Sunday, May 30, 2010

SPIDERWORT



This particular bed holds several perennials, the ones you can easily see are lambsear, spiderwort, and a Presidents clematis.  In another blog I follow the writer referred to spiderwort as a weed.  I can only assume that it grows prolifically in their location and becomes pesky.  Here in my gardens it is pretty compact and always puts on a beautiful display, as long as I have it well supported, otherwise it falls flat to the ground and the only option is to cut it completely down.  That did happen this year to one of them in another bed, and I am unhappy with myself that I allowed that to occur.  The lambsear always amazes me.  Last fall this was just two single cuttings from my more established plants,  they certainly are content where they are, I can't believe how much they grew in less than a year!  The clematis is another mystery, I have read that you should leave them alone and allow the "new to grow on the old".  I have two clematis, both different varieties, each year in the very early spring I cut them down to the ground because they are such a confusing mass.  They never fail to grow like crazy and receive many compliments from those who see them.  A long portion of this particular clematis is on the ground, because it grew in the opposite direction and hasn't gotten quite long enough to reach the pickets.


There is Hardy Geranium planted at the base of the arbor, as well as Hollyhocks, Shasta Daisies and peonies.  


Hope you enjoy and can't see too many weeds!

HONEYSUCKLE

This Native Honeysuckle grows up and on the railing of my front porch.  It tends to be rather spindly but has beautiful blooms in the spring, the hummingbirds love it.  Unfortunately, once the weather becomes warmer it does not put on much of a display unless I am vigilant about watering.  

GARDEN QUOTE OF THE WEEK

Every blade of grass has its angel that bends over it and whispers, "Grow, grow."  -  The Talmud

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

DAPPLED WILLOWS



My beds are waking up nicely so there are more photo ops available.  These pics are of my Dappled Willows.  They are a lovely free forming bush that has green foliage as well as leaves that are a creamy pink.  They are underplanted with Lambs Ear, which I adore because it is a fast spreading ground cover.  However, the thistles continue to make their way through (maybe it's the black thistle I feed the finches?)  Anyway,  the Dappled Willows are going into their third season and have grown like crazy.  I hand trim them throughout the summer, trying not to take away their natural look.  Fortunately, they are doing what I had hoped for, first; surviving, second; softening the end of our "pavillion".  The wisteria is taking it's sweet time growing up the gables as I am hoping.  I am new to properly growing Wisteria, so any suggestions are welcome.


The past two weeks have put me into a state of exhaustion.  I have gone through most of my beds for the third time this season, however my largest bed which is semi-wooded and about 60 feet long and 25 feet wide has run amuck.  Once the grasses get going in that bed there is not stopping them.  It will be 10 more days before I can get to it as I am going down to Southern California for my daughters graduation from college.  The vegie garden is in and some topdressing done in a couple of areas.  However, another task waiting for me when I return is the removal of  my mini forest of maple trees.  I had this ingenious idea of laying some of my thousands of leaves on top of my next 5 perennial beds to keep the weeds under control and add nutrition to the soil.  Lo and behold, no weeds but tiny maple trees instead.  It shouldn't be too bad to take care of, a hoe and a rake, and some back breaking double digging.  Right??



GARDEN QUOTE OF THE WEEK

The best fertilizer is the gardeners shadow. - author unknown

Monday, May 10, 2010

FOR THE LOVE OF SPRING!

It seems to me that Lily of the Valley should appear closer to Easter.  I love their delicate tiny drooping flowers, tucked into the safety of elongated green leaves.  I have quite a few planted underneath my lilacs.  They are thriving, and spreading which is good and not so good.  The good part is that they fill in the blank space in an area where it would be hard to grow anything other than a ground cover, they seem to do best in a shady, cool environment.  The bad part is that they are prolific and need to be brought under control every couple of years.  


I was at a large plant sale on Saturday and was aghast to see single Lily of the Valley being sold in 4" pots for $3.00!!  Mine were given to me by a friend and when I divide them, I too will give them to family and friends or find a place for them in my wooded areas.  If someone is going to charge $3.00 for Lily of the Valley they should at least put 3 in the 4" pot and you really need to buy only one because they spread so rapidly.  


One of the many things I have learned in my self-taught gardening education is that you don't need to buy gallon pots of perennials, if available buy the 4" pots.  Things always grow and you will save yourself money in the long run.  Also, it's good to have a friend who gardens and you can share or buy from small independent nurseries, they usually have a little lower price.  I have purchased very few of my hundreds of plants from large nurseries.  I have learned to be patient and if the plant is not doing well within a years time I find a new location for it to give it a better chance.  It usually works.

That's my tip for this particular post.  Good Luck to all of you getting the weeds under control.  I need it!








GARDEN QUOTE OF THE WEEK

You can bury a lot of troubles digging in the dirt.  -  author unknown

Saturday, May 1, 2010

GARDEN QUOTE OF THE WEEK

The love of gardening is a seed once sown that never dies - Gertrude Jekyll