Saturday, June 03, 2006
We spent last weekend outside, working in the garden, and got a lot of new plants in the ground. These projects look more 'in-progress' than most, of course, because they're plants, and they have to grow. With that in mind, meet the latest in a series of new living things around our house.
This is a challenging area, growing things-wise. It is shaded by our car port, and crowded by my neighbor's chain link fence, and the grass doesn't grow so well here. So I dug out the grass and (mostly) dandelions, and planted vinca, which should spread and fill in pretty quickly. I got five plants to fill in this area about six feet long, and they are already starting to spread a bit. I wonder if it will spread into my neighbor's yard? And if it will be hard for her to control? It's an experiment.
Here's an unwitting experiment. Did you ever try to keep plants alive through the winter in the compost heap? We did. My neighbor down the street dug out all his overgrown and rather elderly hostas, and put them out on the curb for the yard waste guys to take. But I got there first, thinking I would plant them. Except I didn't, and then they started to rot, and then it got too cold for me be interested in planting things anymore, so we tossed them in the compost bin and chalked it up to experience. This spring, they were growing and thriving in the compost, so we pulled them out again, and planted them this time. In the photo, you can see where they ivy that used to grow in this spot has taken the paint off our foundation. Gotta get to repairing that paint, but probably not this summer.
The hostas look a little scrawny now, but they'll grow. Hostas do really well here.
I know this because here's what the hostas I rescued from my friend's deer-infested garden last summer look like now. Last summer they were bitten down to nothing, but we put the roots in the ground and they have thrived. I particularly like the blue green ones. They look great, but I don't know what they're called.
Hostas seem pretty much invincible. And I like how they look, and they like shade, and I have lots and lots of shade. All of which makes them the perfect garden plant. So far I have three varieties.
I also love petunias, just love them. They are the one annual I am willing to spend money on. Our house was owned by the same lady for sixty years before we bought it, and she also liked petunias. She planted them along the south side of her house, and they came back every year. Must have been an old variety that reseeded itself really well. Last summer I supplemented the petunia bed with manure, and put in a few additional plants from the garden store, and they went crazy, just an amazing display of flowers along the side of the house. And then I mulched them, and I think that did them in. Not a single one came back this spring, very sad. So I got a bunch of plants from the garden store this year, and put them in last weekend. Here they are, looking not very exciting yet.
Yes, I know, that's an iris, not a petunia. The petunias are at the base, not yet blooming. I told you it wasn't very exciting yet.
We also planted bee balm (monarda) and lavender, and in spite of the heat last weekend, they did fairly well in the transplanting process. The monarda is looking better now, after a lot of rain.
This is in the area to the right of our front steps, where there used to be a giant overgrown shrub of some kind. Apparently the previous owners also grew rocks here. We took the shrubs down with a chain saw shortly after moving in, and dug the stumps out laboriously over the next two years. We're going to continue to live with the rocks for now. I've been hesitant to do a lot of planting here before the porch is complete, but I think I can step around a few plants as I sand and prime and paint.
In other news, I finished my sweater and have worn it several times.
I'm pleased with it. I did not intend for the sleeves to be bell shaped, but I really like it, and I'm working out another design that uses that element as well. The stitch count is exactly the same from the cuff to the sleeve, the belling is accomplished with the combination of knits and purls only.
And, very exciting indeed, Joe/Shellacboy put together another section of the porch. Now it's my turn to sand, prime, and paint, but not today. It's raining, so I'm knitting and reading. But here's a picture of the progress on the porch.