Up Pop the ‘Daffies

Things are popping up all over the garden.  Don’t you love this time of year?

With plenty of evidence of a squirrel invasion and the later-than-recommended planting date, I tried to keep my expectations low.  I’d seen daffodils in full bloom throughout the neighborhood,but mine were still a no-show.

A watched pot never boils, so I feigned indifference. Up popped the ‘Daffies. I planted fifty of them in the curb garden, interspersed with last year’s perennials.  I lost count due to feline distractions, but I’m pretty sure most of them came up.

daffodils break ground

Daffodils break ground

chocolate mint

Chocolate mint

Mint is a bit like ivy. It will rule the garden if left undisturbed. So with a watchful eye, I hope to encourage the mint to trail over the edges of the garden bed, to leave plenty of room for everything else. It’s beautiful and fragrant and super easy to grow.

thyme

I think this is Thyme

I think this is Thyme, but don’t remember planting it.I looked at my planting list, and thyme wasn’t included. That’s okay, though. I like a little mystery in a garden.

feline border control

Feline border patrol

Mighty Mouse, my feline adviser wouldn’t take no for an answer. He hounded me throughout my rounds, insisting I pick him up. I rested my foot on the support of the box and he made his move. His special party trick involves springing from the ground on to my shoulder or my back. It’s fine in the winter months when I’m wearing a jacket, but summer shoulder-hopping is strongly discouraged.  Ouch!

curb garden

Curb Garden

That’s the long view of the curb garden. We’re just ten days away from the Northern Hemisphere’s first day of spring. I. Can’t. Wait!

Planting the Strip: Three Cheers for More Dirt!

Mighty Mouse offers up his own opinion

Mighty Mouse offers up his own opinion

In early January, I polled my readers on the pros and cons of re-planting the sidewalk strip. I wanted something other than lawn. The vote was split down the middle.

We’ve lived in this house for 17 years, adding trees, flowers, shrubs and vegetables, but that boring strip of grass never changed. I thought of planting summer vegetables in the strip or  veggies and a few flowers.

It’s not that people disliked the idea. The no votes worried about doggie deposits or thieves in the night. Others feared vandalism (they’d seen it before) or easy access for neighborhood cats.

The yes votes suggested flowers instead of vegetables (less tempting to passersby) and one reader suggested a raised bed. Head slap!  What a great idea.

My husband was happy with the status quo. I was ready for a change (and more garden). Once he knew what it meant to me, he agreed to the idea *and* built the planting bed.  It’s 16 x 4 x 1 feet or (5 x 1 x .3 meters)

grassy sidewalk strip

The sidewalk strip, planted with sod

Planting bed 4 x 16

Planting bed, newly delivered potting soil

What fun I’m having with all that extra space! I can’t wait till things start filling in. Plants include:

  • Status (transplanted from the back yard)
  • Nasturtium (started from seed in my kitchen window)
  • Cosmo (another transplant); and
  • Nursery finds including Candy Tuft ‘Masterpiece,’ Chocolate Mint, Heliotrope Blue, Lemon Thyme, Snapdragons and Verbena.
planting bed

Newly planted, irrigation installed

Yellow snapdragons

Yellow Snapdragons

Candytuft 'Masterpiece'

Candytuft ‘Masterpiece’

Feline

Feline Neighbor

Another reader comment suggested removing some of the lawn on the property side of our lot.  I did that as well, planting sunflowers, Alyssum and Forget-me-nots.  I covered all of it with a pop-up tent to keep the squirrels and snails at bay.  Nothing grew!  Finally I removed the cover and planted bedding plants instead.

Low and behold, the seeds are now sprouting and everything is filling in nicely. Apparently they weren’t staying moist enough to germinate.  Lesson learned.

Planting the corner

Planting the corner

So far, so good on the planting strip.  My neighbors are giving it a thumbs up and other than the character in the photo, above, no untoward behavior other than cat-napping between the plants.