You can bury a lot of troubles digging in the dirt.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Front Yard Tour

Part One of my yard tour.

Here is my St. Francis Garden, at the top of my driveway, by the road.
I like the bigger St. Francis statue from my mother's garden. I had smaller one here before that you could barely see after everything grew. I have two roses in this garden: Comtesse du Cayla, a china (back left) and Leonie Lamesch, a polyantha (back right). They're nice sizes for this little garden. I'm not sure about my feelings for the evergreen in the back. I think it's a Globe Arborvitae. I like having something evergreen there, but I would prefer something cone-shaped. I really love dwarf Alberta Spruce, but I'm afraid it would be too hot for it there. We're really not the right zone for it. Maybe I can find something else that size and shape.
Also in this garden are daylilies, irises, hardy geraniums, a salvia, a clematis, an echinacea and a few other things. I still have some blank space at the front. I really need to put something there, but I can't figure out what. I don't know why fronts of borders are so hard for me.

A 'Comtesse du Cayla' bud.

'Leonie Lamesch' and irises 'Good and True' and 'Grapesicle'.

Growing on front of house are Boston Ivy on left and Climbing Hydrangea on right.

On front porch.

I'm going to plant a row of 'Sunny Knockout' roses on the right side of porch, in front of row of boxwoods ( I got the last five at Lowes yesterday!). I want to plant purple daylilies in front of the roses, but I haven't decided on them yet. I've been looking at 'Strutter's Ball', but I'm afraid it's too maroon instead of purple/violet.
'Sunny Knockout'.

Zooming in on the Good and Evil Garden on right of house, in front of garage.

This is my main cottage garden area. I really want it to have that look. I haven't ever had it full enough, but I'm trying to accomplish that this year. Roses here include 'Cl. Margot Koster' on pillar; three of 'Pat Austin' that have never really grown much (I can't seem to get rid of them though, because I love the color so much. This was my first rose and still one of my favorites.); 'Molinuex' that hasn't done much either (I think there's a David-Austin-roses-don't-do-well-in-this-garden theme going here.); 'Sunshine'; 'Crown Princess Margareta' that is doing better than the other Austins here; 'Mme. Charles' that I planted last year. I ordered 'Reine des Violettes' for here just yesterday. I think there's one more in here, but I can't remember it right now. I'll have to look it up in old notes.
Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil is one of my favorite books and movies, obviously.

Moving to left side of front porch.
Roses planted here are (clockwise from front left) 'Mme. Laurette Messimy', a china; 'Second St. Tea', tea; 'Marie d'Orleans', tea; 'Souvenir de Germain de St. Pierre (What a name!), tea. Also, peony 'Gay Paree' and several daylilies, including my favorite, 'Matisse'. I'm considering taking out 'Second St. Tea' and 'Marie d'Orleans', and replacing with 'Mrs. B.R. Cant', which I have ordered. There are three irises planted here, including one of my favorites, 'Batik'.

'Souvenir de Germain de St. Pierre' close, closer, closest.

Even farther left is the gate to my Secret Garden. In front of row of arborvitaes are 'Happy Returns' daylilies and 'Double Knockout' roses that I planted a few days ago. They're so small now you can barely see their red color. In between the daylilies and roses, I want to plant a row of some kind of tall, purple iris that would bloom same time as daylilies.

On this arch is rose 'E. Veyrat Hermanos'. It's full of buds now, and I can't wait until it blooms.

That's it for my front yard!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

I Love the Smell of Wisteria in the Morning

It's already in the high 80s this weekend. I'm not ready for the heat! I want more low 70s spring weather. In spite of the heat, I got a lot of stuff planted. My "pot ghetto" has been greatly downsized.

In the front garden/Good and Evil Garden, I planted Baptista australis 'Purple Smoke' (3) (I've wanted baptista for years but never got around to ordering it. I found this at Lowes. You just never know), Digitalis obscura 'Sunset' (3), Digitalis purpurea 'Apricot Beauty' (3), Digitalis purpurea 'Hyacinth Hybrids' (3) (Yes, I love foxgloves. I think they're the perfect cottage garden flowers), Campanula 'Kent Belle' (3), and Paeonia 'Bartzella' (Leftover from last year).
I really want to fill up every inch of this garden and have a true cottage garden effect.

In the roadside/St. Francis Garden, I planted Echinacea 'Summer Sky' and moved a Stargazer lily here from the Pond Hill. Also, moved the bigger St. Francis statue of my mother's to this garden (I had a small one but it got hidden by daylilies). I need to take a photo of it now.

I planted the six Knockout roses on the left side of gate to the Secret Garden. They are behind a row of 'Happy Returns' daylilies. I'm thinking of getting some tall purple irises to plant behind the daylilies, in front of the roses. I think this is really going to look good.

I planted two eggplants in half barrels on the back steps. I still haven't finished digging up the grass on Flower Girl Hill to plant rest of vegetables but almost! I love the way flowers and vegetables look planted together. I want to do more of this.

Pat brought home this table and chairs. This is at the end of my driveway. I am trying to create a sort of courtyard look here. To the right is a row of arborvitaes, about halfway up driveway. To the left is the shade garden/Angel Garden under the River Birch. I desperately need some big, beautiful art/scuplture/something on this fence panel.
A row of Autumn Fern (Dryopteris erythrosora) planted in front of same fence panel. I'm thinking of adding white impatiens here.

Oh, I also finished planting Angel Garden. I like this patchwork look here. And the angel had facial reconstructive surgery! She got her face back! Well, most of it anyway.

What's blooming now:

'Belle of Woking' Clematis



'Marie Pavie'

'Mons. Tillier'

'Leonie Lamesch'

'Cramoisi Superior'



'Little Showoff'

Unknown passalong

'Good and True'




Clementine, my faithful gardening companion


Princess ZelZel!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Extra, Extra: A Snakey Story

I don't dislike snakes. I don't mind nonpoisonous snakes in my yard. I know they're beneficial and all that. This snake though has terrorized us for two years (This would be the third.). It made its home in the deck at our pond that houses the skimmer. Pat told me it was a copperhead. At first, I wasn't sure I believed him, but he seemed certain. Every time Pat had to clean out the filter and basket (which is pretty often), he had to pull off the hatch, not knowing if the snake would be waiting for him (it liked to curl up on top of the skimmer where it was warm). He tried several times to surprise it and kill it, but it was too fast and got up in the deck before he could get to it. It got to the point last year when we just gave up on our pond. I so loved to relax by the pond and watch my fish, but I just couldnt' enjoy it anymore. We even turned off the waterfall. The snake took over our pond.

I was determined to take back the pond this year. I was going to somehow find an exterminator or wildlife person to get rid of the dreaded snake. As I wrote last week, we just got our waterfall going again. We hadn't seen the snake so far. Yesterday, the pump quit and the waterfall stopped running. Pat thought the filter and basket at the skimmer needed cleaning. He carefully opened the hatch. No snake, so he got out the basket and filter and cleaned them. He was trying to get the filter back in, but it wouldn't go. It was hitting something. The something was...yes, the snake! It had crawled into the pump and met its demise. Pat got it out, and it was definitely a copperhead. Even I could recognize it. Also, it had a big bulge in the middle, undoubtedly a fish. I've had several smallish fish that disappeared soon after I got them. I'm sure that snake ate them.

So here are the grizzly photos. Even though I knew this snake was dead, I was still afraid of it and had to use zoom, because I was scared to get close to it!

Ding dong, the snake is dead (and I don't even have to feel the guilt of killing it)!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Back Home

The trip to Chattanooga was wonderful, but I was glad to get back home to my gardens and animals. It rained again Sunday and yesterday though, so it's too wet to plant again. It's extremely frustrating. Since I can't plant, I buy! My pot garden keeps expanding. I need some drier ground!
Yes, I broke down/gave in and bought Knockout roses. I read something that said think of Knockout roses as blooming shrubs instead of traditional roses. That works for me. I have a space on the left front of my house, in front of a row of arborvitae trees where I'm planting them. There is already a row of 'Happy Returns' daylilies there. I think it will look pretty from the road.

I bought a few vegetable plants yesterday: Tomatoes (Better Boy, which my father always planted, and grape tomatoes. I wanted Sweet 100s but didn't find them.); bell peppers; banana peppers; yellow squash; sweet basil (an herb, I know). I also want eggplants but didn't find them either. I'll have to look elsewhere. I'm going to plant my vegetables on my Flower Girl hill this year. I really want a traditional potager with raised beds. Maybe next year.

'Lady Banks' rose is blooming. It grows in the River Birch and makes it look like the tree is blooming.

This doesn't look like much, but it's an azalea that someone sent when my niece Tracy died in February. I planted it in the Angel Garden (shade garden under River Birch).

Wisteria on the back deck. Wisteria runs rampant, like blooming kudzu, but I love it. Need to keep on top of it better though. There are vines everywhere. The second photo is the pergola overhead. I want to weave little fairy lights through it on this.

The view of Flower Girl Hill from the deck (looking to the right). The pond is just beyond. I can't wait until all those roses bloom.

The view straight out from the deck of backyard. I really want a brick path around the perimeter of backyard, with a border of all kinds of shrubs and big roses and evergreens. To the left of this, the yard slopes up to the sideyard, which is my Secret Garden area. We still need to put steps down from there to backyard. Somewhere along this route, I'd love a long rose tunnel.

I have so many plans! That's the fun of gardening.

p.s. I found the angel face! Well, most of it. Now to find glue...