Wednesday, April 30, 2008
I think I'm supposed to give the bit "E" to some of my favorite blogs and though I've got tons, here are a few that I love...
My Chicago Garden
Notes from a Cottage Garden
Soilman's Allotment Blog
The Compost Bin
I could go on and on!
Monday, April 28, 2008
Eating chocolate, swearing, procrastination
Jeez this makes me feel like a loser. I've only lived in 3 places. Memphis, TN, Nashville, TN, Chicago, IL
Saturday, April 26, 2008
First I had a really crappy front garden filled with ugly overgrown evergreens. Then, Carolyn took pity on me and did a whole front garden design for me. Carolyn rocks!
In her design was a dwarf Magnolia on the corner. So I drove all over creation trying to find one and finally decided on the Royal Star Magnolia pictured below.
I bought it, brought it home, blogged about it and everybody told me it was way too big for my space, so I took it back.
I finally settled on the Magnolia Ann pictured below. It's just a baby now but I think it will be really pretty one day.
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
More Daffodils are open. These were all suppose to be pink. Bad Big Box Store!
First ever blooms on the peach tree I planted last year.
Disclaimer: None of the plants pictured above were stolen.
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
I wonder what the real hippies think of the commercialization of the green movement? We love being trendy in this country. But, isn't being trendy sort of "anti-hippie?" On the one hand the green movement is now reaching the mainstream which makes for a much higher success rate (Al Gore must be a happy camper these days) but on the other hand we are sort of bastardizing the whole movement, aren't we? Discovery Channel is launching a new network called Planet Green that is devoted to, well, being green. But when I looked at the sneak peaks On Demand, I realized that they are planning to run more of those gimicky shows like HGTV already has. Are they really trying to make the world a better place to live or are they just trying to produce a hit TV show. I know, it's a stupid question. All the shows are these fast paced green-me-up-overnight type shows. I don't know why but that just rubs me the wrong way.
With Clorox making green cleaners and HD devoting a fair amount of advertising to "eco friendly options" it seems like the world may REALLY be making a very necessary shift which is awesome for the planet. And maybe this means that affordable solar panels are on the way? Wouldn't that be awesome?
In virtually unrelated news - my new favorite magazine is Mother Earth News and in honor of Earth Day I'm ordering myself a shiny new subscription. It's filled to the rim with good (mostly easy) ways to help the environment including lots of gardening related stuff. I also ordered my nephew a Mother Earth shirt for earth day - on the front it says "40 Years of Oil Left, 5,500,000,000 Years of Sunshine Left, CHOOSE WISELY".
Earth Day Contest: Congratulations to Leslie and Chet for winning the new Brita faucet mount filter system and Filter For Good bottle. For their Earth Day resolutions, Leslie is planning to try worm composting (rock on, Leslie!) and Chet and his wife are growing more of their own food and what they can't grow they'll try to buy locally. Leslie has an in-home daycare and I think it's really great that she's exposing the kiddies to good stuff like gardening and composting. I don't know Chet very well but I see that he lives down the street from me in Evanston. Congrats, guys! If you will kindly email me the address you'd like me to send your Brita filters to, I'll get those in the mail to you right away.
Happy Earth Day, gardening bloggers!
Monday, April 21, 2008
The worst part is that I couldn't find what I wanted. I'm in Magnolia hell, people! The lady at big expensive garden center says "oh you don't want a magnolia, the frost gets them in this area...why don't you try this Redbud Forest Pansy? It blooms later and only gets 8-10 feet tall." OK but I need to research this. So I get home and nothing, NOTHING I found on the internet says those things are 8-10 feet tall. They all say like 20-30 feet. WTH? To top it off, some of the other stuff I read says that the Star Magnolia is usually kept to 8-10 feet tall. That's what I wanted in the first place! There are Magnolia Jane's all over creation but for some reason I can't bring myself to buy one. Shopping the dead plant section at the end of the season was so much easier than this! So, here are my options for the front foundation tree...
Magnolia Leonard something or other
Royal Star Magnolia
Redbud Forest Pansy
Other fabulous small flowering tree (make a suggestion)
So, what should I do?
Sunday, April 20, 2008
Now on to the events of Sunday.
I'm exhausted and I need a tomato sandwich immediately! Today had to be the most beautiful day in Chicago so far for 2008. After my failed attempt to garden yesterday I got an earlier start today and other than 2 mini breaks and a quick trip to the hardware store, I was outside from 9:30-4:30. That is a full days work! The 26 hedge roses were still mounded with mulch so I thought it was about time for the unveiling. What a pain in the butt this was. You should see my arms, they are seriously scratched up and yucky looking.
I removed all the mulch from the roses, pulled weeds and trash (for some reason ridiculous amounts of trash flies over my 6 foot privacy fence and into my yard), placed soaker hoses in the beds, the replaced the mulch. I know this sounds crazy but I think I've got too much mulch on the roses. I also cut the roses back more to stimulate new growth. I realize now that I never should have trimmed them before winter. I hope they'll be OK. Here they are all ready for new growth. This took the large part of the day. After that, I WS'd about a million more containers of annuals.
Saturday, April 19, 2008
Japanese Kerria. I love the leaves on this one already. I have never seen one of these so this should be exciting.
Lastly, this is the Clematis that I thought I'd ripped out along with the bastard weed that was growing up the string. Thank goodness Jodi told me not to bother it and that it may come back this year. Thanks, Jodi!
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
I love their new Filter For Good campaign and Mr. W has taken the pledge to reduce his use of bottled water now that Brita has made it so easy. Here's the best part - they sent 2 extra faucet mount system/filter for good water bottle combos for me to give away.
The faucet mount system was really easy to install. Just remove thingy on the faucet and screw in the adapter (you may not need an adapter but if you do, there's already one in the kit)
For Bloom Day details, visit Carol at May Dreams Gardens.
Sunday, April 13, 2008
Can somebody please tell me what this awesome low growing blue flower is? It is beautiful and I want a lot of it for my own yard but couldnt bring myself to knock on the person's door to ask what it is. I noticed that it seems to be creeping from this yard over to the neighbor's yard so whatever it is I'm assuming it spreads a lot.
Saturday, April 12, 2008
Friday, April 11, 2008
This is Stella the Dwarf Cherry tree. Yes I know it's not a good picture - I need photography lessons. Stella was ordered and delivered by GB. Thanks, GB! She got them from Miller's Nursery and I was surprised at what good shape it arrived in. For now, Stella gets to live in a pot. I had planned to keep this on the patio but I'm a little concerned that it'll be too big for it. I actually bought the fancy dirt for Stella. When I opened the bag of Scott's Organic Potting Soil I really did say "wow", out loud. The stuff is so dark and fluffy and I sorta wish I'd never tried it because now that's all I want to use. It costs over twice what the plain potting soil does but it is clearly way fancier. And after less than one week Stella is already showing some growth. I soaked her in a bucket of water for a few hours before I planted it. They didn't tell me to do that but it seems like something that's been shipped and dry for days outta be pretty thirsty and I think Stella liked it. See below
Daffs are coming along nicely however the Weigela behind it that I stole from the cart at HD last fall is not even close to coming back to life. It looked really healthy when I bought it so I'm just hoping it's not time yet.
This weekend I promise the following
Backyard Ideas Wrap up
ps I've requested lots of vacation time off and on between mid April and the end of May so if my boss doesn't tell me I'm on crack and shred my vacation requests, lots of greatness will be happening at MSG.
Thursday, April 10, 2008
Because I'm just wandering around the web doing absolutely nothing productive this morning, I decided to google my blog. What I found was that some other bloggers have mentioned me in posts and I didn't even know it. I feel bad! How rude of me not to pop over and at least say hello. But I plead ignorance! I swear I didn't know!
I try really hard to keep up with all my blog reading but with the invention of Blotanical, it's almost impossible for me to read every single blog that I'd like to. Unless I can figure out a way to get paid for sitting on my ass reading gardening blogs, I have to prioritize. Organization is NOT my strong point (shocking, I know) and although it was very helpful when Carol told me about google reader, I still feel like there must be something more I can do.
I really do appreciate anybody who takes the time to read my blog. And I really do feel extremely special when somebody (gasp) mentions me on their blog. I need to find a way to keep up with this so I can thank them properly. Saying "Thank You" is one of the core values in Southern Hospitality (yes, I just made that up but it's my blog!) and I'm falling down on the job.
See, just the fact that I've mentioned Carol's name means she'll stop by and say "thanks for the plug, gina." How do you do it, Carol? Are you magic?
Tuesday, April 8, 2008
Now I'm standing on the basketball court looking at my back door. Over to the left is the row of 26 hedge roses, and of course the new patio.
Sunday, April 6, 2008
It's been a strange weekend for me. I've been fairly productive but all weekend the You-shoulda-went-to-Austin cloud has been following me. I hate making bad decisions. It means for a long time I'll be having these thoughts floating around in my head: you should have gone, what if they never do it again? I don't deal well with thoughts like that. Fortunately I don't need to do it too much because I normally don't make bad decisions. And if I do they tend to be the "i knew that plant would be gone when I came back today!" ones. This will be even worse because come tomorrow all the garden bloggers who didnt make a bad decision will be posting all sorts of fabulous stories that only happen once in a lifetime and I'll have missed it, making me even more angry at myself for not going.
I think I'm cranky...
Saturday, April 5, 2008
Friday, April 4, 2008
Also, the walkway is uneven so they are going to need to do some fancy grading so that I won't fall and crack my head open while walking from the patio to the walkway. From what I understand, the patio will need to be slanted slightly toward the drain and the runoff will be directed into the drain. This will allow them to make the two surfaces even.
The other problem was that the grass on the far end of the patio is actually higher than the walkway. To fix that, they'll need to shave off the surface of the grass and then place the sod back on top so that it's even with the patio surface. See what I mean about being glad that I didn't attempt to install this myself? What a pain in the butt!
So, day 1 was extremely productive and all that remains is to come back to install the pavers.
Wednesday, April 2, 2008
The more I look at this picture, the more my house starts to look like a double-wide trailer on blocks. Now that the big ugly shrubs are gone, the space under the windows just looks plain awkward. I had planned to build a window box for the center window and although I'm sure that will help some, I don't think it will solve this problem. Anybody got any suggestions?
Isn't this exciting?