The experts at the Master Gardeners Festival this weekend told me I was safe in now putting down all of the plants that I have been buying of late even though we haven't quite hit that March 15 date that they throw around as "safe" in this area.
Since I have been buying like a person possessed, I figured it was time. When I went out back and up to the gardens around the gazebo, I was kind of shocked to see how badly the border grass was choking out my day lilies. That stuff just takes over and even though I have not consciously put down any of it in YEARS, it still keeps popping up everywhere. Once upon a time I used it to do just what it is meant for - border the areas I wanted delineated but couldn't afford to border in any other way. And boy do I rue the day I ever did that. I have been digging this stuff up and tossing it away for years.
I didn't get any before pictures because, quite frankly, it was too hideous to even think about photographing. I didn't get any pictures during because, quite frankly, I was too hideous to photograph. Let's just say I got down (although at times I had trouble getting up) and dirty. I pulled the old "Tawanda" routine and didn't worry about the repercussions until I was almost done. I dug and pulled and dug and pulled ALL day long! Once I got out the grasses, I realized I needed to divide my day lilies so that was next on the agenda.
I watered them really well and then we had a bit of rain yesterday, so they are looking like they survived the shock. Now they just need to fill in a bit. And, of course, it is now time for tons of mulch as well.
Popped a pretty petunia in the urn, added a few annuals to the terraced garden where the perennials are just coming back and put down the beginnings of the new herbs and a few grape tomato plants in pots. And, this is just the start of the garden upkeep. So MUCH MORE yard to go. But, I enjoy gardening and really do love to spend time outside.
What I don't like is lawn work-the mundane mowing, edging, etc. And that is what I will be doing soon if I don't find a new lawn man. We just found out that our guy can no longer do our yard and I am once again in the process of "looking". I don't know why I dislike this job so much but I do. Always feel like I am dealing with used car salemen-sorry for that stereotype if you are an honest used car salesman-but it seems like they give me the most ridiculous quotes and when they see me not jumping on right away, begin to backstep. I really don't enjoy this kind of haggling but, since it is happening during filing season, the job falls to me. Oh well. Keeping my fingers crossed that I will once again pick a hard working, ethical kind of company but we shall see.
The other area I have already addressed this year is the mailbox. I have tried for several years to keep some kind of flowers going around the base of the mailbox to no avail. The ground is full of roots and sandy. If I wasn't on top of watering it almost every day, I lost almost everything I put down. Then while perusing Pinterest one day, I saw this simple stone raised garden and knew I had my answer. 34 concrete stones and 2 large bags of good potting and garden soil later, I had this. It is now easy to plant in and I used the type of soil with the "water retention" stuff in it, so hopefully just the twice weekly irrigation will keep everything going. So far I have put in lantana (which is NOT my favorite but even I can't kill that stuff), a form of coleus, day lillies and verbena. I will add some purple salvia and a few other things as soon as my stores get them in.
This would have been a REALLY easy project if my yard didn't slope down so much. I had to totally dig down about two-thirds of the perimeter as I went to keep it even slightly level.It still isn't perfect but it will work and looks nice now that we lost the dogwood that used to be in the middle of this small circle of lawn. It adds a bit of color and interest!
So that is what I have been up to the last few days. Granddaughter #3 called and asked if she can come spend this weekend with us and help us celebrate St. Patrick's Day with the "little ones". They call it "green day". She knows Nana always does up the holiday pretty big and she loves all of that almost as much as I do. The next few days will find me getting ready for our celebration. I am sure I will have much to share. Stay tuned.