Monday, May 14, 2012

I can't wait until summer because of many reasons... but close to the top of my list is this reason:  I can't wait to see how my garden grows in.

Any gardener might have gotten the container built in the mild winter we had this year.  But I am not any gardener.  I am the inspiration-hits-last-minute-gardener. So as the azaleas were blooming this spring, I realized I couldn't live another summer with potholes in front of our house from the 20+ shrubs we removed last summer. And I also decided that if I was going to commit to perennials this year, I'd have to put them in a proper container.  Which meant replacing the old retaining wall.  Which is more of a landscaping thing than a gardening thing.

As little gardening as I've done, I've done even less landscaping. But I have this thing called Google on my computer.  And the library still has books. And some of them are on landscaping.  And I also have wonderful neighbors that take pity on a well-intentioned, ill-equipped girl like me in overalls.  They've got tools, skills, and advice. And they share all three freely.  So as soon as my Easter visitors went back home, and as it was creeping up into the 80's this April, I was beginning a project I could have worked on bit-by-bit this winter.

I also have a friends who like to dig in the dirt. One sank a bunch of time and green (both the currency and the plant varieties) into the yard at the home they rented.  But when the landlord did them wrong as they were moving out, he took up all the perennials he put in and shared some extras (over 50 irises and several hostas) with me.  My next-door neighbor needed her hostas divided, and I offered to do it for her.  She sent me home with a bunch. Kim was really really sick of the overgrown fountain grass in her front yard.  Allison wanted something a little nicer than the construction-grade landscaping that came with her brand new house, so she offered up 6 indian hawthorn bushes. Sonja didn't realize the butterfly bushes she bought would get so big. She didn't have room for all of them. I got hundreds of dollars worth of plants for FREE (all I had to do was drive to visit my friends, and I'd do that anyway here and again)! I'm estimating my costs are as follows:

Lumber and rebar: $109
Dirt, Black Kow, and flexible edging: $40
Purchased Plants: $103
2 Delphinium, 1 Dwarf Japanese Maple, 3 lavender, 5 daylily, leather leaf fern, scabiosa (pincushion) petunias (pink and white),  begonias (pink with green leaves, pink with red leaves), coral geranium, 2 basil, two rosemary, 1 thyme, 2 shade plants I can't remember their name, 1 more annual... I'm sure there are more, but I can't remember them right now...
$252 dollars

Given to me plants:
Butterfly bush
Ornamental grass (11 of them!)
Indian Hawthorn bushes (6)
Hosta--three varieties (15)
Bearded Iris, white, yellow, blue, purple (50)
Clover planters (3)
Asiatic Lily (3)

So, without further ado, below are way too many pics of the highlights:

Potholes on the left, old container along the walkway.

The wood was rotting, and I had removed some from the left side.

New retaining wall! And you can see some indian hawthorn on the right!

Once the new wall was in, I thought the walkway looked awfully old with the
original edging.  So I got two more lengths of lumber and installed them.
Look at that nice dark soil! That's miracle gro and Black Kow mixed...

The boys didn't enjoy this part nearly as much as I did!

Where to plant...?

Down in the dirt!

Now all they have to do is grow! 
Shady side

Sure hope these get enough sun!
Coral Geranium


Pin Cushion (Scabiosa)

See my little tree? That was my Mother's Day gift!  Look at the hawthorn! And hostas!

A gift from Kim!

 Cutleaf dwarf Japanese maple

Variegated shade plant. Perennial!  
I'm realizing now that I need to take a couple more photos to show the whole garden, but not tonight! It's already tomorrow, and I need some sleep! So, sweet dreams, friends! And happy almost summer!!!

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