Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Creating a Garden

There’s a certain amount of creativity involved in gardening. I think that’s what makes the work so enticing.

I started the new garden last September to hide the AC unit. The Pieres Japonica ‘Mountain Fire’ is performing as advertised with bright red new growth. The hostas I separated and moved at the beginning of the month have taken hold. Even the tiny, almost dead azalea has a few new green leaves.

I want to add – an evergreen Daphne for spring fragrance and two mums for fall color.

We got a truckload of mulch last week and it was time to finish the garden.

I reset the path so it is somewhat level. I have paths in the garden so I don’t walk on it and compact the soil. In spring, I'm glad I have paths to work from.

I make the paths out of anything I can get cheaply (free) – leftover flagstone from my neighbors pond, pavers from an old patio, bricks and slate from a contractor friend or handmade circles from an old bag of Quickrete.

A layer of mulch and I was done. .
It may not be a masterpiece but it is satisfying to create a new garden.


Saturday, April 24, 2010

When the Azaleas Bloom

When the azaleas bloom it’s like magic. Red, white, pink, purple and yellow shrubs all bloom at once - the crescendo of spring.

They are the most care free shrub in my garden. A little compost and mulch and Holly Tone most (some) years is all it takes – no trimming, no pruning and evergreen too!

(For an opposing view see the article by Adrian Higgins regarding Jane MacLeish’s thoughts on azaleas in the Washington Post - info courtesy of Garden Rant.)

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The Circle

(Picture from September 2009)

I worked on the circle garden this week. (It’s actually more like a half circle.) I started the idea 10 years ago and wrote about it in 2007.

It is edged with brick and a row of blue fescue (Festuca glauca 'Elijah Blue'). Although the fescue is supposed to be a sun plant, I think it would keep its color better with a little shade from the hot summer sun. Every spring I comb it with my fingers to remove the old dry growth. The deep blue/green color is great this spring.

A fluffy row of silvery Dusty Miller (Senecio cineraria ‘Silver Dust’) makes up the second row. It is an annual that acts like a perennial in my garden - even after a cold, snowy winter. The new leaves are showing through last year’s growth. I don’t cut the old leaves off too early in the spring. The birds think they like the soft new growth for their nests and sometimes rip the entire plant out of the ground. They look a little ratty right now.

The third row is the yellow/green of Euonymus (Fortunei ‘Moonshadow’). It hasn’t completely filled in since I lost one to scale several years ago. I wrote about the problems with scale in August last year. The yellow/green is bright this spring.

I’m not sure I’m satisfied with the look but I’m too lazy to start over. Ten years and it’s still a work in progress.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day – April 2010

Over the years, I tried to grow primrose without much success. I even began to call them “stinkin’ primrose”. This primrose, in its third year, is my first success. It was a gift from a friend’s garden. I don’t know its name but I know I’m happy to have it in my garden. (If you know or have a guess, please leave a note in the comments.)

The trees and shrubs are perfect today.

White lilac

Purple lilac



and spectacular azaleas

Ah, Spring!

From a brown, chilly March to a bright, colorful April - there are sure to be many examples blooms in the links at Carol’s blog for April Bloom Day. I can’t wait to see what is blooming around the world. Visit May Dreams Garden blog and enjoy!

Saturday, April 10, 2010


From this

to this

and this. (The upside down pot marks the place for the little pink azalea’s new home.)

My friend, Cindie, stopped by and helped get some of my plants dug and divided. Don’t you love when a friend is also a gardener? We got the hosta divided into 4 pieces and replanted. Cindie is dynamite with a shovel!

We dug some Tansy for Cindie’s garden.

And potted the Red hot poker.

We also removed some Lily of the Valley, Dead Nettle (Lamium) and False Forget-Me-Not (Brunnera). An altogether good work day. Thank you Cindie.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Divide and Conquer

I’ve been busy helping my mom through some rough times so I haven't had much time in the garden. I managed to get out in the other day and snap some pictures and make a plan.

The small variegated hosta (above) needs to be divided now before it gets any bigger. I’ll cut it in four pieces and plant 3 pieces in the new garden and put a small piece back in the same spot. I know it will take a hatchet or a small saw to divide it.

Liriope, planted quite a few years ago, needs to be divided. Can you believe the size of it? I’ll plant several small pieces along the garden edge. The extras will be given away or composted. Tool of choice will be a hatchet or saw. This is one tough little plant.

This Brunnera, perennial forget-me-not, re-seeds - even though I deadhead after blooming. It makes pretty sea of blue flowers in spring but they are taking over the area.

The Red Hot Poker, planted near compost bin (temporarily) many years ago, is in the shade and doesn’t bloom. I’ll be delighted to pot it for a friend.

I had a request from a friend for a piece of this tansy two years ago. I will finally get around to it this year.

Another friend requested a bit of the Sheffield Pink mum. It is creeping out of its boundary. Over the years, it has become shaded by a dogwood so I’ll move some to a sunny spot in my garden too.

This little pink ruffled azalea is barely visible behind the daffodils where I put it (temporarily) several years ago. It will also move to the new garden.

I divided a tall (6’) yellow coneflower Rudbeckia nitida 'Herbstsonne' and put some in another temporary spot in the garden. I’d be willing to share some if I can find a taker. I also have yellow (not Stella) and double orange daylilies that I potted in fall and looking for a home.

So now that I have a plan. I need to get out in the garden and dig. Hopefully, I’ll be able to conquer this part of my garden in the next two weeks.

Saturday, April 03, 2010


You're a springtime kind of person,
and there's sunshine in your smile.
There's warmth in all the gladness you impart.

And here's the special reason
you're so like this lovely season—
It's the springtime that you keep within your heart.

Happy Easter Happy Spring