Thirty Days in the Garden: And in This Corner

We spend a lot of time near the back steps to our home. It’s a cozy spot, sheltered from the wind, and private, even on our small lot.

Lindy joins us on the back steps

The first of two steps are wide, accommodating several large pots. The pots once housed a hodgepodge of plants, but an unrelenting pest problem led me to clear them out and start over a few years ago

Any excuse to visit a nursery, eh?

The once-small succulent in the center of the old fountain

I disposed of the pest-laden plants, refreshed the soil, and transplanted a runaway succulent.

“Dr. Seuss” succulent reaching skyward

The white flowering azalea fills a pot of its own. The other two azaleas are surrounded by bellflowers. I was aiming for what designers call the “thrill, fill, and spill” of container gardens. The azaleas fill and thrill leaving the Serbian bellflowers campanula to spill over the edge. I won’t be winning any prizes in a garden show, but I enjoy the results.

White azalea at the corner of the house

Azaleas are great patio plants. They have shallow roots and prefer living under a tree, or in our case, the eaves of the house. I was stunned to learn that they can live for fifty years!

Pink azaleas, bellflowers, assorted succulents and “Dr. Seuss: the plant”, untamed

The succulent grew at an alarmingly rate, looping up, then down, then back up again. It started as a wee plant in what used to be a fountain. With little information to be gleaned from the nursery’s small plant marker I assumed it would remain small. In no time, it required a pot of its own, then a trellis, and a few hooks attached to the house. I eventually reshaped it to a more manageable size, and the plant continues to thrive.

March, 2021: the succulent reduced and reshaped, no longer topples over

I love this quiet corner of our garden. We’ve been eating lunch outside during this warm spell, and we’ll spend more time there as the days grow longer. One by one, the resident felines wander out to join us. It’s our little oasis, sorely needed during these trying times. It fosters contentment all around.

Tessa defying gravity on the poof, Serbian bellflowers in the background

Blooming Thursday: Enjoying the Rain

We’re enjoying a wet spring break, with rain falling most days.  I woke to a heavy squall around five this morning and never got back to sleep.  The sound of rain at that hour is soothing and invigorating, unless of course you’re a cat.  Falling rain is simply annoying.  Our kitties cast a backward glance as I open the door, as if to say “make it stop!”

If the flowers could talk, they would tell a different tale.  I’ll attempt to interpret with photos, below.

Raspberry Flower about to Fruit

Through the Grapevine

A New Garden Addition

Pink Azalea Closeup

Refreshed

Candy-cane Azalea Smothered in Blooms

The Plants are In!

Resident (Self-described) Hole Digger
My Husband, Mike

We’re sore and tired but content with the satisfaction that comes from an honest day’s work. It’s been a few years since we’ve planted for the better part of a day but we did it. Mike prefers sailing to gardening, but at the start of our marriage, he designated himself the resident hole-digger. Am I ever lucky!

The plants near the house went in quickly. The soil is free of roots and was easy to work. The challenge was the planting area under the neighboring pine. I cut away several surface roots before digging was under way, but the roots are invasive, in some cases two inches in diameter. We ended up tag-teaming the larger holes, digging a little, cutting the roots and then digging some more.

Getting Started

We made a quick run to the local Home Depot for redwood mulch, but underestimated by about 10%. Otherwise, the planting and mulching are done.

I can’t wait to get started on the vegetable beds!

Plant Placement

Putting Down Roots

Planting Area Adjacent to the Steps

Planting under the Living Room Window
Don't the plants look cozy under all that mulch?

Abutilons Along the Fence Line

View from the Corner of the House

Paradise Found

Plant Legend

Corner Near Steps:

Heuchera micrantha ‘Palace Purple’ Coral Bells
Liriope muscari “Variegata” Lilyturf
Phormium hybrid ‘Maori Sunrise’ New Zealand Flax
Hemerocallis hybrid ‘Evergreen Yellow’ Daylily

Under Window:

Azalea kurume hybrid “Hino crimson” Azalea
Campanula poscharskyana Serbian Bell flower
Heuchera micrantha ‘Palace Purple’ Coral Bells
Liriope muscari “Variegata” Lilyturf

Fence Line:

Abutilon hybridum ‘Flowering Maple’
Campanula poscharskyana Serbian Bell flower

Back Corner:

Campanula poscharskyana Serbian Bell flower
Hakonechloa macra ‘Aureola’ Japanese Frost Grass
Hemerocallis hybrid ‘Evergreen Yellow’ Daylily
Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Nikko Blue’ Garden Hydrangea

Blooming Thursday: The Color of the Day is Pink

A Natural Bouquet

The color pink can “stimulate energy and can increase the blood pressure, respiration, heartbeat, and pulse rate,” according to All About the Color Pink.  Conversely, prison walls are painted  lighter shades of pink to calm aggression and anxiety.

When choosing flowering plants for my garden, pink is my top choice.  Pinks contrast beautifully with green, and they are softer and cooler than reds. I’ve planted pink clover, Impatiens, cyclamen and geraniums in the past along with carpet roses and azaleas.  Interestingly, the star jasmine starts out with pink buds, morphing into white when fully in bloom.  The flowering blossoms on many of the fruit trees are also a lovely shade of pink.  Our now-deceased almond tree served as the focal point of our garden for years.  We were  sad to see it go.  We’ve since replaced it with a four-in-one fruit cocktail tree with equally magnificent flowers, but it will be a few years before it grows to the same magnificent size.

What’s your favorite pink bloom?

Four-in-one Fruit Tree

Flowering Bulbs

Jasmine and Mousy

Yes, I am pretty darn cute

Okay, just one more cute kitty picture. Look at those pink ears and that adorable pink nose.