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Jan. 28 - Filled the bird feeders and shoveled snow. Lots and lots of snow.
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Posts Tagged ‘perennials’

Some Before And After Pictures Of Our Yard And Garden

IMG 3265 300x234 Some Before And After Pictures Of Our Yard And Garden

New Hostas planted in the fall of 2011 (before losing the shade of some tree limbs and neighboring trees due to a storm).

When looking at our property on Google maps, I found photos of our yard before we bought it 3 years ago. The bird’s eye view is from about 2 years ago. It’s fun to see how it use to be and how it is evolving. It is still a work in progress. Most of the plants are in (there is always room for more) but they will begin to grow and change and the garden will mature and become a more peaceful, relaxing place.

IMG 32541 150x150 Some Before And After Pictures Of Our Yard And Garden

Front yard before 2009

 

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Front corner by the stop sign before 2009

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMG 32961 300x224 Some Before And After Pictures Of Our Yard And Garden

Front corner and sidewalk 2012

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMG 32931 300x224 Some Before And After Pictures Of Our Yard And Garden

Front corner with picket fence and Apricot trees 2012

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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South side of yard before 2009

IMG 3305 150x150 Some Before And After Pictures Of Our Yard And Garden

Sidewalk on south side of house 2012

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMG 32871 300x224 Some Before And After Pictures Of Our Yard And Garden

South side of yard 2012

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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South side of back yard before 2009

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMG 2849 300x224 Some Before And After Pictures Of Our Yard And Garden

South side of back yard May, 2012 with peach trees over fence

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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South side of yard August, 2011

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMG 32581 300x178 Some Before And After Pictures Of Our Yard And Garden

Bird's eye view of our yard about 2010. Large tree on left was taken out 2011. The grape arbor (or pergola) had just been built and the deck wasn't built yet.

 

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Master garden plan (North is on the left and South is on the right). Green shows the flower beds to be planted.

 

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South east corner of the back yard 2009, before garden planted, arbor and deck built.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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South east corner of back yard 2011 with deck, peach trees, raised vegetable beds and roses

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

P1010041 150x150 Some Before And After Pictures Of Our Yard And Garden

Arbor site - Grape Vines planted before arbor built. 2009

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMG 32212 300x275 Some Before And After Pictures Of Our Yard And Garden

Grape vines reaching the top of the arbor 2011

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Take lots and lots of pictures. You’ll be glad you did. I wish we had taken more, especially of our lawn being carted off. We rented a sod cutter and cut up the lawn. Then we put out a huge “Free Sod” sign and our lawn was hauled away by many neighbors. They were happy and we were left with a clean slate.

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Where to start? – How To Plan a Garden, How To Plant a Garden – How To Be a Gardener

P10100551 300x225 Where to start?   How To Plan a Garden, How To Plant a Garden   How To Be a Gardener

Back yard in 2009, before garden planted, arbor and deck built

I’m trying to decide whether to began at the end or the beginning. Maybe I’ll just jump back and forth.

I mentioned in “About Us” that in 2009 we’d bought a very old home in the Rocky Mountains (zone 5b-6a) and had taken up most of our lawn. I didn’t mention that we also took down four huge trees and many large, old shrubs. You can imagine what a mess our yard looked. But…we had a plan.

Here is a picture of our yard when we began laying it out. The big crater is where a large stump was ground out and where the Queen Elizabeth roses now stand beside the deck. You can see 2 of the 5 little peach trees planted early that spring. The small one on the end is stunted because deer ate the top out of it when it first put on leaves.

P10100071 300x225 Where to start?   How To Plan a Garden, How To Plant a Garden   How To Be a Gardener

Peach trees, Queen Elizabeth roses, hyacinth bean tower

I think the neighbors were a little worried about the nut jobs that had moved in next door. It did look pretty bad but we did put up a privacy fence to protect their eyes. Of course the picket fence in the front yard didn’t hide very much and the front yard looked this bad too.

 

 

 

 

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Spring Actiitiy For The Day…Cleaning Out Flower Beds

IMG 24101 300x224 Spring Actiitiy For The Day...Cleaning Out Flower Beds

Winter mess to clean up in the spring

This is an unusual spring for two reasons. First of all, because I was away all last fall and winter, I wasn’t able to clean out the flower beds and prepare them for winter. This means more work this spring.  Second, thankfully, we had a very mild winter and the spring seems to be early and mild.

So the weather is bidding me to come into the garden and clean up the mess I should have cleaned up last fall. It’s amazing that everything can appear to be so dead, but as I pull away the piled up leaves and debris, there is already life stirring underneath.

IMG 2409 223x300 Spring Actiitiy For The Day...Cleaning Out Flower Beds

Flower beds by south gate ready for spring clean-up

 

 

IMG 2413 150x150 Spring Actiitiy For The Day...Cleaning Out Flower Beds

Flower bed on corner by the stop sign

These  are  “before” pictures of a small portion of our garden. I will post more pictures later on to show progress and to show all the growth taking place “down under”.

 

 

 

 

 

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Jupiter’s Beard – One Of My Favorite Discoveries

Centranthus ruber, or Jupiter’s Beard, is one of the beautiful plants I discovered about 3 years ago, after moving west. I’d never heard of it before, but I began to see it in gardens all around.

P10100231 300x225 Jupiters Beard   One Of My Favorite Discoveries

Centranthus - Jupiter's Beard

It is a beautiful plant and easy to grow. The plant only grows about 2 feet high but the flowers growing on tall, straight stems can reach 3 feet.

The flowers are made up of clusters of tiny, little flowers and can be very fragrant. The flowers can be white, red, pink or lavender, and last a long time. They are good as cut flowers in arrangements.

Jupiter’s Beard grows well in full sun or partial shade. It is drought tolerant. The plants spread and also self sows freely. Removing the finished blossoms will help to prevent this and to encourage more blooms. The plants can be divided and used around the garden or share the divisions with friends and neighbors.

It’s a really good plant to grow in difficult spots where other plants won’t grow. (See the Favorite Perennials List at: http://wp.me/P1OXDF-Ps

I love them and think they’re wonderful. They seem to stay in bloom forever. I’m hoping they will spread a little so I can divide them up and spread them around my garden.

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My Treasure Trove Of Gardening Books Which I Refer To Often

IMG 1031 172x300 My Treasure Trove Of Gardening Books Which I Refer To Often

Part of library which includes gardening books

Long before there was an Internet or Super Highway of Information, there were books; gardening books written on any subject you could imagine. Sometimes, even though we can just Google any subject we are curious about, it is nice to be able to refer to a book. Books are not all created equal, of course, and some are chock full of information and get referred to over and over again. Some of my books are interesting and filled with pretty pictures, but I don’t often open them. It’s easy to tell which of the books in my garden library are of most use to me, by the worn look of some of them.

Some of my books have been given to me as gifts, some I’ve bought new, but the majority have come from second hand book stores, thrift stores and garage sales. If I had paid retail for all of my books, my library would be worth a small fortune. I would suggest to start your own garden library, even if you start with only one book. Become familiar with all the information in that book. You’ll be surprised at how little nuggets of knowledge can come to you when you need them.

IMG 1042 300x161 My Treasure Trove Of Gardening Books Which I Refer To Often

Gardening books

Look for books on the topics that interest you the most and you won’t be able to put the book down until you’ve devoured all the  information  in it. I’m partial to roses, herbs and perennials so I look for books on those subjects. My interest has gradually spread, so  I had to look for a wider variety of books. Now I not only have books on gardening (roses, perennials, growing herbs, raised bed gardening, organic gardening, growing fruits and vegetables and annuals) but I also have books on garden design, how to landscape, how to deal with problems in the garden like pests and disease, container

IMG 1034 300x150 My Treasure Trove Of Gardening Books Which I Refer To Often

gardening books

gardening and all about birds and how to attract them to my garden. I even have books about decks and arbors etc. and potting sheds. Since my gardening books are used as reference books, I keep them accessible and always at my fingertips.

 

Thank goodness for smart people who write books and share what they know.

IMG 1036 300x141 My Treasure Trove Of Gardening Books Which I Refer To Often

 

 

IMG 1038 300x150 My Treasure Trove Of Gardening Books Which I Refer To Often

garden books as reference

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Our Fresh Air Factory – Bringing Plants In For The Winter

IMG 0956 300x224 Our Fresh Air Factory   Bringing Plants In For The Winter

Plants brought in for the winter

Cold weather is officially here and the leaves are still coming down. The time has come to cut back the perennials, pull up the annuals (after harvesting their seeds for next year of course), dig up the dahlia tubers and bring the tender plants inside, where they will be kept until next spring. As soon as it’s warm enough, they will go back outside. Since our warm season is so short here, it takes plants a while to get started and by the time they are up and growing really well, then it is almost time for the first frost.

I discovered that I can bring them all inside and next spring I will have beautiful, mature plants to put out and not have to wait for them to finally start growing.

An added bonus to this plan is the fact that these plants convert the carbon dioxide, that is produced in a house that is closed up all winter, into oxygen.

 

Since the houses are kept so tight for warmth, it is really good to know that we have a steady supply of oxygen being manufactured right here in our own home. Seriously though, they are nice to have inside with us, especially the scented ones, because they give a feeling of

IMG 0963 300x224 Our Fresh Air Factory   Bringing Plants In For The Winter

House plants for the winter

warmth and bring a little of the outside in for us. I think they make having to stay inside all winter more bearable and fun.

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IMG 0961 300x233 Our Fresh Air Factory   Bringing Plants In For The Winter

Plants on the enclosed back porch for the winter

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Plants inside for the winter

 

 

 

 

 

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Putting the Garden to Bed

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Crabapple and Black Walnut Trees in Front Yard 2009

Soon the leaves will be turning some beautiful colors, and don’t you know, those leaves WILL come down. I’ve always loved the look of the colorful leaves all over the yard but they soon turn brown and they won’t stay dry and crispy. During the winter, whether from snow or rain, they’ll get wet and slimy, and pretty much stay wet. They’ll become a slippery, sludgy mess. So it’s important to remove them from walkways and steps to prevent accidents.The leaves should also be removed from the lawn, as well as flower and vegetable beds. There are plants that need mulching for protection during the winter, but it’s better to use mulch or pine needles. Using straw can cause problems because of the possible grains of wheat etc, it could contain, which could attract mice to your garden. The mice would then began to feed on the stems of plants, such as roses.

The leaves can be shredded and added to the compost pile. We even gather up bags of leaves left at the curbs for the city to pick up, to add to our compost.

Cut down perennials that have finished blooming. Annuals and vegetables should be pulled up when they’re spent. If not diseased, tossed all of these clippings and spent plants into the compost. Some plants can be left, if they add interest to the winter garden or if they have seed heads that can feed the birds.

Autumn is a good time to divide perennials, which can then be planted in other areas of the yard or shared with friends. It’s also time to dig up tender bulbs, like Tuberous Begonias and Dahlias (wait till frost has turned the leaves black), and store in a cool, dark place.

To strengthen roots through the winter, apply bonemeal to perennial beds and around shrubs and trees.

Tidying up the garden not only makes the yard/garden look better through the winter, but spring gardening will be so much easier and more enjoyable. If you’ve planted spring bulbs, with cleaned out flower beds, you’ll have something wonderful to anticipate and look forward to.

 

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Raspberry Pruning

P1010043 300x225 Raspberry Pruning

Raspberries and Rhubarb in July 2011

A friend asked a question about pruning raspberries, so I thought I’d mention something about raspberries here.

First of all, I am so excited to live in a place where we can grow raspberries because I love them and they are so expensive bought fresh. So you know that I have to have them in our garden.

Raspberries should be pruned in the late winter/early spring before they bud out.

There are 2 kinds of raspberries, Summer Bearing and Everbearing. We have the Everbearing, but they don’t really bear all the time, just in the summer and again in the fall. The Summer Bearing bear in the summer, but I think it depends on the species as to when, in the summer, that happens. Or it could depend on the climate. Sorry, don’t know about that. If anyone does please comment.

The “How” is the tricky part when it comes to pruning raspberries. On both kinds, you prune out the canes that bore fruit, because they won’t bear again. Then, on the Everbearing, you prune out the weak and smaller canes leaving the tallest, strongest, thickest canes (5-6 per foot). Tie these up to some kind of support. We have ours against a fence, so that’s easy to do. Or…I recently learned that you can cut all canes down to the ground (late winter/early spring) and as they grow in the summer, prune out all but the tallest strongest canes, again, leaving only 5-6 per foot. They won’t bear in the summer but the crop in the fall will be heavier. This would work for us because our summer crop isn’t very big compared to the fall. I think I’m going to try this way this year to see how it goes. It sounds a lot less complicated. I’ll let you know.

You should wear good leather gloves and use sharp, clean clippers to prune the canes. If you’ll remember from an earlier post, I highly recommend deer skin gloves. They are the only leather gloves I’ve found that won’t let thorns in.

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Raspberries ripening in September 2011 (click to enlarge)

The Summer Bearers need to have the damaged or dead canes removed, as well as the ones that bore fruit in the summer.

 

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The Rhubarb Outgrew It’s Bed

P1010061 300x225 The Rhubarb Outgrew Its Bed

Rhubarb before it outgrew it's place in the perennial bed.

Never having grown Rhubarb before, I hadn’t realized how big they actually get. Not only did I plant 1 in the wrong place, I put 2 in there, side by side. This is one of those mistakes I was talking about that you can learn from and not repeat.

The bed was plenty large enough when I put the two of them in there, but as I began to add other plants, and they began to grow, well, those giant leaves started trying to shade all the other plants around it. So…it has to go. I’ll find a sunny spot on the south, side yard and when the weather is cool enough, I’ll transplant those large Rhubarb plants.

Here is a video of the Rhubarb and the bed it’s in now.

As I move it I’ll post videos of that process.

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How To Grow Roses, Roses and More Roses

 

P1010022 300x198 How To Grow Roses, Roses and More Roses

Growing roses - more than you can imagine

When I drew up the plans for our little yard, about 1/4 acre, I knew we wanted to put in about 20 fruit trees and three 16′x4′ raised beds for vegetables. We were planning on putting a 50′x10′ grape arbor and a 32′x16′ deck. That didn’t leave much room for an asparagus bed, a raspberry bed and a blackberry/strawberry bed much less all the perennials I wanted to put in. But I love roses and thought I could squeeze at least 5 or 6 in. I chose Queen Elizabeth’s for their robustness and their great height since I was trying to create ‘rooms’ in the back yard. I also put in a couple of Medallion because I love the color. Two New Dawn went in because I planned to have an arbor over one of the gates and I wanted one to grow along the picket fence. (More about that mistake later.)

One day when we were having lunch at a little place I looked across the street and couldn’t believe my eyes. I’d never seen so many roses in one place before. They were covering the side of a two story building. The corner lot had a wide parking strip and it was completely full of huge rose bushes. After lunch we walked over to have a look. What we’d thought was an empty office

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A private rose garden near us with about 500 rose bushes.

building was actually someone’s home. Obviously a bigger rose nut than me. A lady came out and said we could go into the back yard for a look around. It was unbelievable. In this 1/3 acre there were 500 of the healthiest roses in full bloom. Magical, just magical. It really changed my perspective. I realized I just wasn’t planting mine close enough. I now have 108 but I think I may be done. I love the ones I have but I probably wouldn’t turn one down if it really wanted to come home with me.

I wish there was enough space to share all of my pictures of this place. Every week during the summer we’d go for Garden Talks in the Park where really good gardeners would teach and answer questions. The “Rose Man” spoke one night and I was so impressed with him. He wasn’t even speaking on roses but on organic gardening and it came out that he was the one who lives there.

So I learned to not be limited by space. There’s always room for one more.

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Some very tall roses in this spectacular rose garden near us.

P1010032 225x300 How To Grow Roses, Roses and More Roses

The Most Beautiful Roses in the rose garden

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Getting From There To Here – Landscape Gardens and How to Garden

P1010019 300x225 Getting From There To Here   Landscape Gardens and How to Garden

2011 - Path beside grape arbor with herb bed on right.

I thought I might go ahead and post a picture of the yard now so you won’t think we’re subjecting the neighbors to the eyesore of yesteryear. With a garden design and using the right garden plants, the landscape gardens were created. We used compost, earthworms and some fertilizer in the beds go grow the perennials, herbs, annuals and fruit trees. The raised beds have a special mix in them that we’ll discuss in later posts. Learning how to garden is fun and worth the effort as you create areas to relax in.

In future posts we’ll talk about garden design, landscaping, growing flowers (perennials and annuals), growing vegetables in raised beds, growing fruits and herbs and how to do it all on a budget. We’ll talk about fertilizers and soil and how to care for it.

Please come back often to see what’s going on in the garden.

P1010061 300x225 Getting From There To Here   Landscape Gardens and How to Garden

2011 - perennial bed beside deck

 

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