Friday, April 30, 2010

Spring chores completed!

I have spent the last few weekends trying to get my yard and gardens in shape!  I started early with the planting of annuals ~ keeping my fingers crossed that we don't get a frost.  I started early because I was planning a birthday picnic for my 21 (aargh) year old daughter this weekend.  I lucked out so far and the forecast show no signs of frost!!!  I have mulched all of my flowerbeds and actually had to re-mulch a couple of them that were  partially washed out  from the heavy downpours we had last week.  My other project for the picnic was to power wash my deck ~ what a chore but WHAT A DIFFERENCE!!!  I couldn't believe how much better it looks!  It had become discolored ~ almost a dark algae covered green/gray and now it looks brand new!  It took me about 6 hours total but it was well worth it.  As for my flowers... my perennials are coming up wonderfully ~ I don't think I lost any plants but I did lose my favorite shrub ~ my brooms.  I pulled one completely out and the other I trimmed all the dead off and am hoping the rest of it survives, but it doesn't look good.  I had taken a close up photo of it last spring and actually had it blown up and framed for in my living room ~ at least I have that to enjoy.  I don't have the heart to pull the other one out as long as there is green on it.  I purchased 14 flats and a few 6" pots of annuals and put them in planted and a few in the ground.  The planters turned out beautiful.  I even shared some of  them w/ friends.  I planted the dahlia tubers that I saved over the winter and 2 of the geraniums, hopefully they'll make it.  Now it's time to put this exhausted body to bed.  Have a great weekend!!!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Project ~ expand flowerbed around front porch !

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Today's project was to widen the flower bed around my front porch.  First I moved the stones back to just outside where I wanted them to go.  I initially dug out some of the sod to use at another location, the rest was cut short then covered w/ a layer of newspaper (Tip  ~ I water the paper to keep it from blowing away), then I added a layer of peat moss, a layer of Organic Humus & Manure, then a final layer of Miracle Grow Garden Soil.  Later this month I will be adding mulch also.  It was exhausting work but in a few months when all the flowers are blooming, I'll be so glad I did it.    My main reason for widening this bed was because it was very crowded last year and I wanted to spread things out. I couldn't believe how big everything got last year ~ my boyfriend said it looked like a jungle.  I bought some plant supports from Gardeners Supply Company to support some of the plants that got really big.  Last year I waited too long and had to tie them up.  This year the supports will go over them and they'll actually grow up through them.  It won't be long before I have to put them out.  Things are growing FAST !   I dug up and divided several of the plants:  Yarrow, Shasta Daisies, Dianthus, and Delphiniums.  I also planted 3 yellow Ice plants, 3 Blue eyed grasses and 3 Elderberry shrubs that I recently purchased on sale for $2.99 each ~ what a deal! I added some of my compost around each new plant and each transplant. I was able to fill up one of my large Tubtrugs and probably have enough to fill another!  (A new composting system is my next project - I have a "toss and forget" type now with doors on the bottem to collect the "black gold".  I want to set up a two open bin system.)  Sorry to have rambled in a different direction but my mind is filled w/ ideas.  Back to my current project ~  I'll need to water each plant every couple of days until I know they're established.  I have my fingers crossed !  Now just a few touch up things ~ add a few more rocks to control the water flow from the down spout and mulch.  I better get some rest before the mulching starts later this week ~ it's not as easy as it was a few years ago ~ back aches, knees ache, arms ache,... I hate getting old  ~ guess it'll be Advil and ice packs tonight !

Start a smile chain: give one away today! Thanks for stopping in! Jeni