Sunday, May 22, 2011

Yard Work

I have not been able to muster up motivation to clean the house for anything.....but I have probably spent at least four or five hours outside this weekend doing yard work.  Things like weeding, planting, watering, fertilizing, mowing, etc.  I often feel like I wish I knew more about plants and growing things, but I do find a lot of satisfaction in planting things and watching them grow. 

I think that this is quite possibly the nicest May long weekend we have had in three or four years.  It has been sunny and around +25C each day.  I ended up not having any bookings at work on Friday, so I get an extra long weekend.  I sure didn't mind as we were able to go out first thing in the morning and pick up some plants and I came home and mowed the lawn, did some weeding and set out to do some planting.  We bought a couple of large planters from Home Depot to put on our deck.  I am really happy with the way they turned out, and I think that they add a whole other dimension to our yard.

I am pleased to report that all of our shrubs survived the winter this year.  Even the 3 that I planted last fall are coming back nicely.  Our linden tree, that we transplanted three years ago, looks fuller than it has since we first transplanted it.    We planted a couple of perennial flowers last fall, one is an echinaccea and I don't know what the other one is, those two and our clamatis were the only things that didn't survive the winter.  I replaced all three and am hoping with the warm weather that they will get a good chance to get established before the fall/winter comes.

My next big project is finishing the front flower bed.  It has been the bane of my existence (okay, maybe that's an exaggeration!) for a couple of years.  When we got our yard landscaped I wasn't sure what I would do in that flower bed.  Approximately 75% of that flower bed gets no direct sunlight, and it can be hard to get things to grow well there, so I thought I would try out some different plants and see how it went.  The first year I planted two bleeding hearts (which I had no idea love shade so much!) and three hostas.  The hostas did not flourish, but they seemed to do okay, and the bleeding hearts did okay.  The next year, only one hosta made a reappearance but the bleeding hearts came back.  Last year I decided to plant some ground cover type plants because the soil was looking ugly and growing moss and lots of weeds.  I picked up some periwinkle (I think that's what it's called) and it has survived the winter and is actually flowering already. 

Today I went back to Home Depot to pick up some landscape fabric and some mulch to finish off the front bed.  I planted a couple more bleeding hearts yesterday and I swear they have grown since yesterday!  I was going to use lanscape rock, but decided it would be easier to just do mulch.  I bought black mulch, which I already put under the crabapple tree in our front yard and I think it looks quite sharp.  Better than the sparse, moldy, red and brown chips that the landscapers put under there three years ago.  I did not realize they were moldy until I started digging them out and it was kind of gross.  I am thinking it was from all the water that the sump pump dumped on our lawn last summer.  I am hoping that this summer will be dryer and that our sump pump will remain dormant.

I also purchased some weed killer for our dandilions.  I have never seen them so bad as they are this year.  The ditches along the freeway are more yellow than green.  And as a result, everyone's lawns are quite full of them.  I don't know if it was the wet year last year, or if this is the first year that the city has stopped spraying for them, but I just cannot get over how bad they are.  I thought by mowing the lawn on Friday that it might slow them down for a bit, but no, by Saturday they were back worse....I guess I must have just spread the seeds around.  :P

A few photos to show off all of the hard work I did :)

 Here is one of our new planters.  I put one in either corner of the deck.  I really like the grassy spike that I planted in the middle, and I am looking forward to seeing the snapdragons and petunias grow and fill out throughout the summer.

Here are our tomato plants.  I had planted tulip bulbs in this planter last fall and was hoping to have some lovely tulips this spring, but I either planted them incorrectly, or the bulbs were duds.  So this will be our tomato planter once again!  We planted roma tomatoes this year, and I can't wait to eat them.

Here is our new clamatis.  It is better established than the one I planted last year, and hopefully we won't get any terrible wind storms in the next while so it can have a change to establish.  Last year's clamatis was broken off in a wind storm on the May long weekend.

Our planter of pretty flowers.  I planted snapdragons and pansies this year.  As well, the one with green leaves and no flowers is the echinaccea, then further down is the one I don't know what it is, and right down at the end is a rose bush that I transplanted out of the ground last year, and it is just barely starting to grow back.  Hopefully it will make a comeback this year!

This is the periwinkle that I planted last year.  It seems to like the shade quite a bit.

Here are my bleeding hearts, they are doing very well already.

A full shot of the front flower bed.  It might not look so ugly right now, but to me it just makes me feel sad.  The dirt looks dry and cracked and there is moss....I really think that the mulch will really dress it up.  I also have some ideas for planting some flowers in 'pots' placed in the bed once it is finished.

I know it's a bit dark, but here is our thunderchild crabapple tree with the black mulch under it.  I think it looks really nice.  Also the tree is just starting to flower, love those pink blossoms.

Here is the pot we have at the front of our house by our garage.  This photo doesn't do the geranium justice as it is the most beautiful hot pinky/purplish colour.  The smaller plants are trailing lobelia in a dark purple.  They should grow and hang over the edge of the pot.

1 comment:

Lyn said...

it all looks beautiful! Your work is paying off. And I find that books & websites are good places to learn about plants/gardening ideas. And glad the Linden is growing well - so glad you guys could use is instead of it getting chopped down.