Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Another inventory post

Inventory is finished at the store. So I decided to take a walk in the yard before the rains move in tonight. Another 3 days of rain in the forecast. What drought?

The window boxes are planted. This year I will use shoebox containers. I need to get 4 more to fill the boxes completely. Hopefully it will make it easier to change out as plants fade over the summer.

Anise Hyssop - Golden Jubilee. Check out that color! I'm going to take cuttings of this soon for the cloner. I want a huge mass of it this year.

And a baby that came from seeds I scattered last summer.

A pink sage is coming back. I thought it was gone.

The spirea is about to bloom.

The hostas under the oak tree are getting larger every day.

The grape vines are budding. These are seedless. I don't know which is which, but I have a Reliance, Mars, and a Himrod.

The oakleaf Hydrangea is leafing out. I was worried I had killed it with a late season move.

I do have a few things blooming. Daffodils, an azalea, and my favorite, dandelions.

Almost a Year

I was looking through some of last year's photos last night to get a feel for when things were blooming. Sadly, it looks like the tulips aren't coming back. On April 1, 2008, they were blooming and almost done. I have found a few leaves but no buds this year. I guess I'll need to remind myself to pick up some bulbs in the fall.

April 1, 2008: The perennial bed.

It's come a long way since then.

It's 37 degrees and clear according the weather.com. I'll find out soon enough. Inventory at the store begins today. We get to count all the plants. ALL the plants. After a mindnumbing day of that, I'll come home and work on the project some more. Everything was laser cut yesterday and I started assembling the guest house and master bedroom wing. Tonight I'll work on the main house and hopefully the screen porch. I need to have all this done before bed.

More rain in the forecast this week. It should help the periwinkle I planted this weekend. Speaking of that, here's a picture of the side slope from last April 1, two months after I had planted the plugs.

The same area last week.

Monday, March 30, 2009

No Frost

No frost again last night as the temperature dropped into the upper 30s. A light covering of dew is all I see this morning. It's 39 degrees and mostly clear. Today's highs should reach the upper 60s again.

Sunday's picture, taken yesterday and added to the Sunday Ritual.

Other overall photos I took for my records.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Sunday Morning

It's a beautiful day already. Large puffy clouds are rolling by. The wind is picking up a bit, but that should help dry out the soaked ground. We got a lot of rain in the past 4 days. But today should be mostly sunny and 70. It's already 61 degrees.

I had my second cup of coffee in the yard. I wasn't able to stop myself from doing a few things as I walked around. I pulled more nutgrass from the front bed. This stuff is going to be the death of me for sure. I spread the sheet over the hoophouse and rolled the plastic cover back. After many days without sun, the tomatoes and sprouting seeds will need a little protection. I took cuttings of the three lantana plants I bought on Friday and stuck them in the cloner. I also stuck some more pineapple sage. It roots so easily, I can't help myself.

The half price fern whose pot was smashed when it arrived at the store was transferred to a terra cotta container for the front porch. I'll move the small indoor ficus outside in a few more days to keep it company. I need to get a new coconut fiber shell for the hanging basket I plan to put up there too. Not sure what will go in it just yet, but there will be some flowers and some trailing annuals on the short list. Maybe red verbena if I can find it.

Today is a great day for starting seeds according to Farmer's Almanac. I'll sow the rest of my veggies and put them in the hoophouse. I'm done with starting seeds indoors with the temperatures remaining above freezing for the next 10 days.

I also plan to work on the front slope. I need to transfer about 200 plugs of periwinkle now that the ground is soft enough to work. I've got my batteries charged and the auger is ready to go.

This evening, I'll finish the drawings for the new project. I had hoped to do some work on that today, but scheduling conflicts between me and the subcontractor doesn't allow it. So, I'll be heading to Charlotte on Monday and spend most of the evening working on the model. It's due no later than Monday, April 6. That gives me a week. It's a much less intensive model than the previous one. I'll have plenty of time.

I'll update later with some pictures. It is Sunday after all. I want to record all the beds today now that we have some sunlight. The grass needs to be mowed too, but that can wait until another day. It'll be too wet to do more than beat the blades back to the ground.

If anyone needs me, I'll be in the yard.

12:05pm - 64 and very windy. Not a cloud in the sky.

Let's see, what have I done? I got the hill planted with 200+ plugs of periwinkle.

I moved all the rocks that were around the oak in the front yard to the white bed border. I want to let the periwinkle do what it wants.

I planted out 9 pussywillow cuttings that were rooted in January. The giant whites went down into the gully. The red, black, and coral embers went along the top edge of the wall that lines the gully. In between this summer, I plan to sow sunflower seeds and hope to keep the squirrels and birds out of the garden.

I found the Stargazer from last week. It's about 6" tall today. It has a tiny friend coming up behind it.

The purple queen is coming back around the oak tree. It should grow into a huge mass this year.

I also planted my datura inoxia next to the basement door. It should smell really nice this year since I use that door more than any other coming and going.

And then I checked the wintersown containers. Lots of progress.

Dogwood seedlings

baby hostas

Unknown daylilies, probably from Stella D'Oro.

A baby white crape myrtle. It's been this size for two weeks now.

Black gum, dogwoods, rose of sharon, and mock orange seedlings.

Cherry Laurel seedlings. Originally, I had planned to use these to create the living hedge at the edge of the driveway. Instead, I will use them in the gully. The birds love the seeds and they will sucker if pruned too hard. I need to pot these individually, but with frost coming tonight, I think I'll wait.

That's all I had planned for today. I would like to plant out some more wintersown containers, but most of what I see looks really tender after 5 days without sunlight. I'm going to wait. I need to run to Lowe's to pick up a couple bales of straw for the tomato bed. With the hoophouse being way too full these days, I can use the bales and a couple of old windows to make a cold frame. I'll only need it for the next two nights, I hope.

As I said in the comments, the sunset last night was amazing. I was laying on the sofa watching tv when the living room got really bright. I had to walk outside and then went to grab my camera. The colors are a little washed out in the photos, but there were just that many colors as the sun began to go down below the horizon.

Saturday, March 28, 2009


Most of the rooms in my house are painted green. The yard is finally starting to match. During my lunch break, I took a stroll through the yard. It had stopped raining for a few minutes.

Out of 10, this is the only Dutch Iris that I have blooming. It surprised me this morning. Yesterday, it was just a bud on top of a stem.

The Thundercloud

Pink and Yellow Virginia Stock



Yvonne's salvia and datura


White Profusion Buddleia

Coreopsis 'Early Sunrise'

Green and Gold euonymus and Loropetalum. The Japanese Maple is almost done leafing out.

Hosta in the North Bed

Wintercreeper under the evergreen tree out back.

The perennial bed is coming to life.

"Sunny" Knockout Rose

Echinacea returning.

Finally, something red. The dogwood blooms are opening. One more week and it will be done.

I love some of the greens out there today. The pictures don't do it justice.

A quiet morning

Cloudy and 57 degrees. I'm having my coffee on the porch, waiting for the birds to start up. It's quiet this morning for some reason.

More rain in the forecast for this afternoon. Thunderstorms likely.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Planted out.

I got my peach tree in the ground. I'll put the cherry tree further up the hill. I have considered another plum tree, but I can't find one that doesn't need a pollinator buddy. I also planted the jasmine.

I opened the hoophouse today for some air. I buried the fig cuttings completely in the small propagator outside. They seemed a little dry. I hope they sprout.

On the advice of my mom last weekend, I enlarged the pathway opening in the living hedge. I need to be able to drive the truck through to bring in more leaf mulch this summer for the garden.

And then, I went to work. I picked up some clearance grass seed today. 2 7lb bags for $1 each. It's 1-2 years old, but there should be plenty of viable seed left to cover this area until the bermuda spreads to fill in. I'm just tired of walking on mud.