Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Landscaping - before

Back garden:

This will be cleaned out, plants moved around (if I want to save them) and sod laid.

The persimmon tree will be removed. Although it bears fruit, it's been dying since Katrina. It drops rotten fruit all over and attracts undesirable critters. I will probably find a place to put another one, since we do love the persimmons and it's an attractive little tree.

We will keep the roses where they are. I'm not sure of the rest, I will take his recommendation, although I do know which plants I want to keep. he says he can save and move anything.

"You can keep this if you want" he said. LOL. Well, John and Daniel built it so we will. It wasn't exactly what we had in mind but still. It does need to be cleaned out and maybe he will have ideas on what to plant in it. I envision it with a few plants around it but mostly the sod.

I am keeping the tree. I want some plants along the fence (vines I think) but other than that plain is fine. In the old herb garden I want some annuals I can switch out every season. I will move the herb garden to the front by the garage, which is far more convenient to the kitchen!

Maybe some sort of edging along the path? Monkey grass sounds good but I guess the regular grass and weeds would infiltrate pretty easily. I am all about low maintenance right now.

The "Secret Garden" on the side:

Weed and mulch. Maybe a ground cover. I'm pretty happy with most of the plants back there, other than the lantana that won't go away.

Through the arch to the veggie garden:

Weed and mulch the raised garden. Move the bricks away from the wall to avoid termites.

In the center I want the stone pathway and just mulch.

Along the fence I want another raised garden. I bought 2 kits at Sam's the other day. Maybe use those, maybe not. I want some pretty things there. Veggies are fine, but I want some flowers we can see form the hot tub (inside that long window).

Just a view of the veggies from the other direction.

And back into the small garden. There is a vine planted on the right - it should grow to climb the trellis and the pole (the clothesline will be moved but the pole left there for plants to climb).

Now, out to the side yard:

The shrubs will be removed. I want the herb garden here.

I don't know what to do with the walk...I want it there. Maybe mulch between the stones.

Here is one spot where I need design help. I'm thinking to extend plantings along the walk and have this part just bulge out. I want low maintenance and I want the kids to be able to play in the yard as usual.

This bush (Hawthorn) can stay or be moved.

Weed, mulch, edge, extend out. Maybe some annuals to fill in, but those are camellias and azaleas that will grow large.

On to the front:

Weed, mulch, edge, fill in with annuals (same as above).

He is going to clean out the shrubs. Many will be removed, the rest will be trimmed.

Another view.

I want the little hedge gone! I was thinking rosemary. Now I'm not sure. I'll listen to the guy first. Something that smells good sounds good to me, so I can catch a whiff from the hammock.

Thinking of just cleaning this up. I kindof like it like it is.

These are on either end of the porch, and I'm thinking easy-care perennials.

I want to move the lilies out of here and make this strictly seasonal annuals.

Dig out the swamp iris that doesn't bloom (since it isn't a swamp) and move the lilies here with some regular iris and daffodils for year round color.

More shrubs to clean out.

And more, ugh.

But I would like to plant something so it doesn't just come to an abrupt end.

I LOVE my azalea garden here. I would love to add more!! I would like to organize and improve the soil, make it look more put together. Some mulch and a bench.

Mulch around all the trees.

A small flower bed around the mailbox, for a vine or annuals.

Get rid of the hitchhiking lantana, and get rid of the old rotting wood edge, just grass around these.

Some plants I would like to see used:

butterfly bush
moon vine
morning glories

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Now That I Think About It...

...My grandparents had lots of money. And a full-time gardener. And no little kids playing football on the lawn or losing the soccer ball in the bushes (unless we were visiting).

I think I can ease up on myself. My problem is that I tend to be over-ambitious, then quit when the going gets tough. I'm going to just try to do the best I can and be happy with it.

With that in mind I planted my veggies in the square foot garden. I cheated and used pre-packaged Miracle-Gro garden soil, before I read on a garden forum that it was crap (I asked at the Garden center why anyone would say it's crap - apparently it has a bad rep for not being organic. I can live with that, frankly.)

I cleaned out the Secret Garden and trimmed the lemon tree.

I hired a friend's 13 year old to clean out the garden in the side yard, and I planted two of Dad's camellias, one azalea, and a bunch of annuals. I'm not finished with that yet, but it's started at least.

I sorta cleaned out a couple of the front beds, so at least they don't look horrible.

I trimmed back the cassia tree in the back garden.

Still needs doing soon:

Throwing out the trimmings of the lemon and cassia trees.
Mulching a few places with cardboard before the weeds get wild.
Find a spot to put the asparagus plant I bought. There isn't room for it in the veggie garden.
Clean out the herb garden...although, that is not exactly a "need" right now. Just a "really want".
Hire the kid again to do some more work cleaning out other beds. If not - no biggie, it can wait "one more year" like it has for the past 5 years!

I have some purple iris blooming and it's spectacular! I want to plant a ton more this fall.

Veggies I planted -

Tomatoes (2 varieties, including the "Sweet 100" which is the only one I ever have real success with)
Jalapeno peppers
Serrano chilies
Mint (in a large pot. I learned my lesson years ago!)

I sprouted some garbanzo beans to try and also some kidney beans the kids sprouted.

That's it for now.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Yes, it's a Sunflower!

There's another one growing nearby, too. I have never been able to grow sunflowers from seed, in spite of trying really hard. Yet they fall out of the feeder and thrive! Go figure!

Monday, June 15, 2009

The Great Zinnia Mystery

You may have read about my giant zinnia.

I saved the seeds. A great, big pile of seeds, and then planted them around in various beds this spring. I wrote just the other day about the strange color of one of them - it was more red, where the original was bright pink.

Here is what has come up around the flagpole the past few days:

Here's another from the back garden. It's darker, but closer to the color of last year's original.

Here's the thing. The saved seeds came from ONE plant (see entry in the link above). ALL of those flowers were the bright, hot pink. Is it possible that the saved seeds could produce different colored flowers? I searched around on Google today, and all I found were a few people who noticed their saved seeds produced a different shade of the same color. No one, that I found, had completely different colors.

But that ONE plant came from a packet of mixed seeds that I just dumped into the flagpole bed on a whim. Is it possible that some seeds lay dormant for an entire year? That the different colors of flowers are from old seeds - not the ones I planted there this year, saved from last year's plant?

I don't think that could be possible. Why would they have sprouted right when they should have (based on when I sowed the seeds)? Also I would expect some to be miniatures as were in the packet. These are all large.

This is exactly the kind of thing that will drive me crazy until I figure it out. Help!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Today's Pick

Here's what I harvested today.

We have cherry and grape tomatoes, snow peas, eggplant, cayenne peppers, sweet and red onions (those were planted to provide green onions, not bulbs, so the bulb growth was a nice surprise), a Creole tomato, basil, tarragon, oregano, thyme, and parsley. Now to fix them for supper! Yum!

Here is the flagpole flower bed now. The zinnias are growing nicely. I saved the seed from last year's plants.

Please click the link to read about it from last year. Then come back here and tell me I am not blind and these flowers are a completely different color? Well, at least a different shade of the same color family?

This year's Zinnia:

Last year's Zinnia:
Yes, I am sure the seeds came from the above plant. If you read the story, you already know they were all from the SAME one plant. Can't wait to see what happens to the next batch!

Here are a few more finds in the garden today:

Now, here is a stupid question... When I saw this tall thing growing (below, and on the left side of the above picture) I didn't think it was a weed, so I left it alone. I thought it was a zinnia. I knew I hadn't planted one there, but there have been others sprouted around that I figure were spread by birds or wind. But today I took a closer look and it sure is no zinnia. What is it? Is it a sunflower?? That would make sense - it's right under the bird feeder! I think it looks like one, but I guess I won't know for sure until it blooms (I am no sunflower expert!).

Finally - a Deep Thought for today. "If you want to see the butterflies, you have to let the caterpillars eat your passiflora". (Just please leave the healthy red one alone....OK babies??).

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Long Overdue Update

My first "homegrown salad" of the season...onions, tomatoes, basil, snow peas.

In one of my last posts I said it was about to rain.

I think it did rain, then. Probably a pretty good rain. I don't remember it too well, because it's the last real rain we've had! Yes, while rain falls profusely upon other parts of the country, we are in desperate need.

My SFG has not seen a real rain since I finished it. A few scattered sprinkles, and city water from our hose. That's it. I'm positive everything would be doing much better with real rain - it always does. But I guess we're not doing too badly.

So far I've harvested grape and cherry tomatoes, snow peas, one cayenne pepper, and one eggplant. My green onions are doing well, and some of them have even grown fairly large bulbs. The basil in the SFG is doing great, although what's in the actual herb garden is not. The cucumbers are growing well although the one fruit that set AND grew, died pretty fast. I have since tied them up and they seem to be doing better.

Now, please do a rain dance for our area??

Gaura lindheimeri "Whirling Butterfiles"

The Waterfall garden is looking great!

Something is eating my patio tomatoes.

I love to eat these right off the vine, mmmm

My audience

Rose "St. Patrick"

Lemon blossoms...

...and young lemons

Sweet 100s ripening on the vine

Japanese eggplant. I harvested it 3 days later.

View into the "Secret Garden". The photo doesn't do it justice.