Apr. 30th, 2007 08:17 am
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I'm on vacation this week (yay!) and the weather is perfect for gardening.

The dying maple tree on the south lawn has been removed, and I'm waiting for the landscaper to come back with a plan for that area. All the grass will go, and the old junipers, to be replaced with a variety of trees, shrubs, and shrubby perennials. When we did the front yard two years ago, I had a year to design the plantings, hire a landscaper to do the prep work, then buy the plants and install them with Larry's help. This time it's happening too fast - I gave the landscape designer general ideas, but not a specific plan. I'll see her design on Friday.

On Sunday I removed some old Russian sage in the back garden, moved the Goat's beard, one daylily, and the meadow rue. Planted some Raspberry Wine bee balm. Filled the bird and chipmunk feeders. Pruned the service berry bush, which is becoming more like a multi-trunked tree every year.

There are a few daffodils and tulips in bloom, survivors of the week of freezes followed by the heavy snow. Grape hyacinth are blooming, and the Korean spice viburnum is putting on a nice show this year.

Most of my plants survived the weird winter and spring. Some things are starting slow this year, and a few things have yet to make an appearance. I think some of the tiarellas and variegated polemons didn't make it. Don't know about the toad lilies yet.

More plants to move today - cimicifuga, golden tiara hostas. Then fertilizing, general cleanup, and weeding.
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It's been a busy summer in my gardens. I don't have photos from the entire season, but I do have lots form last May, when the iris were in bloom.

This is a large clump for dwarf indigo iris that I divided this Fall. It won't be nearly as impressive next year, but these iris spread quickly so it will look great again in a couple of years.

I'm still planting - 7 Siberian iris plants arrived in the mail on Friday, and need to be planted today. And I'm expecting some exotic lily bulbs in the next few days. I'm not planning to plant tulips or daffodils this year - I put in lots last Fall.


Apr. 15th, 2006 07:25 pm
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In bloom today:

Siberian squill
red-violet hyacinths
grape hyacinths
miniature dwarf purple iris

I filled bird feeders, set out bird baths and garden ornaments, connected and tested the hoses, and moved a few plants. The weather was perfect - 65 degrees and sunny, with almost no wind.

Next I need to spread seed suppressant and fertilizer, and put liquid fertilizer on the roses.


Apr. 9th, 2006 03:50 pm
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It's been a lovely afternoon. After working this morning (software upgrade happened overnight; I went into the office to test for a few hours) I got to spend some time in the garden.

I pruned the big burning bush that every year threatens to push people off the path. Think of the big wild tree in the Harry Potter movies, but on a smaller scale - a deciduous shrub 7 ft tall and wide, grown from a stubby trunk.

I pruned the Joseph's Coat climbing rose, and tied it to the trellis. It was lovely last year, and it seems to have kept some viable branches through this last winter so it may be even more beautiful this year.

I cut down the grasses, planted a half-dozen cold-hardy pansies for color near the patio, pulled the stray baby chive plants in the herb garden (bad, bad Kris let the chives go to seed last summer) and spread insecticide on the iris. I had a bad problem with iris borers last year, and made the difficult decision to try chemical control. I use a granular insecticide that contains Merit (white grub control) which is effective against iris borers. I put it in a little plastic container with holes punched in the lid, and carefully shake it very lightly around the iris. The Merit is taken up by the plants, and kills the tiny larvae when they munch on the leaves. (Normally they hatch in debris - I clean up carefully around the plants - and climb the leaves, chomp a hole into the center and then eat their way down to the rhizome, where they feast until big - little finger size - and then transform into moths to lay their eggs and start the cycle over again.) I applied the insecticide last autumn also, and will check for borers throughout the summer. I'm hoping two applications will be enough to get the problem under control, because I don't like to use insecticides.

I found a lovely planter today - it's shaped like a teapot, in sort of a Japanese raku glaze, and it's just the right size to plant with rosemary, curry, and thyme and leave on the patio table.

Still to do - spread seed suppressant (I use corn gluten) and granular fertilizer, and liquid fertilizer for the roses.



Mar. 26th, 2006 08:23 am
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Gardening season has begun, despite continued cold weather and snow flurries. Last Sunday I pruned the roses and barberries. There is now a large bag of yard waste in the garage, waiting for pickups to start in late April. (I have a composter for small stuff, but twiggy things go to the city yard for composting.)

Today it's sunny and temps should be in the high 40s this afternoon, so I intend to do some garden clean up - raking out leaves and debris, and cutting back plants I left standing in the autumn.


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