Monday, June 29, 2009

Newly planted maple peeping out from among the daylilies:

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Now blooming!

Climbing rose in the corner:



Goddamn lily beetles - these would have been so gorgeous. And this having gone through $20 worth of neem oil trying to beat them back. I should ask the nursery I was at what their secret is, their lilies are pristine.

Evening primroses:

Digitalis, which will hopefully multiply for next year:

Not actually blooming yet, but check out the buds on this sucker - David Austin roses FTW! I was thinking of moving it in front of the spirea in the fall, but it's obviously not suffering here, so maybe I'll just get another one.

Lavender (and geranium):


Daylilies and some other lilies that for some reason the beetles don't seem to like as much, thank god. Too bad I can't actually claim any responsibility for this display, this was all here when we moved in.

I have decided: tomorrow I am going to go get an itsy bitsy japanese maple, and then I will dig out a space for it among the daylilies in the corner and cross my fingers. I haven't killed any splurge plants so far this year, so we'll see what happens.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Plant spoils du jour:

* the COOLEST sempervivens I've ever seen - I saw some sending up pink blooms on stalks 3-4" tall. I had no idea these actually flowered.
* alpine phlox, which is a pokey creeping evergreen sort of thing
* gypsophila paniculata, aka baby's breath. I always thought this was stupidly hard to grow, but lo and behold there is a hardy version, so I am trying it.
* gaura pinks, with funky red foliage:

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Loblaws, you bastards, I SWEAR you are taunting me. In addition to the gorgeous $300 weeping maples, they now have $20 itsy bitsy ones. I AM GRAVELY, SORELY TEMPTED. Need to muster out into the sun bed and see if I have room for another 5' spreading plant. In the corner, maybe?

I did snap up a few border plants - hens & chicks, sea thrift, and stonecrop. I also got some heleniums, because they looked like fun.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

In addition to mulch, I figure I also need plant soldiers in the weed battle, namely: edging. Something to grow in those spaces so the creeping charlie et cetera won't. Would like a nice variety though so the resulting "border" doesn't look too weirdly formal. So am browsing the intarwebs to compile possibilities.

* more pink thrift
* hens & chicks
* more munstead lavender
* flowering sage
* dianthus
* more creeping phlox
* rock cress
* snow-in-summer

The intarwebs keep suggesting catmint (nepeta). Is that not the same thing as catnip? Because I think I have enough cat traffic in my yard, kthxbai...

Monday, June 22, 2009

Irrigation system: complete and leak-free, w00t!!

Weeds: beaten back, sort of. They seem to know that they have been dealt a serious blow by my landscaping efforts, because wherever I carelessly left a leaf or two exposed at the edges of the new beds, they are exploding into new growth. I think I'd better advance my plans for mulch in a hurry while the advantage is still mine. Also, to every last bit of creeping charlie everywhere, I say "YOU GO TO HELL AND YOU DIE".

Saturday, June 20, 2009

The Lee Valley irrigation system I bought? It rocks HARDCORE. I was amazed at how straightforward it was to set up, considering how very complicated it looks in the catalogue. For 3h of puttering I have an amazing low-flow system up and running - it waters almost the whole backyard at once with about 1/16 of a twist of the faucet. It's visible but unobtrusive, and as plants start growing up the fence (honeysuckle, clematis, roses) it will practically disappear. The only problem is a leak between two components at the distribution header; I will be popping into the store again on Monday to pick up one last component to complete my schemes, so I'll bring the leaking connection in with me and ask them how to fix it.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Right, so now that I can lift my self-imposed ban on plant-buying, time for a Picture Post!

The whole thing is kind of a jungle. I haven't been devoting enough time to it lately. Next year, by god, there will be mulch!!!


Not a lot has changed here, except for the daisies and the magnolia in the foreground. The daisies were an experiment - I spotted the foliage in the lawn and figured I'd mow around them to find out what they'd turn into. I suspect they are of the perniciously invasive variety, but they are very pretty.


Also possibly pernicious but pretty: the laughably inaccurately named obedience plant. I had a stand of these at Jamieson and was warned that they were a weed, but my repeated attempts to dig them out were in vain.



Well, there's certainly been progress back here since this time last month!

Below are a few images looking around the back half of the yard. (The other half is such a disaster I'm not even going to photograph it. I probably won't even touch it till next year.) Too bad I forgot to get a picture of the spirea in full bloom, it was gorgeous. Yesterday's rain has mostly dispersed the blanket of poplar fluff that fell back here from the neighbour's tree - it was sitting on the ground in snow-like drifts. The rain was, however, too late to save a chunk of the patio thyme, which I probably should have been watering. Dammit. I'll buy another potful and try again. I'm scheming a surprisingly affordable Lee Valley irrigation system back here, so hopefully I can get that set up on the weekend and things will be less parched from then on.




Here's a closer view of the sunny bed so far.


Monster alliums in bloom - AWESOME, I think I need more of these:


And revenant hydrangeas of insanity. I cut these fuckers down to the ground this spring, and here they are, back again, 3' tall and going strong. The one next to the house, which I didn't get around to pruning, is even threatening to bloom already.


Garden tasks
* Weeding: front yard, in front of spirea, borders of beds, beside house
* Calculate gph of faucet and plot out irrigation system, snap up components from Lee Valley, and set up
* Collect all the yard waste
* Get leftover stone into a pile and brainstorm some ideas of what to do with it
* Mow the patch of grass beside the shed, which has almost buried the pile of roots I left there
* Take Ed Lawrence's sneaky soap and water treatment to the honeysuckle, which is being snacked on by something

Friday, June 5, 2009

While shoving potted plants around, trying to figure out where I should put them, I realized that I couldn't remember how big the magnolia was going to get. The number that sprang to mind was 6-8 feet, but I figured it would be wise to double check.

Well, I just did. The one I have is a Leonard Messel, and apparently those bastards eventually reach around 25' ... after 10-15 years they're hitting around 18'.

They are, of course, stunning when full-grown. But where the hell am I going to put a tree that gets to be as tall as the house?? And how did I fail to notice this problem? I could have SWORN I looked this up before. Well, I suppose I have plenty of room in the front yard, and I can start a new garden bed around that foundation... of course at this point I need another garden bed like I need a hole in the head, I have WAY MORE THAN ENOUGH to keep me busy. Well, in a few years, maybe I'll start working on that. I can plant the tree, at least.

At least that solves my problem of how to fit the dappled willow and the magnolia in the same bed.
I went to a nursery this morning. Just to browse.

Schya. Browse. Right.

I came away with:

* a Lemon Lights azalea - couldn't resist its beautiful peachy-salmon colour.

* a dappled willow - I tried to grow one of these from a twig Vesey's sent me and was disappointed when it died; I saw some at Loblaws but they were kind of twiggy and scorched-looking; so I couldn't resist when I saw much bushier healthy-looking specimens this morning.

* a Hillside Black Beauty bugbane, aka Black Snakeroot - been meaning to pick one of these up for a while, actually.

* some pink thrift to go with the white thrift I bought yesterday.

I hereby declare a two-week freeze on plant-buying. No more plants for me until June 19!