long crack in our not-even-3-year-old basketball court. Plus, after Katie pointed out that the pavers allow the water to drown down instead of running off, pavers seemed like the clear choic. I hate compromise!
me: "I'd like it to be 16x20 in a neutral cobblestone"
paver guy: "that's really big its going to be expensive how about 18x18?" (wait, isn't that more total sq feet than 16x20?)
me: "OK fine, 18x18"
paver guy: "its $4300"
me: "WHAT????????" "I can't afford that, what about a less expensive brick"
paver guy: "hollandstone is the least expensive"
me: "OK fine, how much for the hollandstone?"
brick guy: "3500"
me: "that's still too much, how about if we go 16x18?"
paver guy: "$3150"
me: "well that's better but still over what I wanted to spend, can I buy the materials and just pay you labor?"
paver guy: "well i don't usually work like that but let me think about it and I'll call you tomorrow"
paver guy: "NO!"
I'm still waiting for 2 other estimates, one from HD and the other from a different independent contractor who I'm pretty sure I won't select because he thinks the bricks need a concrete slab under them, so I'm sure his estimate is just gonna irritate me. Plus, the drainage benefit goes out the window with that. Here are the colors available in the Hollandstone - which one do you like?
And here are some patterns to choose from. I'm leaning toward the Herringbone at 90 degrees. The reason I liked the cobblestone is that the pattern is much less consistent, which appeals to me. The 90 degree Herringbone is the closest to random in my opinion. What do you think?
The picture below shows a few bricks of different color randomly placed throughout - I sorta like this because it seems to break the pattern up even more. What do you think?
To remind you of what the space looks like, I've included the picture of the backyard where I've attempted to draw a white line where the patio will be.
I want to make the patio as cottage-y as possible but I'm really concerned that it will be very difficult with these pavers. I'm leaning toward the 90 degree Herringbone in a neutral color (like the prairie) with a few different color bricks mixed in. I'm also thinking that it needs the perimeter in the soldier pattern so that it defines the space.
In the one picture of the sample patio above, I notice that the patio seems rather unfinished because there is no clearly defined border. I should also say that I'm sort of attracted to the charcoal simply because it seems more unusual which you know I love.
So, what do you think, people? For a 16x18 foot patio...
Pick a Paver: River, Sierra, Rustic Red, Red, Prairie, Charcoal, Autumn Red
Pick a Pattern: Running Bond, 45 degree Herringbone, 90 degree Herringbone, Basket Weave, or some other great pattern that you can direct me to.
Should it cover the entire patio?
If not, should it be placed in the middle? Or should it begin at the back door, covering the entire width of the patio but leaving a few feet uncovered at the edge? Off in a corner? Decisions, decisions...
Saturday, March 15, 2008
Friday, March 14, 2008
I think I may have broken both my hips but I'll keep you posted
Luffa Gourd seedling growing like a big strong mother of a plant
Itty Bitty Astilbe seedling planted long before Luffa is a pain in my ass.
Thursday, March 13, 2008
Below: We both loved this container garden filled with Japanese maples.
Below: Michelle's garden took my breath away long before I realized it was hers. Rock on, Michelle! Your's was my favorite!
Thank you San Francisco Flower and Garden Show - we heart you!
I checked every single container today and there is not a damn thing happening in there. Several people in blogville are reporting growth in their WS containers so I'm not sure what's going on. It's warm and sunny today so get to growing, seeds!
Himalayan experiment update
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
I bet if I was able to find and by a spot in a community garden in Nashville that my nephew and all his hippie friends would love to grow some food for the homeless. He seems very motivated to try to bring some of the San Francisco ideals back to Tennessee with him. I love that kid...