Gardening Offers Changes

>> Friday, April 27, 2012

Aurinia Basket of Gold
One of the bright spots in my whole garden this time of year is Basket of Gold. This plant definitely deserves to be spread more throughout my perennial beds, something I plan on doing this Fall or next Spring by root-division.

The daffodils behind it were deadheaded two days ago and the Clematis Jackmanii on the trellis is busy sending out climber tendrils and lots of leaves.

The entire landscape is in a sort of flux as I attempt to figure out how to arrange beds so they are in bloom throughout the year. Currently each of my seven perennial beds have blooms in Spring but once the bulbs have faded there will be patches of no bloom. Something I need to remedy.

One bed that is in transition is the Herb bed. Currently, the few herbs I have share this bed with a mugo pine, daylily, sedum, and a few bulbs. I had planted creeping thyme here a few years ago to fill in a huge space. It did it so well that I had to move a few plants that it was choking out. I am in the process of removing it and adding Chamomile, mint, rosemary and maybe a few other herbs. The bed will eventually reach out further into the yard as my knowledge and abilities matures.

One of the many things I love about gardening is it is a never-ending proposition. The 'look' and 'feel' of the garden will change both seasonally and yearly.


Update for March - week 3

>> Thursday, March 22, 2012

I took a break from pouring over last years garden journal and jumped into my herb bed. This bed is in transition, oh who am I kidding, every bed is in transition. Anyway,  the bed was in dire need of pruning so that's what I set out to and did it. Most of it anyway.

Daylily Stella de Oro and Chives
Monarda Blue Stockings aka Bee Balm
Mugo Pine 'Slowmound'
Oregano - a plant that keeps on giving
Thyme - another plant that wont quit
Looking much better after the chop job, still more to go

and what's Spring without a few surprises? I have no idea what this is


Collector of Ideas and Frustration

Each year, during the garden-dormant season of winter, I go through the previous years garden journal - the hand written one - and I am always struck by how plans for my garden beds change just over the course of that year. And then I make an 'inspection tour' through the real-life garden and take note of how it is very different from what I had planned seven years ago.

I'm what might be labeled an 'idea hoarder'. Whether the ideas collected are in the form of hand-written notes or photos found on the internet and safely tucked into an appropriately named file folder, I am becoming over-whelmed with the seemingly insurmountable task of choosing and using one or more favorites.

I am quite sure I am not alone in this collector phenomena, but knowing I am not alone doesn't make the task any easier.

As the garden awakens each year and the fever to put new plans into place takes hold of me,my old nemesis is always there to greet me. This enemy is so persistent and onery that I almost want to give up. I'm talking about grass.

Grass creeps into my beds, some worse than others, but in every bed, save for the one that is surrounded by the house, a concrete driveway, a concrete sidewalk and a concrete porch, grass taunts me to no end.

All of these grass-ridden beds were started with the method of laying down multiple layers of wet newspaper, a layer of wet cardboard and a 2-3" layer of mulch. One would think that such a widely accepted means of starting a new bed would work for more than a a few years. I have edged the beds with that long ribbon of black edging six inches into the ground and buried a log on the outside of that. I still get grass in the beds.

So, once again, I am faced with having to dig up plants, separate the grass from them, replant them, and hope they can be enjoyed without sharing their space with grass.

My task list this week is laying wet newspaper down on the larger areas, covering the areas with cardboard, wetting it all down and covering it all with mulch.

As frustrated as I sound I know I'm not going to give up but I have to wonder yet again "when is gardening going to be more joy than work?"


Things to do today (or next couple of days)

>> Thursday, March 15, 2012

The outside temp has been very favorable for working in the garden these past few days. I see people around the neighborhood out walking again as well as doing yard work. The weather service tells us this will change for this weekend. Temps will dip back into the 40’s and the storm that is currently dumping snow on Washington state and Oregon will bring its ‘gifts’ to us.

The list of things I need to do to get this garden up and running is the usual spring list but with a few additions. Last Autumn I laid out water line to carry water to two spigots at the back end of the yard so I don’t have to drag my hoses out that far every watering day. I was either getting tired or lazy and did not bury the line in the ground but instead opted to cover it with mulch for over winter. Well, that didn’t work out very well because several sections split and need to be replaced. I had only run water through them once to check for leaks but the line must not have emptied well enough. So, another thing to add to my list is to make sure the line is angled so that it will drain more completely.

Chores for the next few days are:
  • rake the front lawn of Catalpa tree seed pods. I will store them near the compost pile for when I bring the lawn mower out and then chop them all up to use as mulch.
  • Fill the newest planting bed from the compost pile
  • Plant peas in B9
  • Move the Aster Snowdrift from F1 to B1. It spread out much further than I was told it would, so it needs more space plus I will no longer hear my wife complaining about it taking over our front walkway.
  • Do something about the grass encroaching into B3 from the neighbors yard. I’m thinking I will dig a trench along the chain link fence and bury boards deep enough to block the roots (expected success is iffy at best) and cover the area with wet newspaper and cardboard as if I’m starting over. I do so much hate having to repeat what was already done, but grass is forever persistent.
  • Spread manure over the vegetable beds so that it mellows before planting out in a month or so.

I seriously doubt I will get all of this done before the coming rains and possible snow, but it sure feels good to get back out into the garden.


Ok, I'm ready for Spring

>> Sunday, March 4, 2012

The Crocus and hyacinth are ready. The Roses are sending out new leaves, therefore its time for pruning them, even though the Forsythia has begun sending out its yellow leaves.

Crocus 'Four Color' although only one has opened up there will be dark blue, light blue and white

Since we haven't gotten much snow this winter, to have it all show up at the end of the year when the plants are waking up is, well, its just plain cruel.
Scilla 'Spring Beauty' Siberian Squill are some of the earliest risers and these few are especially eager

My garden beds are almost completely planned out and the seeds have been ordered. Let's get this years party started.

Tulips are very eager to get up into the sunshine.
These photos were taken as our late winter snow dump of 3" melted away after one day. I love winters in Utah.


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