Today, this bed holds the wild dogwood I transplanted from a friend’s yard, a rice paper bush, a cloned dogwood from the National Phenology Network, some bearded irises, some white dwarf crested irises, some Asiatic lilies, a couple of Eastern columbines, 4 varieties of hellebores/Lenten roses, a small patch of cranesbill, a Bigleaf magnolia, one tea bush, a bear’s breeches, a Daphne odora, 2 kinds of ivy, a Japanese maple, a red camellia, 5 mums and I sowed seeds for 2 heights of zinnias, portulaca and impatiens today.
The largest part of this year’s yard project is done. Grass is out; mulch is in. Tea bushes are transplanted. I hope moving hasn’t killed them. I need to get the cover weeds out of the older part of the bed so we can mulch there, too. We used a thick layer of mulch to kill the grass there and it was effective. But, that mulch has turned into dirt and needs refreshing.
I moved the Euonymus that I had planted in that bed to the back yard where the deer can’t get to it. It’s supposed to be a bush but, right now, it’s a stick because it was snacked on heavily last summer. But, it’s not dead as evidenced by the leaves popping out. So, I have hope.
Our Japanese maple was accidentally mutilated by some yard guys who were taking down dead chunks of the maple on the corner of our lot. After some consideration, I got a new tree. The mutilated one was in too much sun and looked like crap for most of the summer. So, we finished the job the yard guys started and put a new tree in the front Partial Shade bed.
I found parts of a man’s shoe and a patch of nails while I was digging the grass out. And I’m constantly amazed at the amount of quartz that grows in our ground.
I took a picture of the new asparagus bed. But, right now it’s just dirt.
The old bed has been swallowed up by honeysuckle and overshadowed by a mimosa tree. It was never as enthusiastic a producer as I had hoped. And when I finally looked up how to grow asparagus in NC clay instead of taking the advice of someone gardening in another part of the state, I learned that asparagus likes sandy soil that drains well. I had essentially planted it so that it would drown.
Lowe’s has Mary Washington crowns for sale, 5 in a box. I bought 5 boxes and returned 2. 15 crowns seem well spaced in the 40″ X 87″ bed. I put 2 bags of mushroom compost on top of them. Since the beds are raised, drainage isn’t going to be a problem.
Chuck planted lettuce in the 5″ x 6″ holes around the outside edge.
In 2013, Marty gave us some black raspberry canes. They have pretty much crowded out the wild blackberries that were growing at the edge of our treeline.
This year, I found yellow raspberries for sale at Lowe’s and I bought one.
I was digging up black raspberries to share with coworkers and mentioned that to my friend, Patti, who lives in Williamsburg, Virginia. She had just been given some thornless raspberries by a Garden Club friend. We arranged a trade. Hers came to her from Vermont. We assume they are red.
I am really hoping to have all 3 colors producing in a year or 2.
My Nanny (paternal grandmother) was a constant gardener. She canned or preserved anything she had enough of to put in a jar. When my uncle was situated with a yard big enough to plant in, he followed her example. His uncle, her brother, used to get bean seeds from a local general store to send to his nephew in Nashville, TN.
When Nanny died, we pulled out all the things she had put by and everybody got an equal portion. Except, she had taught me how to make pickles. So, I traded my pickles for quarts of beans. And had no more for 2 decades.
Four years ago, I called that general store to see if they still carried Hamby bean seeds. My uncle’s garden was gone as his dementia progressed and his uncle had been gone almost as long as his sister. And they do. They don’t usually sell the little hobby garden size package, but they sold me a quarter pound of seeds. They weren’t (maybe still aren’t) set up to take a credit card. So, they sent the seeds to me with a bill enclosed, trusting me to send a check back to them.
(Of course I did. Shut up.)
My dad, never a gardener, has been delighted with the flavor of his past, when I share.
Hambys are pole beans and have a fairly short production period. But, they put out like crazy for for the 3 or 4 weeks they do put out. They are a great, meaty bean and the seeds turn lavender when you cook them.
We have 4 tepees this year and this is our first harvest.
Yes. I’m bragging. Whatever.
They are bigger, but not huge. One died, so there are only three. I haven’t tried harvesting anything yet. But I’m continually delighted when they blossom.
Buds are forming.
I know they are camellias. But, it tickles me to see the proof of it.
I took this last September.
I think this is about a quarter of the nuts that we will get from our bushes. The rest are still green.
I think we need to plant some straight into the ground around the rest of the border of the labyrinth. It looks like they do best when messed with the least.