Monday, May 28, 2012

Two picture posts in one!

Here's a few snapshots from mid-May:

In the front yard, the tulip colour scheme gradually changed to mostly ivory and dark purple.

Backyard, with tulips in full swing in the sun bed and the corner bed looking all spiffy with colour and texture - note Rose's bird feeder!



Aaaaaaand a couple weeks later!

Front yard!

Many things I am chuffed about just now, including:

Irises purchased from the plant sale a couple years back are now blooming!  Not what I thought I was buying, alas, but pretty nonetheless.

Poppies are blooming too, for a nice splash of neon colour.  This plant has something like 15 buds on it.

Baptisia is also clearly in its element here.  It's half again as big as the peonies with a zillion beautiful flower stalks.

Jade Frost sea holly is apparently about to bloom!  Squee!

Interesting little plant called "Red Feathers", or echium amoenum - apparently recently introduced.  Have to water it a lot to keep it going just now, hence the flopping over in the picture, but once established it should be a little less demanding.

Gentsch White hemlock is proving a lot more tolerant of heat and drought than advertised!  Much whiter in the sun, too, I think.

Smokebush, having finally leafed out, is gorgeous.

John Davis rose is about to explode into bloom.  I've been battling spider mites and god knows what other insect plagues on most of the other roses, but this one makes up for all of it.

I forget what these little short alliums are called, but aren't they funky!

This is the back third of the front yard and is the only piece of it I'm not quite happy with.  Somehow it is failing to come together.  Some of these plants will be more impressive when they get established (i.e. dittany) but there's this very big BLAH blank patch front and center, and no colour to boot.  Needs work!

Brand spankin new side yard, featuring a few plants!

Closer look at the Nova Zembla rhododendron, because dayumn.


Going round the beds:

Shade bed has been edited and added to somewhat and I'm already happier with it.  Mockorange is also about to explode into bloom, to my delight.

Sun bed, looking slightly wild and woolly but pretty swank for all that.

Another view of the previously mentioned two beds.  Also featured in all three pictures are repurposed flagstones making the paths much swankier.

Corner bed again, featuring rhododendron still going strong.

Textures in the corner bed that make me happy.

East bed - need to beat back the hydrangeas and the grass, and maybe restrain the enthusiasm of the bee balm a bit.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Time to bum around on the computer is not good for the wallet.  Having placed a long-contemplated order with (lespedeza and golden japanese spikenard), I am now powerfully tempted to give this place a try - Emerald Mist brunnera, Redstone Falls ground cover heucherella, Cranberry Baby daylily...I'm sure I could find others to catch my eye if I tried!

(Dry) shade shopping list

So the challenge with the new side yard will be that it is shaded both by the house and some bushy cedars - in other words, dry as bone unless it REALLY pours.  The piece right next to the carport is a little more open to the sun and rain - it is my plan to put a smallish japanese maple there and underplant it with...other stuff, TBD.  A newly purchased Nova Zembla rhododendron can go there too, since it should like the cedars, although I've had bizarrely mixed success with $8 November Canadian Tire purchase is doing beautifully, even surviving the trip between houses in 2008, but every other one I've tried has really struggled.  I also bought a euonymus...never thought I'd see the day!!


* Brunnera (Emerald Mist looks nice, if I can track it down)
* Epimedium
* Heuchera, tiarella, heucherella
* Hostas (sigh)
* Daffodils
* Digitalis
* Daylilies (sigh)
* Robb's wood spurge
* Pachysandra
* Japanese forest grass
* Five-leaf aralia
* Carex (who knew??)

Divide and try:
* sweet woodruff
* ginger
* bleeding heart

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Side yard nearing completion!!!

Left to go: half a bag of concrete, a couple dozen shovelfuls of river rock, a bag or two of sand to be swept into the cracks, and mulch.


Little flagstone corner will eventually - I hope - be home to a swank copper fountain!  I may substitute a planter of some kind in the meantime.


Compare to the "before" pictures here.  BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAA.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Another year, another Experimental Farm plant sale

*happy sigh*

The spoils!

Eryngium "Big Blue" - nice 3' tall sea holly with big blue spiky flowers.

Verbascum Olympicum - gigantor mullein!  Although when I got these home the tag was different than the sign had been, so these might be the less impressive but nonetheless pretty Sixteen Candles instead...

Verbascum "Clementine" - how's this for colour??

Japanese kerria - shrub for dry shade!

Wintergreen - lovely creeper with red berries

Geum "Flames of Passion" - bitty plant with lovely red flowers

Blue Corydalis - I read in a garden magazine lately that these are really good for dry shade too.

There was also an itty bitty start of some sort of crazy pink fluffy-tailed thing that gets to be 3'+ tall, but can't remember the name of it for the life of me.  Have to check tomorrow I guess.

I am kicking myself a little for not jumping on the golden japanese spikenard or the gigantor pots of delphiniums.  Next time I will know better.  And if I see the spikenard when I go visit Whitehouse Perennials - because I WILL visit - I'll know not to hesitate!

We also stopped into Canadian Tire, where I snapped up

Bergenias - from the shopping list!

Pink cleome, since I got all of two itty bitty seedlings to germinate

Saturday, May 5, 2012

And in other news, a picture post!

aka I ♥ MAY ZOMG.




Tulips - so gorgeous!  I'm pretty happy with the blend of shapes, colours, heights, and bloom times, too.

Out back, meanwhile, ignoring the disastrous construction zone that is the back half of the yard:


Back here the tulips are just getting going, weirdly - didn't think the difference in light levels was THAT dramatic.


The periwinkle is making a bid to take over the woodsy part of the corner bed.  I haven't totally decided whether I'm OK with this or not.


Revising to do list in light of some complications (e.g. additional gigantic fieldstones under the deck, siiiiigh)

move all crushed rock from future foundation bed (pile next to gate) - Wed
* dig up path from end of shed to shed door (8.25" deep) - dirt goes in future foundation bed - Thurs
* move crushed rock from pile next to gate into path, 4" deep - Fri
* tear up "deck" (and any additional paving waiting for me underneath it, ugh) - weekend
* move crushed rock from corner next to carport/next to shed - pile into path - tonight/Sun
* move dirt from heap next to playhouse into corner next to carport - Sun
* move stone dust to tarp next to playhouse - Mon
* move leftover interlock to carport - Mon
* get rid of stupid monster pavers - Tue
* dig up path bend (8.25" deep in dirt, or remove 2" of crushed rock - pile dirt in corner next to carport) - Tue - Thurs
* finess distribution of crushed rock  - at driveway edge should come to 4.25" below driveway (i.e. slightly deeper) to allow pavers to be even with driveway  - Thurs
* Clean up! - Thurs-Fri
* compact crushed rock - Sat
* distribute stone dust 2" deep all over path, top with interlock! - Sun-TueTues
* trench for toe - Tue
* concrete toe - rest of week
* mulch - whenever I can coordinate with mom to pick the stuff up

Also in there:  keep cleaning up corner next to shed; rake piles of dirt into place - side yard beds and also around the playhouse; add river rock borders; put down cardboard/yard waste bags/weed barrier over dirt around the playhouse, since it is weedy like whoa; place flagstones (around playhouse, in corner next to shed, in garden paths); get rid of leftover flagstones and interlock; schlep broken concrete, scrap lumber, and old tires to dump; clean up the damn carport finally

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Stones from old path are mostly dug up!  Quickly posting to get next steps straight in my head.  Further ruminating to follow.

* move all crushed rock from future foundation bed (pile next to gate) - Wed
* dig up path from end of shed to bend (8.25" deep) - dirt goes in future foundation bed - Thurs
* move crushed rock from pile next to gate into path, 4" deep - Fri
* tear up "deck" (and any additional paving waiting for me underneath it, ugh) - weekend
* move stone dust to tarp in corner next to carport - Mon
* get rid of stupid monster pavers - Tue
* dig up path bend (8.25" deep in dirt, or remove 2" of crushed rock) - Wed & Thurs
* redistribute crushed rock to be 4" deep across path - at driveway edge should come to 4.25" below driveway (i.e. slightly deeper) to allow pavers to be even with driveway  - Fri
* compact crushed rock - Sat
* distribute stone dust 2" deep all over path - Sun
* interlock! - Mon-Wed
* trench for toe - Tue
* concrete toe - rest of week
* mulch - long wkend

And I think I will go for the bagster, in the end, because relatively speaking there's not that much concrete crap to get rid of.  Will have to think about wtf to do with the old stones...some of them are pretty massive.  The smaller ones I could probably put in the garden paths, since the previous ones got buried.  Could possibly use them in a corner here and there (e.g. next to shed) as a spot for decorations (e.g. swank copper fountain!  Or containers, I suppose, if I'm ever ninja-like enough to actually water them...)

Anyway, for now, studiowards!