Sunday, May 24, 2009

Digging, Mulching And Planting

We went from snow to warm summer days in the blink of an eye.

I went from cranking about my inability to get into the garden, to living in it for the last few days.
It's at times like this I'm especially grateful that Sunday is a day of rest.
Henry and Morgan were finally able to pick up the mulch and compost I needed to get started in the garden.
I have six of these large bins currently taking up a good portion of the driveway.

Three compost,
and three mulch.

That is a lot of digging!
Before Henry cut these flaps in the boxes, I had to climb to the top of my step ladder and lean into the box to dig stuff out.
It was taking forever. . .

I am renovating my entire back yard.
Yes I know your supposed to tackle one bed at a time. I just can`t seem to do things the easy way. . .
I have become interested in adding food to my garden and so have to rework things to include the honeyberry, hazelnut and cherry bushes as well as the strawberries, raspberries, and asparagus plants, not to mention the veggie garden that will hold all my tomatoes,spinach, lettuce, beets and so on.

Of course since this in back small city backyard it also needs to look good!
We`ll see how that goes. . .
Two full days of digging, weeding, amending with compost, planting, transplanting and mulching have gotten two beds finished.

This shade bed is now full of different hostas and edged with the dianthus I started from seed.

The wishing well bed holds one of my honeyberry bushes, strawberries,`Stella daylilies, wave petunias, a hosta and a dwarf goat`s beard.

Not too bad for two day`s work.
Now all I have left is this. . .

and this. . .

And my Nemesis, the grassy hill. . .

I do have some great materials to work with though.
While at a stone warehouse picking up a tile order one day, Henry noticed employees throwing slate into the garbage bin.
It seems that once a year they clean the various bits and pieces out to make more room in the warehouse.
Henry asked if he could take home what they had.
The guys told him if he came back at the end of the day, they would have the stuff beside the bins rather than in it and he could take whatever he wanted.
This is what he found, along with another pallet full of various types of stone tile.

What a treasure!
Look what Jesse and I found to redo the pathways with. . .

There is enough left of a somewhat different colour to make a much nicer and somewhat larger patio by the pond than the one that`s there now.
You know, once Henry takes it apart, replaces the liner and makes it both larger and deeper. (There`s a hole in the liner.)
So I probably don`t have to worry about that for a while. . . smile.
Then there`s all this lovely plant material.
I leave you with a picture of the front garden.

Which also has to be completely top dressed with compost and then mulched, plants need to be added, the bench fixed and that trellis Morgan made me needs to be installed.

Did I mention that Ev and I have started the process to get a community garden going this fall.
Hmmmmmm. . . .

I think I may need a gardening intervention. . .

Nahhhh. . . .

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

To My Cousins. . . Yes, It Is Wednesday Night!

As my cousins Chandra and Marie pointed out, it is now Wednesday night which means my promise is no longer just bent, but fully broken.
Sorry about that Tam!

And on that note, I will now regal you with the fuchsia story. . .

A few weeks ago Tamara wrote a post about the fuchsia baskets they were growing over at Darvonda.

Now I have a tricky growing spot on my back deck, as it gets morning sun and a little bit of afternoon sun.
This makes it too sunny for most shade loving plants and not quite sunny enough for good flowering from sun loving plants.

I had a couple of fuchsia basket stuffers one year and not only did they do well, Henry loved them.
I'm not sure what is was about a plant as girly as a fuchsia that appealed to him,( they always look like little ball gowns with frothy petticoats to me) but I'm always looking to include the family in gardening choices.

I asked Tamara if the fuchsias were coming to Alberta.
But she was more than happy to send me two to hang from the back deck.

Luckily for me our dad is one of their drivers and often does the Alberta route. He brought them up and I met him at the gas station to get them .
He opened the back of the truck and I hopped up and grabbed the first one.
Good grief that thing was heavy!
I struggled to get both of them into the back of the truck.

Once I brought them home, I took them into the greenhouse to hang up.
I took the plastic sleeve off.
And beheld the most enormous fuchsia I had ever seen!

I tried to hang it up but the branches hit the roof, while the basket hanger was a good six inches away from the hanging bar. (This picture shows you what it looked like after the branches had relaxed quite a bit.)

What to do?
I had to bring it inside.

The only problem I had was getting it through the door without breaking of all the branches!
When Henry dropped by for lunch the next day I asked him to help me hang the baskets up on the deck.

They are so big that not only can you not see into the garden, half of the one basket blocks the stairs down into the garden!

Darvonda sure knows how to give good value for your money.

And we all know Tamara likes to do things in a big way. . .
Thanks Tam!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Broken Promises

I was talking to my sister Tamara today. Telling her about the fuchsia baskets she had sent me.
I promised pictures and a post on the subject.
Unfortunately It's now pitch dark and I haven't yet taken any pictures!
I totally lost track of time.
That's what a trip to the library after dinner and a couple of hours in the greenhouse will do to you!
But I haven't really broken my promise. . . . I've only slightly bent it.
As soon as I get home tomorrow Tam, I'll take those pictures and post as soon as I possibly can.
For you I'll break my 'No Computer Until After Dinner' rule.
Tune in tomorrow. . .

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Please, Don't Judge Me!

It's been very busy around here, with me spending much of my time doing rather than writing about doing.

I've been on a field trip. (which I will one day blog about on the Potting Shed. Sorry Marlene!)

Tried something new while baking bread.

Been hard at work in my own greenhouse.

Started ripping out much of the plant material in the back yard to prepare it for my new interests. (Fruits and veggies!)

Attended meetings to get the new community garden going.

Been biking to work whenever I can.

Had a birthday.

And spent yesterday in the garden.
Digging, transplanting, watering and. . .

Pruning the topiaried cedar I purchased for $24.99 at a big box store a few years ago.
It wasn't the perfect specimen with the top being rather wonky, but at that price I was not going to be too picky!

It sat in a lovely blue pot on the front steps all season. Fall arrived and I knew it had no chance of surviving through the winter in the pot. The front garden wasn't ideal either as it tends to be quite windy during the winter.
But that is where I had always dreamed of having a topiary and for $24.99 I figured it was worth a try.
It survived!
And grew.
Now I have to tell you that pruning is not my forte.
So I didn't prune it at all last year.
This year it had to be done.

Courage in hand (as well as sharp pruners!) I approached the shaggy cedar.
After a while I gained a bit of confidence.
Whoo Hoo!
It looked like I knew what I was doing after all!

The time had come to finish it off.
Following the spiral I began working on the wonky top.
I began to clip and snip.
I stood back.
Surveyed my work.
And had the fleeting panicked thought that you can't glue branches back on once they have been clipped off.
Because you see, I hadn't followed the spiral properly.
So. My topiary is now a spiral topped by a little pompom.
And every time I see it I giggle uncontrollably.

Because, well, it looks ridiculous!
The big problem however, is that I have, without remorse, mocked badly done topiary in the past.
So all I really want to do is put a big sign beside my topiary saying. . .
Please, Don't Judge Me By My Topiary!
© A Life of Whimsey