Friday, July 5, 2013

Thoughts for Today

When I started this blog I never thought I would have enough to post to keep up a blog but I find that I do. I find it therapeutic for me and also helps me keep a log of how my gardening is progressing. I am already looking forward to Fall and next years garden. My mind is always thinking of possibilities. I envision at this moment that I will not have to purchase as many plants this Fall for next year. Many of the ones I purchased this year were perennial and will emerge again in the Spring. This has been the most important thing that I have learned, to plant selections that will come back, multiply, and mature in size. There has been no greater experience for me than to see flowers/plants emerge in the Spring and not have to do anything but just watch, no planting. As I grow older I want to have a garden that requires less maintenance and where "plants once planted just appear."  I tried to remember this when selecting this years plants. I love to have "winter interest", evergreen plants and shrubs that provide interest during the Winter.

Unfortunately when I purchased shrubs this year I didn't give it much thought except to know not to buy something that would grow to monumental proportions in a small amount of space. I wanted shrubs that would eventually provide height and a different dimension to the backyard garden. That's not what I purchased so I will work on this for next year. I do have a camellia. My mother lives in Philly but she also has a home in Georgia where she was born. She has the most beautiful blue hydrangeas and other mature bushes, trees, and shrubs. Last Summer she sent me 2 hollies 1 for her and 1 for me. She also sent me a blue hydrangea and a crape myrtle. The crape myrtle is doing well but the hollies didn't make it. I should of kept them on the sun porch instead of outside.  I have read that when purchasing shrubs or perennials to buy the largest size you can afford although this is debatable. I was pleased to see how well the 4" potted plants did once planted and they do catch up quickly to already established full sized plants.

When I rearranged my front outside bed this Spring, I dug up my balloon flowers. I accidentally chop into what looked like a white parsnip looking thing in 4 pieces. I thought oh I have definitely killed it but no, it's doing well. I planted each piece and each piece was a new flower. I learned something new. I learned that it's okay to move plants around and rearrange them and actually take plants out that don't work. What I take out can be given to someone else who wants it. My garden including the front flower bed did not look well last year. My father was very sick and gardening was not a priority. When I did have time last Winter I thought about what I wanted to do differently and it came out okay but not exactly what I had planned. I wanted stachy across the from of the bed, geraniums behind them, canna along the boarder in the back since they are tall. Well out of 8 stachy (lambs ears) I planted, only 3 survived. I gave 2 to my mother and I kept 1. Hers are beautiful and mine is doing well also. I refused to buy any to fulfill what I had planned. I realized that this may have not been realistic given the small amount of space. Canna are large and take up a lot of space and I didn't buy the dwarf one I was supposed to order. I did plant one but it didn't come up. I think I left it in the package on my porch too long and it may have rotted. I removed the lirope and moved the coneflower to another spot. See how it looked last Summer, bad but much improved this year. Next year I plan to remove the sedum and plant a different type. I also have a peony that only has ever had 2 blooms since it's been there. I will take her out but I have to keep it because my mother gave it to me. 

Before/Summer 2012

What a difference a year makes. After touring the Cuba Center I have embraced my backyard woodland garden. I will work on planting more native plants. I love color and flowers and will have to choose some woodland plants that I like that also flower in the shade.

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