Saturday, June 15

Warmer Weather

This month has finally seen the temperature creep into the upper 60s to 90s with fewer freezes. Which meant I could finally get serious about planting things in my new flowerbeds!

You may remember me posting about Dad helping me build flowerbeds with landscape timbers and re-bar. Until now they've sat empty except for some dirt and weeds.

This weekend I went to Southwoods Nursery with my mom and grandmother and they bought me some azaleas to plant in the flowerbed against the back wall of my house. Of course, the planting couldn't be done without hitting a few snags. Apparently my sewage pipe is located in the flowerbed. Right where my perfectly spaced azalea needed to go. So instead of perfectly spaced plants I adapted my plan and planted the pink azaleas closer to the azaleas on each end.

I've heard that azaleas are hard to maintain, but the one I planted two years ago couldn't be happier and has required practically no work. To plant them I just dig a hole a little bigger and deeper than the plant. Fill it up loosely with peat moss (azaleas like acidic soil which is what the peat moss is for) and add water until the hole is filled with a soupy mixture. Then you plop the plant in, cover the edges with dirt and you're done.

The next flowerbed we built is at the end of my deck and I haven't gotten it filled yet, but my grandmother did bring me some jasmine from her house that I planted in it. Eventually it will grow up the side of the deck.

Before I could plant anything though I had to line the edges of all the flowerbeds with landscape fabric. Because we used landscape timbers to build the beds the soil can wash out the spaces between the timbers without something holding it in. Since the plants need to root deeper than the beds I couldn't cover the bottoms which made cutting the fabric to size a little tricky.

The last bed we built is in the sunniest corner of my yard and is for vegetables. It's funny that this is the sunniest area since when I moved in there were bushes growing along the back fence that made that area one of the shadiest parts of the yard. After cutting down the bushes and finally digging up the roots to prevent them from growing back the bushes are finally gone for good. I want to plant something else along that fence eventually, but something that won't destroy the fence.

This was actually the first bed I planted anything in since I went to one of the local herb festivals and stocked up on tomato and pepper plants. We have a lady in Tulsa that grows and sells heirloom tomato and pepper plants, The Tomato Man's Daughter. She has a great selection and I almost always buy my tomatoes from her.

Once I had everything planted the tricky thing was rigging a fence that would deter Ollie from jumping on the plants while he barks at the neighbor dogs. That corner is where my yard meets up with the others so Ollie likes to race through it, which may not matter once my plants are bigger than him, but for now I don't want him stomping on my plants.

I barely got my tomato and pepper plants in the ground before we had another freeze though! I cut the bottoms off of some milk jugs to cover the plants overnight so they didn't die. It actually didn't get as cold as the weathermen predicted which was good.

I'm excited to get everything growing, here's to hoping I actually get tomatoes and peppers and even blackberries this year! The last few years were so hot and dry so early in the season that everything dried up too fast.

In the front yard I bought some bushes to replace those that died a couple summers ago and Grandmother bought me a couple of new plants to go in the pots on the front porch with my silver sage.

Hopefully they'll survive, I think it looks pretty nice all together!

Other pictures from this spring:

St. Francis looked pretty nice with my tulips
blooming this spring. Irises and dahlias
are starting to come up now.

The garden bed has some sort of purple flower
that grows along the fence. Lovely (and invasive).

Ollie thinks he's a rabbit.
Or at least runs like one.

Titan, my brother's cat, enjoying
geraniums at my mom's house.

I know dandelions are weeds, but don't they
look pretty making a path to the forsythia?

I hate to mow, but Ollie loves a freshly mowed yard.

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