Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Wow.. I am really on a roll tonight.

This is my gardening buddy Seana. (Pronounced like Shawn with an a.) I am a firm believer of enjoying the beauty of the outdoors with a companion or two. She often times helps me take frequent breaks while gardening in order to play with her. Today she was enjoying batting at the tulips as they were blowing in the wind. She likes to follow me everywhere I go. Sometimes I think she thinks she is a dog.

These are some tulips that are currently growing in my raised bed that will be going into the bed I am showing the progress on. I call it my "bird bed" because I have a bird bath and a sunflower seed feeder in it. I made it so I can one day look outside my art room window and watch the birds in the morning over a cup of tea or hot chocolate. It seems to be such a simple wish yet I have been planning this for well over a year. I am hoping that I will be able to spend more time on this project which is very dear to my heart.

My father has not been feeling well for awhile and I am happy that he is doing much better. He has been keeping me company as I garden. It gets him out into the sunshine and cheers us both up a lot.

I put in a flower bed by my porch last year that is just gorgeous.  It has been blooming all month and is getting ready to bloom some more. I spent a lot of time thinking about having year round interest when I planned it and so far I think I did a good job of it. It has tulips, poppy anemones, and allum for spring interest. For summer it has guara and coneflowers with russian sage, and lavender continuing late into the fall.

Best of all it takes almost no watering. I keep it mulched and the plants are mostly drought tolerant. I added three glass oil lamps shaped like flowers in blue red and yellow. I also added an orange glass butterfly and blue glass butterfly to it to add some excitement before first the spring bloom. I will have to share some photos and a layout of the design.

The new design

As you can see here, it now has a lot more form and interest. I use popsicle sticks to remind me where my bulbs are planted till they come up. I also use them to label seedings. Just write on them with a sharpie or other waterproof marker. They are only good for the current season as the marker does wear off overwinter. I still have a ton of work to do to it. For one thing I have to remove a volunteer crabapple tree growing smack dab in the middle of the bed.  In case you haven't been out much in the yard due to the crazy weather. Be warned, the ticks are absolutely all over the place this year. I can't walk 50 ft in my yard without getting one.

The old design (mostly)

This gives you an idea of the before area of the flower bed I am currently revamping. I added on 4 feet at the back and changed the front so it had more of a curve and did the same to the left side. The azaleas in front and on the left are part of the new addition as well as is the trellis in the back of the bed. As you can see it was very rectangular and dull.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Kinda Cliched but oh well...

I thought I'd start out this blog with a discussion of just how crazy this spring weather has been this year. Here in Ohio (zone 5b) we are going for the record of the wettest April yet. So far this is the 4th wettest on record and we still have some rainy days to go. Crop planting statistics are not so hot this year

 "As of Sunday April 24, corn was 1 percent planted, which was 38 percent behind last year and 13 percent behind the five-year average.  Winter wheat was 28 percent jointed, which was 27 percent behind last year and 10 percent behind the five-year average.  Fifteen percent of the oats were planted, compared to 84 percent last year and 58 percent for the five-year average.  Oats emerged were 4 percent, 20 percent behind last year and 13 percent behind the five-year average.  Potatoes planted were 3 percent, compared to 39 percent last year and 25 percent for the five-year average" USDA-NASS

Seeing how bad farmers have it makes me feel a little better about my own garden being unworked and resembling a nothing more than a giant muddy swamp. At least I know it's not just me.

This time last year half the garden was seeded.

I did get flats of tomatoes, peppers, tomatillos,  and leeks started for my veggie garden.

I also seeded English Lavender (lavendula angustiflolia) "ellagance ice" "ellagance purple" " ellagance sky" "blue scent" and "lavance purple", Sea Lavender, Crimson Spotted Bellflower (campanula punctata 'Rubrifloria'), Delphinium, Veronica, Butterfly Bush, Rudibeckia 'cappuccino, and Gaillardia "amber wheels" "Arizona Apricot" "Arizona Red Shades" and "Arizona Sun".

I have more yet to seed but I am afraid the wind will catch my cold frame lid like it did last week and ruin my seedlings. I need to get a fastener for it.

Has anyone else gotten anything done?

I did get some of my flowerbed redesign started. I will try and post some pics of the progress so far. I should have took a before shot because it is already vastly improved over the original and I have only been working on it for two days.
I re-sculpted the border of the bed so that it is curved rather then a rectangular. It is amazing how much that helped the look of it. I added two climbing roses and two azaleas so it would have some structure and height interest.