Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Another Photo Post day #2

The first peas of the season! I'm very excited for this because I was afraid that the peas I planted wouldn't come up since they were in the wrong zone. Needless to say, I planted sweet peas over them...we'll see what happends with that but at least I'll have peas early, I planted another 2 rows of peas last week.

I'm not sure what this is. I planted it back in February and lost track since options basically are Pansy, Berginia Rose, Poppy, Hollyhock. There's a few I thought I could throw out but now I'm just not sure what it is.

One of the 2 raspberries that started growing, according to the company, I will get berries this year. According to how fast it's growing, it seems accurate.

Pumpkins, these weren't even out of the ground the day before, now they're huge!

Onions, possibly planted too close but it's going to look chaotic no matter what.

Lettuce, doing great but a little too early to harvest a whole lot.

Hibiscus started from a bareroot plant. Doing great!

Garlic, looks like I wasn't looking when I planted these, they're kinda all over the place. Behind it I planted 2nd round of peas and some beans to climb up the fence.

Ornamental Strawberry with a visiting friend.


Dahlia 2 of 15 have come up and these are big, that's all I have so far, I'm worried...


Convolvulus, Just planted on Thursday to climb up the fence and shade the hostas, also to make a nice transition with the tall flowers in the front.

The Chives bloomed last week. I don't really use these so they're just decoration.

The first of the beans came up. This is a Dragon Tounge. I'm excited!

I'll try to update next week. No time now except for pictures. :)

Another Photo Post Day #1

Any idea what kind of Clematis this is? I bought it last year in the late season, not even knowing what it was.

We stopped at lowes and they had some 99 cent 6pak annuals so we got some Impatients

Can anyone tell me what this is? It is growing along with a wild violet. It has the cutest little white with pink striped flowers.

More annuals, too cute to leave at the store.

More to come...Lots of work in the garden this last weekend and we're already benefiting from it!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Big Gardening Day

Here are all the results from my hard work yesterday...there is more that I didn't take pictures of. They will come later.

Wild Violets

The one Iris that bloomed of the 20 some that were here when I moved in.

New fence and new plants from the plant exchange

Work in progress. (new compost bin in back built by me)

This is all flowers if you can't tell and some new brick work in the front.

The first strawberry starting to form.


Mountain Aster that I got from the plant exchange took very well, the other plant doesn't look as good but is still blooming, although it is facing the ground.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Getting Things Done, Adding More to the List.

I am unfortunately realizing how much shade is actually in my garden spaces. Because of this I am trying to find plants for that habitat. I remembered that the woods at my parents house, there are many Jack in the Pulpit which I plant to go and dig up to bring to my house. I've also done a bit of research for what works best in the shade. Here is what I came up with:
Lamium (should have grabbed some at the plant swap)
Bigroot Geranium
Toad Lily
virginia bluebells
Jacobs Ladder
Coral Bells
and of course some grasses or ferns

This doesn't include what I already have, these are simply thing I hope to have growing there one day.

On another note, everything is coming along greatly! Gladiolous is popping up everywhere as well as cosmos, marshmallow, violas(late I know) and a few others.
My broccoli is doing okay, slightly eaten but they will survive, Garlic is about 6 inches tall which is great because I planted it late. Peas are getting taller and taller everyday. My carrots have been showing for a few days, Hibiscus I planted in the front are shooting leaves up and last but not least my anne raspberries (sadly 2 out of 3) are throwing out leaves as well. The third I am getting replaced. I planted a few peppers that I didn't mark in one of the only sunny spots by the driveway, we'll see how those do. Everything is coming along very nicely. I'm excited to be finished and only have upkeep for the rest of the summer. That is far away though, and knowing myself, I will simply keep improving even if there is nothing left to improve(won't be the case for years). I'm excited for tomorrow, hopefully I will get everything put in the ground that I wanted, get the compost pile built and at least prepare the last 2 spots in the garden. I might be being ambitious but it's better than being lazy.
Happy Gardening

Monday, May 17, 2010

A Productive Weekend and My First Plant Exchange

Well, I have survived my first plant exchange unharmed. My boyfriend and I attended a plant exchange in Minneapolis yesterday and actually had quite a good time. I was worried about what I was bringing and decided on leaving a few things at home which I wish I would have brought now. All I had was 2 Chamomile plants, 2 Scarlet O' Hara Morning Glory's, some Chives, 1 Ornamental Strawberry-Lipstick 2 Ferns, 3 Hostas and a package of Fairy Lily bulbs (rain Lily's). I only came home with one hosta, everything else went fast. I should have brought a bunch of peppers, only one other person had any and they were much smaller than mine. Who knows, maybe I will go to another this season, we'll see. I came home with at least triple what I had brought. A few exciting items to add to my garden are as follows: Jack in the Pulpit, Lily of the Valley (pink, finally), Mountain Aster, Lamium, Red Bee Balm, Mint, Spiderwort, Sea Holly, Phlox, Dianthus, Salvia and the list goes on. Including probably 8 new red raspberry plants which I will have to find a place for. I can't wait to get home and put them in the ground! It will be nice to have some perennials blooming already this year.

As for things accomplished this weekend (other than creating more work for myself with all these plants), I was very productive. I prepared the end of the front bed which for some reason is overflowing with soil. Derek came up with an idea to fix that problem with some extra bricks we have laying around. The idea is to make a section in the front a low level bed and raise the remaining up about 4 or 5 inches. It will be a subtle chance but at least add something interesting to look at. I may go purchase a few more bricks in order to make a more significant raised bed. We'll see, I already have a lot of work cut out for myself and him. I am so proud of him for the idea however, I love that he is taking a part in this years garden and not only that but bringing more to it than I would have. I hope this continues!

I finished planting the front bed completely with flowers. I can't wait for things to start coming up so I can mulch and add some annuals here and there. I quite honestly have no idea what it will look like but I hope it is not overwhelming. It probably will be since I put some VERY tall flowers in including sunflowers and Marshmallow that will cover up half of the front of our house. We'll see.

Things I remember planting this weekend:
White Bleeding Heart
Fairy Lily
Pansy Black?(transplant)
Twinkle Toes
Double Anenomes
Zinnia-State Fair
Magic Carpet Mix(Gurneys)
Bergamo Bee Balm (annual)
Durango Marigolds
Peacock Orchid
Ornamental Blue Fescue Grass
Evening Primrose

Ornamental Strawberry

I also just identified a few plants (some I bought end season last year for about 70% off) around the yard. I definitely have a Clematis vine, Peonies that doesn't look ready to bloom yet, and a flower called an Ornamental Strawberry-lipstick (mentioned above). There are more too that I don't have the names to at the moment.

I am taking Thursday off of work to get some more work done but how I wish I had a wheelbarrow. My back is aching from all the hauling I had to do this weekend. Wheels would have been awfully nice. But I will get it done none the less, I am still hardening off my peppers and other things which I keep forgetting need lots of room. But I still have a few areas that need preparation so I'm not too worried. It would take a whole week of time off to really get everything ready to the point that I want it to be. Oh well, I will take it slow, I don't think I'm as behind as I think I am. The summer hasn't even begun yet.

Till next time, enjoy the WONDERFUL weather!

Monday, May 10, 2010

May Weekend Freeze, Why Minnesota?

As a little reminder to myself, these are the bulbs that I will need to pull up before winter:
2 Cana bulbs
6 Calla Bulbs
84 Gladiolus Bulbs (about)
15 Dahlia Bulbs (about)
20 Peacock Orchid
20-30 Fairy Lily
15 Ranunculus
40 Double Anemones
20 Twinkle Toes

Before Jumping into the real reason I'm writing this post, I'd like to put up some pictures from around my garden that I've been meaning to get to for a week or so. And for the record, these looked much better before I uploaded them to snapfish:

I know this looks terrible with all of the weeds but I assure you those are gone now. I didn't have time before but it has been taken care of :)

I'm worried this little bloom will be dead now because of the frost.

I got to use some of this lettuce last night on my tacos, how exciting!

I am very worried from the freezing this weekend. I don't have a whole lot out but a few things are finally starting to come up. Well, before yesterday I didn't have too much out, and whatever is out is mostly perennials. Since the weather was nice yesterday afternoon though, I ended up planting a whole lot of stuff. I'm curious though if I need to worry or not. They were from seeds, I didn't put any seedlings out so am I safe? I have no idea. I again wonder why I still live in Minnesota.
I took a few pictures last weekend though. Lots of things are happening out there though. I can't wait for the weather to warm back up. My raspberries are starting to bud along with my Hibiscus. Flowers on my strawberries, a few tips poking out from gladiolus bulbs(one of the things I'm worried about), a few sprouts of which I hope to be Violas, carrots, broccoli and the wildflowers I planted. We'll see though. I just hope everything survived but I won't know for awhile.
Friday night I heard there could be a freeze so I gathered my buckets and boxes and bags and covered the things I was worried about. I uncovered everything on Saturday around noon, thinking we were in the clear as the forecast Friday predicted warmer weather Sunday night. Apparently I need to check into this more often because I had no clue whatsoever that it would freeze Sunday. Luckily, I had been hardening plants off for the last couple weeks and decided to bring them in since it was fairly cold...thinking I was just being safe. Well had I known, I would have been out there covering everything. Oh well, there is nothing I can do about it now. Just wait and hope.

Things I planted yesterday(that I remember):
Sweet Corn
Zucchini (burpee and T&M)
Pumpkin (burpee)
2 Canna Lilies
Columbine Barlow Mix
Chianti Sunflower
Aztec Gold Sunflower
Taiyo Sunflower
Johnny Jump Up

(and the week of april 25th included: Coneflower, Lupine, Pink hollyhock, Gaillardia, Oriental Poppy-Red, Broccoli, Garlic, Carrots)

On a better note, my two shipments from Gurney's and Michigan Bulb Co. are sitting on my doorstep as I type. I have a bunch of goodies in there:
Hardy Carnations
Double Anemones
White Bleeding Heart
Fairy Lilies
Peacock Orchid
Dwarf Pomegranate Tree

Michigan Bulb Co. Emailed me back about my dead bleeding heart and strawberry and has already shipped the new items. It's nice to see a company actually functions like they say they will. Thanks guys.

I also got some seeds from them as well. I can't wait to get them into the ground but I will be patient and wait for this icky weather to pass. In the meantime, I will purchase any cheap cheap sheets I run across, in case the weather drops again. I will be prepared and be better at checking the weather every day and night.

This is the only Iris I have that is showing buds.

I believe this is Creeping Baby's Breath. I got it last year after the blooms were gone so I don't remember what it really is now.

Best of luck to those of you in Minnesota!!! Or in the north in general.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Iris Issues

I have one flower bud total on all of the Iris in my yard. This I thought was strange because even the 5 or 6 Iris that I did not move this spring, do not have any buds, just foliage. The I did a little research on GardenWeb and found out it is PROBABLY because they are planted too deeply, AND need to be divided. The ones that were already here when I moved in were rhizomes. I moved these before I had done my research, just got excited and put them somewhere I would be able to look at them. I do remember there being some rotted parts that I would have removed had I known better, and some are quite long with multiple bumps that should have been split. Silly me. Now I am debating if I should wait until they die off to divide them or to just do it now and see what happens. It's not like I spent money on them, they were just in my yard already so why not take the risk? The foliage is already about a foot and a half tall, and there is definitely nothing going on there. I will leave the one with one bud on it, even though it will look awfuly funny.

I planted those Dutch Iris too that apparently come from bulbs instead of Rhizomes, who knew the same type of plant could come from something completely different. Kinda cool actually.

Different Problems

It seems I keep running into little problems. Which all gardeners do I assume. Of the plants I have ordered I am somewhat disappointed. I thought everything was great with the bareroot plants that I got from Michigan Bulb Co. but my Old-Fashioned Bleeding heart went from doing absolutely nothing, to drying out and wilting to the ground. It has been in the ground for 3 or 4 weeks now and everything (almost) else I got from them is showing new growth. I emailed them almost a week ago to ask about a replacement and still have not heard anything. I wouldn't mind so much but it is a spring plant, as soon as it warms up, it won't flower and I've wasted a month of growth time. Along with that from MBC. One of the 6 Strawberry plants I received has also not done anything, while the rest have new leaves and are doing well. 1 out of 6 isn't very good odds I don't think. The last thing I have to complain about is my packet of seeds from Park Seed for some Hibiscus. The packet had 10 seeds in it, and it instructed me to soak them overnight which I did. Only 3 came up. Which is a huge and ridiculous dissapointment. 3/10 is terrible. I have emailed them too and am waiting for a response. I'm trying to be optimistic since both companies have guaranties but I have very bad luck with things like that...there are always conditions and such. Boo.
On another very different note, it is cold here this weekend. My boyfriend and this years gardening buddy has the entire weekend off with me which hasn't happened for probably 2 or 3 months. Being that next week is our last frost date, I was hoping to get all of the final preperations done for the garden beds. There are 3 more beds that need to be cleared and prepared with compost and fertilizer. Two should be simple and the other one is the largest and hasn't been touched in 4 years. That should be quite the chore. And we don't have a wheelbarrow :( That problem needs to be fixed. Anyways, with the first plant date being so close, I had hoped to have much more done but I only have the weekend and a few 2 hour nights per week that I can work outside so I have not been as productive as I wanted to be. I might have to push things back so that I don't rush into planting in the wrong places just because it wasn't prepared yet. I have a bad tendency to do those things, always getting overly excited.

Reading blogs from other zones makes me very jealous, and makes me wonder why I am still living in Minnesota/Wisconsin. I am seeing pictures of all kinds of flowers and wonderous things that have come up and already in bloom while my yard is very sad with the only color being the wild (what I believe to be) violets and dandelions. Luckily for me we have lilac bushes in the backyard or I'm simply be going crazy. Hopefully everything will fall into place this next week, I know I will get anxious and probably end up working till dark every night that the weather permits. There is nothing wrong with that but I should really learn not to procrastinate.