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Plant some S#*% Chronicles – Part 3

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Stella d’Oro daylilies in bloom

When Rob Finley was talking about planting stuff, he was talking about food, nourishment. Today I want to talk about planting for beauty.  I haven’t gotten that good at veggie gardening that I would plant anything in the front yard and hope it grows; I prefer to keep my failures, and potential success behind a tall fence.  That being said, I’m not that great at keeping flowers and other non-edible plants alive.  I’m forgetful about stuff like watering and my weeding abilities are hampered by my lack of athleticism.  So I’ve learn to pick varieties that don’t require babying.  Luckily for me my favorite, favorite, favorite, flower doesn’t require much care to grow like wildfire.  LILIES.  I’m kind of obsessed with them.  If you see some crazy lady in your local gardening store talking to lily plants like most people coo over infants and children, it’s probably me, sorry.

The tall $1 lilies from last year. In the middle, Tiny Spiders. Forward Tiny Sensation and Tiny Orange

The tall $1 lilies from last year, in the middle are the Tiny Spiders, and forward are the Tiny Sensation and Tiny Orange

Now my partner who shall henceforth be referred to as Horseboy or HB for short, knows of my obsession.  What’s worse he encourages it.  He has a great ability to find anything I’m looking for shopping and boy did he find lilies for me.  Even better discount lilies.  Last year we found a pot of past bloom and dying for $1.  Those tall lanky stemmed plants in the photo, that’s them.  This year’s acquisitions include; the Tiny Spider Lily (clearance rack), which won’t bloom again until next year, Tiny Sensation and Tiny Orange Asiatic Lilies,  and the Pardon Me and Big Happy Time  (which seems to be the name for variety pack) daylilies.  I did not  buy Calla lilies because the bulbs from last year rotted in the pots and I have no room in the front beds for them.  Also had to leave the toad lilies at the store as well since the area I want to plant them in isn’t ready yet.

Little Kim in bloom

Little Kim in bloom

Now HB has a different obsession.  Lilacs. Okay, he doesn’t talk to them like I do and unlike me, who picks flowers strictly on the “oh pretty” factor, actually researches what  he wants.  So we had Little Kim and Little Josie lilacs flanking our front porch.  But immediately next to the porch we had tried various things that just didn’t work, including a sage plant that still refuses to die even though it was dug up almost three years ago.  HB has been wanting to put another lilac bush in and I’ve been resistant.  If you have ever smelled lilac flowers they are very potent and I just couldn’t imagine yet another scented bush.  But then we went to the garden center and he saw it, the subject of a multi-year search because it’s been selling out so fast; the elusive purple Bloomerang reblooming lilac.  I relented.  Now that it’s planted it does finish off the area nicely, I’m just hoping I’m not too overwhelmed next spring with six lilac bushes in bloom every time I step out  the door.

Frances William

Frances William

The last thing I picked up was some hostas.  My mother is great at growing hostas, I’ve had mixed results.  Mainly because I planted mine in the same area as the Virginia Creeper vine from hell.  There seems to be no getting rid of it, just containing it.  Mainly because the source of the plant is wedged behind my central air conditioning unit.  Anyway, I lost about half of the variety my mom gave me; which shall be called Mama’s Variegated hostas because I don’t know what they are called.  So I picked some Frances Williams Plantain Lily… hostas are lilies too?  BONUS.  Anyway I’m hoping they grow quick and strong and choke out the creeper.

Maybe there will be some progress on my veggies in the next few weeks and I can bring you Chronicles – Part 4.

 
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Posted by on June 10, 2013 in Gardening

 

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Plant some S#*% Chronicles – Part 2

squirrelSo a lot has happened in the yard since I last posted.  Probably most evident by the lack of blogging.  In that time period, I’ve (with assistance) weeded the beds, put back down the frames, made several trips to garden centers, added dirt, and miracle of miracles actually put stuff into the ground.  This post will cover the edibles.

I’m not a neat gardener, you will never see my gardens in any fancy magazine.  I don’t plant in even rows, I’m not a consistent weeder, etc.  Part of this is time but the big part is me. I’m very out of shape and currently I weigh the most I ever have in my entire life.  Not particularly something I’m proud of.  As of a result my usual inflexible ability to get up, down, and over the garden is made even worse.  But what I lack in athleticism I make up in just plain stubborn and help for others.  This planting project is now in it’s fourth day (not just the veggies but the rest will be another post) and hopefully it will be done today.

I don’t plant a lot of plants for the  space I have. I’m aware of this.  I do this for a few reasons.  First, the tags the plants come with say to plant things far away from each other and the results look so desolate when they are first in the ground.  Secondly, for this year, I don’t have trellises.  The monkey grass is too close to the beds and last year they damaged the trellises.  Thirdly, I don’t want to waste food. There are many things I would like to grow but I’m the only one who eats them or we don’t eat a lot of it and I don’t know how to preserve or get rid of the excess.

Not much else to say about the food garden so onto the photos.

 THE PLANTS

FirstBed

First box – Sweet Basil and two Red Bell Pepper plants – I figure I can freeze the extra peppers.


 
SecondBed

Second box – Sweet 100 cherry tomato, Better Boy Bush tomato, and jalapeno (unfortunately I think a lot of this will end up wasted)

 

Third box - Bush Cucumbers (If I actually get a cucumber this year it will be a miracle)

Third box – Bush Cucumbers (If I actually get a cucumber this year it will be a miracle)

 

Fourth box - Sugar Baby Watermelon (Hope I get to them before the groundhogs, squirrels, possums, and stray cats do)

Fourth box – Sugar Baby Watermelon (Hope I get to harvest them before the groundhogs, squirrels, possums, and stray cats devour them)

 

Not pictured – Kentucky Colonel Spearmint and Rosemary

I may also get some onion sets and throw in some various lettuce seed packs I’ve bought to fill in the blank spaces and see what happens .

 
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Posted by on May 28, 2013 in Gardening

 

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Plant some S#*% Chronicles – Part 1

Wild Strawberry

Wild strawberry in my yard

So inspired by the wonderful TED Talk of Rob Finley, I decided that even though it’s probably a little late I will conquer the weeds and restart my garden.  My garden used to be a fairly pretty and successful thing.  But then year’s of garden misfires and stress elsewhere I kind of let it go.  Always I said, I’ll work on it the next day, week, month… but that time never came.  And then like with most neglected things you are so embarrassed  so overwhelmed with the enormity of fixing it that you just put it out of your mind.  It was easy with my garden.  It’s nearly impossible to see from our kitchen window and there was never a reason to go into the back yard.

The beds with frames removed.

The beds with frames removed.

Finally I confronted my folly and it was ugly.  Not only was the garden severely overgrown but the monkey grass behind it was taking over, growing to a height that had easily passed the fence behind it. I felt hopeless, there was nothing I could do to fix this mess.  However, I would promise myself every week that I would do something about it, even though I clearly had no idea even where I would start.

Frames and dismantled pipe trellis

Frames and dismantled pipe trellis

What was a big help besides Mr. Finley’s great talk was that my housemate and a friend tackled the Monkey Grass issue.  It took  three weeks of yard waste recycling (95 gallon cart) to get rid of all the cut leaves.  The next part was removing the raised bed frames to more easily dig out the weeds and old plants from the bed.  Now I am in no way, shape, or form in top physical form, I would barely agree to good physical form.  However, when I want to get something done I’m stubborn as hell.  So I work until I can’t catch my breath and my back pain is at about a 7 or 8 then I take a break.  It took a couple of tries but I got all the frames up and away from the beds.

The first two beds weeded

The first two beds weeded

Today I started the weeding process.  It’s slow going because all I’m using is a shovel.  A rototiller probably would have helped but I’m afraid of  most power tools.  I can use a drill and that’s about it.  So it’s slow going but it got done.  Well two beds at least.  Hopefully the other two beds finished tomorrow, then frames back down, buy dirt and then FINALLY plant some s#*%.

On a slightly related note, this year seems to be good for wild strawberries.  I wonder if I should attempt the more cultivated variety.

 
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Posted by on May 22, 2013 in Gardening, Writing

 

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