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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Garden Tour

Spring has officially sprung.  I love the flowers, the scents, the warm temperatures.  Finding time to work in the yard plus put my 70-80 hours of work in a week is a challenge.  But, even if it's for 15 minutes of an evening, I love digging in the soil.  Many days ago we planted peas, snow peas, three kinds of radishes, spinach, swiss chard and lettuce.  We've got lots more seeds to go in.  And, I'll buy eggplant, tomato and pepper plants when the temperatures are appropriate.  Now, we're enjoying the first taste of spring in the yard. 


When I moved, I dug up 500 starts of various and sundry plants.  Many of those are now at the point that they're ready to be divided.  The first thing we did when we moved into this house was outline garden beds.  Then, the grass was killed and the ground tilled.  We had 20 yards of compost tilled in.  That was followed by dividing and planting the 500 starts.  Over the years, I've added a few plants but mostly I've just added a few bushes.  Like the sensation lilacs and the hydrangea. 

When I get home from the office, we grab a glass of wine and go visit the yard.  We follow the same path almost every evening.  Once in a while, we take the camera along so we've got a reminder of how everything changes.  So, please come along with us.

First stop, the hosta bed.  All of these hosta came from starts from my old yard. 



You can barely see them now but the ones on the north side (top of the photo) get HUGE thanks to their basic size and the light they receive.  They came from a friend's house about 18 years ago.  Talk about scent - holy cow, are they incredible when they bloom.  They totally need to be divided. 



There's a spot down on the south side of the yard under a big old tree that'll get some of those.  The smaller ones will get divided and fill in this bed and a bed under a crabapple in the front yard.  Up at the front of the bed, I've got some Virginia blue bells,





lilies of the valley, some woodland iris and some wild ginger.  I always forget the ginger's there and it's a lovely surprise in the spring!  There are a few ferns in here but not much will grow here thanks to the two fat orange boys (aka Mo and TC the cats) using this area as their private latrine.  That's why the bed is fenced off - keeps Annie from enjoying cat hors d'oeuvres! 

The bed by the fence.  This is a pretty new bed so it's still finding it's way.  It gets part sun and part shade.  I've scattered in a lot of anemone bulbs and they're just now starting to peek out.  For anyone who doesn't believe that purple and yellow go together, here's proof:



There are astilbe, hosta, solomon's seal and hellebores in addition to the hollies in the corner.  The color of the solomon's seal is amazing.  We'll divide this soon.





Rhubarb and spillover garden.  The rhubarb came from a neighbor around 1994.  It's now been divided twice since it's been here. 



I think I'll take a couple of starts this spring and put one in the herb garden and one in the cottage garden along the neighborhood street.  Kind of interesting - we've got a relatively busy thoroughfare south of us, the main street for the neighborhood west of us and the cul de sac north of us.  Yet, it feels very private thanks to our fence and the wooded area to the east.


South wall.  Reblooming yellow iris.  These have been divided umpteen times. 



Yucca.  I can't remember when I got this but it's now triplets :-)  



Red hot pokers.  I divided the one I had at the old house and put in three little starts.  Now, I've got three giant plants that are ready to divide.  A beautiful bee balm.  Hostas and daylilies under this crabapple.  See Annie helping?


See how that's filled out in just a couple of weeks?  Annie's helping again :-)

 I'd carefully put the pots with yellow etc daylilies in one area and the pink etc ones in another.  Then, the guys who helped me move all the plants just kind of picked them up from wherever.  I couldn't wait for them all to bloom to get them in the right places so they're a jumble now.  Probably not the best garden planning but I've grown to really like it. 

Vegetable beds.  I'd love to have pretty ones like my friend Donna's hubby Phil built but these are perfectly servicable.  And, Connie's a wonderful gardener so we wind up with great veggies! 
The strawberry plants are looking great



See the asparagus just starting to pop up?


And, this will be peas, radishes, lettuce, spinach and chard.


They're getting really big!



Back fence.  Golden raspberries.  The best raspberries ever.  This year we've added three trellis' to extend the raspberries into the yard a bit. 



In the corner is what was going to be a moon garden.  I wanted all white plants that'd look great under a full moon but it didn't work out that way.  We dug it out a bit and built two steps down then planted wisteria on the trellis.  This is our favorite spot to sit and enjoy a fire on a cool evening.



Cottage garden.  Here we've got a persimmon tree and a sour cherry tree.  I'd love to lose the two big white pines on the south and put in several more fruit trees but that's not in the budget right now!  So, I chose my two favorites and put them in here.  These beds are a total mish mash.  We've got yarrow, peonies, tomatillos, red-veined sorrel, cactus, zinnias, marigolds, bachelor's buttons, daylilies, garlic, tomatoes, hollyhocks, daisies and probably a dozen more perennials and annuals.  The big bed under this crabapple tree was just laid last year.  Lots of layers of newspaper and mulch on top of the grass.  This year it was easy to plant.  We've divided hosta and daylilies thus far.  And, I've put in several packets of annuals like bachelor's buttons and poppies. 



South side of the fence.  Someday this will be a mass of daffodils. 



We'll keep dividing and adding.  I know I'm supposed to wait til fall but I can't ever find the bulbs in the fall so I'll probably divide a dozen clumps of daffodils and add 100 to this area this year.  The flags are all there so we can dig out a channel to the ditch that runs under the street.  This area is swampy so channeling the water away should lessen the mosquito danger.

Front of the house.  This bed gets mostly shade - even though it doesn't look it from the photo.  It's got columbine, meadow rue, bleeding hearts, heuchera and some boxwoods.



Front of the garage.  Wasteland.  It gets really mucky from all the rainwater draining into this bed.  The roses weren't amused so they're moving. I think I'm going to try some more pots here. 

The front yard.  This is the bed that totally stops folks in their tracks. In the spring it's a mass of daffodils and hyacinths. 





Then, the daylilies start.  There are roses, sensation lilacs, butterfly bushes, siberian iris, peonies, iris, sedum, daisies, coneflowers...  When I moved, I took one siberian iris and divided it into 25 plants.  Now, those plants are huge and I divide one a year and give the starts away to friends. We just added more daylilies along the walk - which is in the process of being cleaned up...  Thank goodness for the young man who's helped me with the heavy stuff for the last six or so years.  Weekly weeding like I used to have done hasnt' been in the budget but he still comes a couple of times a year and really cleans up.



See the garage on the far right of the photo?  Our wonderful neighbor tells us that when he's taking a break from working on his yard he pulls a chair up in the garage door and sits there and looks over at the little slice of heaven in our front yard :-)



The herb garden.  The bones are in place for this. 



Now, I've got to collect more rocks and plant creeping thyme on the rock garden.  And, I've got to fill in with more herbs.  I just put in some arugula and some more cilantro.  The sage, chives, mint, sorrel, tarragon, horseradish and cat mint are doing really well. The parsley, marjoram, oregano and thyme are slowly coming back.  There's another stand of oregano by the screened porch that I'll divide and add to the herb garden this year.  I'm also going to add some edible flowers here. 

So, there you have it.  Our goal is to have so little grass that we can cut it with a push mower so as to lower our carbon footprint.  We're not there yet but will be in a few years. 

2 comments:

Lizzy said...

What a gorgeous yard, Kate!! So many wonderful areas...can't wait to see an update later this season. You should have bountiful crops of everything with ALL this rain! xo

The Mom Chef said...

It's so much fun to see your yard. I love watching life come back after the winter, even though ours isn't so harsh. You have one of my favorite flowers there, the hyacinth.