Sunday, May 27, 2007

Busy, Busy Days And A Tip

As I said in my last post this is "crunch time" for me when it comes to getting the gardens and my containers in order. I've been running back and forth to a couple different garden centers picking up the last few plants I need and also trying out some new "goodies" that have just hit the market.

One of the nurseries has all sorts of "Proven Winners" which I'll swear by, myriad new coleus, and luscious new tropicals as well as animals. There are sheep, goats, and a llama to feed and pet. (An emu named Raquel used to be there and I was given one of her gigantic eggs. She's gone now, though) Ever since Ashley was little, we'd go there for plants and to see the animals. This Friday we took a quick trip out there for "just three perilla plants" and ended up with a double decker shopping cart full of wonderful plants. .
Here are two "Black Lace" elderberry shrubs and a wonderful "Tiger Eye" golden cutleaf sumac that I found. We also picked out a couple of the "Supertunia" varieties, various "Superbells" (calibrochoa), five or six sun coleus, and the perilla.

There was quite a line at the check out when Ashley remembered she wanted some "Fiber Optic" grass she's seen in the back greenhouse. We pulled out of line and the cart and I ended up by a closed, temporary check out booth open at only the very busy times. No one was there at that time. Well, a few minutes she came back without the grass - she couldn't find it. I told her to stay by the cart and I'd get her plants. Well, when I quickly returned, a young man had opened the check out and was fussing over Ashley and had her nearly all rung up. And we had quite a cart load! Still standing in the other check out line were, seven or eight, mostly women my age or older and they were giving her the evil eye. So my tip is: if you want to get checked out right away, leave the cart with your lovely grand daughter. Young men will jump at the chance to help her!
In my last post I wrote about the metal rod contraption that is designed to stack pots on. Actually all but the bottom pot is supposed to be tipped but I tried it this way. When I was through I was sure Steve would hate it - he's quite conservative. He was gone while I was constructing this but when he returned he just raved about how cool it looked. And today when Ashley came over, she loved it. I must admit, it is growing on me. The only drawback is that the tipped pots are extremely hard to water without the soil running out. The directions say to "water gently" - that is an under statement! I'm thinking of using a small tube pushed in each pot and pour the water down that.

I will show you the flowers in my Main Garden that I truly hate - if it is possible to hate a flower. They are some yellow iris that I had rescued from a deep woods down our street. I couldn't imagine how anyone could throw such pretty plants away! Well, here's why:
If there is one breath of wind, these things topple into a horrid mess. I thought I'd pulled them all out once, but I fear I left a few root pieces behind. This fall for certain, I will dig them all up and throw them back into that woods that I rescued them from!

Here is another bit of whimsy that I couldn't pass up. I've been moving him from place to place among the gardens but Steve says he looks best on the entry steps. That's where he's sitting tonight.
A mini Garm . . . .

Of course, Steve is working in the gardens too. I've got a grouping of four half whiskey barrels that are at least ten years old. The bands of two of them had fallen off and they were rotting. Steve bought two new ones and began to replace them. The bottoms had completely rotted away and tree roots were making their way upwards. Every year I dig and renew some of the soil in them, but never all of it. I had wondered why they were drying out so very fast last year. Those thirsty tree roots were taking all the moisture. After he completed that, he decided to chop out a decaying (lots of rotting stuff around our yard!) stump that one of the other barrels was resting on. Oh, everything becomes such a project here! It took him hours to get most of the stump and here he is. . . . .

The previous day he'd helped his son re roof his house, today he planted impatiens and the two elderberry bushes in that very far line of rocks (not the circular burning pit) which is a new area he made last fall. He then spread a fragrant mulch around the plants. It's quite beautiful. I don't know where he gets his energy - he's 59 and can out-work fellows half his age.

I still have the flower/vegetable garden to finish up as well as clean the little pond and put the fish in. That is at least two to three more days of work for me. Ashley said she'd clean out the pond, but I don't think her heart will really be in it. Oh well, any help she can give me will be appreciated. There are also containers and hanging baskets that I want to do. There is always next weekend.

This rich, dark columbine blooming near the birdbath was a complete surprise for me this year. Isn't it lovely . . .

Our pride and joy at the front of the house - a fantastic stand of "Krossa Regal". It gets alot of sun and never burns out and keeps this frosty blue color all summer. No pests bother it either.

And finally, some pretty lettuces and a pea plant and an angel lost among the Jack-in-the-Pulpit, Francis Williams hosta and ornamental grass. Obviously I haven't found just the right place for her. But I will.

Today ,while listening to a song by Bob Seger, I began to think of how many memories music can evoke in me. Many of the important times of my life are marked by music and in my next posting I'm going to explore that facet of myself with you.

Bye for now,



Carol said...

I am tired after reading your post about all you have done and so now I need a nap!

Mary said...

Go Ashley! Take her with you, everywhere :o)

Like Carol said, I'm tired after reading this. You sure did well, though. It's hard work but the benefits are great, right?

The Welcome Pug is precious.

Just remember, there is always next weekend... That's what I said on Saturday. It's too dry and hot. My new plants will need to wait until we get relief from this drought.

Piana Nanna said...

I absolutely love that columbine. And the hosta is gorgeous. You're doing something right.

Ziggywigs said...

Great post....really enjoyed catching up on your gardening delights. Love the Krossa Regal it looks fantastic and also the pots look fab too. Have loads of plants to get in but weather against me a i'm quite jealous of your progress.

Lizzie A said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lizzie A said...

Hey Alyssa,
Thank you for your thoughtful comment. I have been studing till my head starts spinning trying to get ready for the SAT which is this Saturday! Ahhhh! I am so nervous about it, and about getting ready to go to Israel (two weeks away) that a small set of muscles in my right arm twitches all the time. I asked my dad (a doctor) what it meant and if it was bad, and he said it meant I was stressed. Apparently It isn't bad, but it is SO annoying!! Gah!
I am going to need to go and study some more, sorry that I couldn't read all of what you had to say. But I did read about the cool pot rod thing. It looks REALLY cool!
Well, I have to go!
P.S. The person that I wrote that poem about is not just someone who I care for, but he is my boyfriend. I know that means that he does like me too, but I just don't know if he feels the same way about me as I feel about him. I know that not knowing is an ok thing, but I still hate it!

Kate said...


I read your post yesterday and thought that I'd responded, but I

It truly is crunch time for those of us with a limited number of months to garden.

The tipsy pots look great - I just hadn't thought about the difficulties watering them.

I loved hearing about how Ashley got you through the checkout line faster. That was funny.

Please take a picture of your pond - I'd love to see your fish!

Those yellow Iris look like they are a major pain. No wonder you want to throw them back...

Steve sounds like a wonderful man - and he helps in the garden! This is wonderful... and it gives you an opportunity to spend time together doing something fun!

Oh and I love the Elderberry shrubs!

Pam said...

Hi! Thanks for stopping by my blog, it got me back here and, well, WOW! Your gardens are incredible and your posts and pictures wonderful. I'm putting you on my favorites, this spot is a treat.

Mary said...

Hi Alyssa,

Anything new? :o)


Kylee said...

Gorgeous photos, Alyssa!

We have a cutleaf sumac - in the garden. BIG mistake, planting it there. We could set up a lemonade stand in front of our house and give away a free sumac seedling with every glass of lemonade. The suckers do break off easily, but they come up EVERYWHERE! Still, it's a gorgeous tree and a fast grower!

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