Thursday, May 31, 2007

Plants I added to the garden

After saying how much I loved my established yard and garden, I thought I'd put down what I've added since we moved in--just to show that although I appreciate what's already here, I have no intention of stagnating!

We have a flagstone path leading to the front patio, and in the fall I planted mums, purple and yellow. I also planted bulbs--daffodils, crocus and phlox. These I put around the small Bradford pear tree that is by the street, around the magnolia in front of the patio, and in front of the row of azaleas that also border the front patio. Some of the daffodil bulbs were also put by the back fence, but our dog, Sophie, trampled them a lot and only a few came up this year. In the spring I added Sweet Williams along the path in shades of red, pink and white, and at the top of the path on either side of the steps I planted a "cutting garden"--a variety pack of flowers that are supposed to be easy to grow and bloom all summer. They are growing, but no flowers yet.

Gifts: when we moved in our friends Liz and Peter gave us a beautiful rhododendron with smaller flowers than usual, which we planted in the side yard in front of the fence. My parents brought us a pine tree seedling (which we call the Charlie Brown Christmas Tree) to plant and watch grow along with the kids, which we planted at the front of the house. Matt and the kids gave me a clematis vine Mother's Day 2006, which we saved in the pot until we moved, then planted next to the front patio so we can train it up over the front door arbor. My sister Susan gave me a hydrangea this Mother's Day, which we planted in the ivy next to the front steps. My parents gave me more Sweet Williams and marigolds this past Mother's Day, which also went around the pear tree, and for my birthday this year Matt enclosed a packet of red geraniums which I planted in front of the ivy in the front. Finally, I bought myself a lilac bush because I've ALWAYS wanted lilacs in my yard, which I planted next to the rhododendrons in the back yard.

Front window boxes: I loved the huge window box that is on the front patio, outside the living room window, but it was empty when we moved in. At first I put a pot of mums (dark red) that my brother and sister-in-law brought on their first visit to our home--but I was so busy that I didn't plant them, so they withered. Knowing mums are very tough, I put them into the perennial garden and hope to see them again this fall. After they croaked, I got official and went off to Agway, where I got masses of pansies in purples, yellows, orange and cream, and filled the space up with those. I also got three small heather plants to mix in, because they stay pretty through the winter. The pansies actually bloomed through January, died in February--but came back in April and are still breathtaking. This spring when we visited a favorite farm I found big bowls of pansies on sale, so I got two and put them on either side of the front steps.

Side yard: we planted some blueberry bushes amongst the roses, and they are forming berries as we speak! Yum! I chose the side yard very specifically; we feed birds in the front and back with feeders, so blueberries there would just be giving them away. Our chickens live in the back yard, and so do the children: blueberry bushes would also be picked bare by them. I figured in the side yard the kids and the birds would have a harder time remembering them and I might actually get to make some muffins or jam before they're all eaten...

Back yard: I planted catnip under the maple tree, although it hasn't come back--maybe not till summer? I know it's a weed. I planted poppies in the small garden by the back shed, but I must admit I didn't realize how much was planted there--irises, mint, Montauk daisies--and they may never come up. My big project in the back was extending the perennial garden to include vegetables and herbs. Because I did it piecemeal (as I bought seeds/seedlings), I turned it over using a trowel, making it about a foot wider along one side and the bottom--I would estimate this as about 15 feet, maybe as much as 20 (I'm not very good at distances, though!). I planted basil, lemon thyme, garlic chives, more poppies, tomatoes--two kinds of grape and beefsteak hybrids--peas, gourmet beans--green, wax and purple--bush cucumbers, yellow peppers, eggplant and watermelon. Unfortunately for us I think our chickens killed one of the pepper plants and the watermelon plant, but we'll see what happens.... Other than that, the lilacs and daffodils I already mentioned are the only other things I put in the back yard.

I'm including a photo of the lilacs (more purple!), which I'm happy to see are starting to bloom--I've read that often they don't bloom for the first few years after they're planted. Wow--writing it all down shows me just how much I have planted. Wonder what will be next?


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