Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Five Things New in my Garden This Year

Dave asked us to name five things that will be new to our garden this year.

1. Berm, formerly Live Oak Stump. The hollow 10 foot stump fell over when I cut the Confederate Jasmine that was holding it up last summer. Just what I didn't need in the heat of July was a new bed, but circumstances of the old vine covered stump just made it so.

Top soil and gin trash cover what remains of the stump.
Three big stones were plucked by machine from other beds. I moved smaller stones with
hand trucks.

In place now are two lavender crape myrtles next the stones, two dozen Tahiti daffodils, 5 clumps of Muhly grass and a host of violas. When the violas fade, lavender Lantana montevidensis will take their place. Sticks mark where two beautyberries will enhance the Muhly. Wish I would have a persimmon.

2. Improvisational Carpentry. A Red Cascade rose next to a rustic arbor I constructed needed additional trelliage to try to keep it growing somewhat vertically rather than horizontally along the ground. I've already completed that task. Details are in an earlier post here: Rose Arbor.

I can hardly wait to see blossoms again.

3. Rain Garden: We removed an ancient bed of Spirea, Nandina and Wisteria. When we were done, an excellent place just to the west of it looked to me like a perfect Rain Garden site as I developed the slope above it. I'm working on it, starting with some native Iris.

4. Strawberry bed -- started last year, never developed well. Eight of the 11 original plants survived the winter so far. I so want to pick strawberries. The huge timber in front of it needs moving to the back (north side) when the right machinery is available.

5.  Blue shades bed. There's a bed that has lots of blue (hydrangeas, agapanthus, larkspur, hyacinths blooming in opposite order) and some red (amaryllis) that needs mediating. I don't want a red, white and blue bed. The amarylllis may move along elsewhere and make room for some maroon and peach. Requires much standing and staring.
I potted up 5 more bulbs of Agapanthus last week. I am crazy about these flowers.

There's also a shady bed that needs aucuba hiding under some shrubbery elsewhere moved to join one already there. That won't be new, just adjustment. All the shady beds have new plans awaiting final decisions. New notions occur to me daily.

What will be new in your garden for the coming season? 
Be sure to link to Dave's post by Friday.


  1. Great stuff here, I love Agapanthus too...

  2. The red cascade rose is very pretty! Looking forward to seeing more of your blue garden...i bet it is beautiful. I have something new in my garden right now....SNOW. :0

  3. Blue. With maroon and peach. I am so looking forward to standing and admiring that.

  4. With all those projects going on it's a sure sign of Spring. Let's see, new to my garden this year. I do expect to see some new species of weeds to pop up. They seem to be the one thing I can grow consistantly here.

  5. Nice post. I like the idea of a blue bed of flowers. Maybe blue and yellow would be pretty too. Looking forward to your beautiful gardens.

  6. Nell Jean - you have a huge garden and a beautiful one too. If I fitted a tractor into my backyard there would not be much space left! I really like your new additions.

  7. Standing and staring ~ That's me too. I look forward to seeing your blue bed, I love blues in the garden. I love your red cascade rose, and your rustic, simple structures really add a nice touch to your gardens.


  8. Radishes is the hallmark of gardening adventure in my garden for weeks to come, new and fresh, definitely a test whether whats growing in Sweden can duplicate itself in Malaysia. ~bangchik

  9. Hello Nell,

    I love the idea of your blue garden. I love the cooling effect that blue blooms provide visually. For me, I am working on planting bare areas that have been left alone too long :^)

  10. You have a lot of projects! i love the way the old Live Oak stump bed turned out. I can imagine what working on that in July was like! It was worth the effort. Good luck with the strawberry bed. I love strawberries, but I gave up growing my own after several years of failure. Strawberries don't like my soil, apparently, nor the special raised beds I built for them, nor the special fertilizer, nor all the other efforts I put into them. Now I just buy them.

  11. Looking at the new things in your garden and your capability, I'm sure summer has plenty of promises lining up. Now, I'd better make hay while the sun shines. I'd better flaunt my flowers before your all have your turn very soon, haha. Nell Jean, I am so happy to dedicate my post today to you for being my first commenter. I am posting a dwarf arundina ground orchid, my fave.

  12. You have a lot going on there and I love your Wattle fencing. You have inspired me to give it a try with an elm we recently lost. I have Cypress vine seeds so this would be the perfect time to give it a try! Crazy weather, 70 degrees here on Sunday and calling for freezing temps again by tomorrow night. At least we had a little break…

  13. I laughed when I read "Requires much standing and staring."

    Yeah.. :)

  14. The berm is a great idea to hide that stump! The rain garden sounds like a very cool idea too. I helped install one in one of our city parks near a creek to catch rainwater. When I spoke to the resource agent about it he said that we've been going about managing city runoff water all wrong. Most of the time folks but in rock and stones to prevent water from washing the soil away but what is really needed is plants to use the water and store it. - I like rain gardens!

  15. Lovely list of projects!
    I wonder how your strawberries did not survive winter as your winters are very mild... Winter in Croatia is one big freeze and strawberries never suffered any damage. Have you thought of getting another variety? Although 8 out of 11 is not bad.

  16. You are certainly busy!! What great projects. I look forward to seeing more of your Rain Garden. Have been to a couple workshops on building rain gardens and in turn shared with the public.

  17. Look great, i particularly like the Red Cascade roses.

  18. I'm surprised your strawberries didn't survive, and you can grow daffodils and amaryllis outside. One is a hardy bulb and the other one is a non hardy bulb ?

  19. It wasn't the winter that the strawberries didn't survive, it was the summer heat. After I bought the roots on a whim, research showed they were more suited to the Pacific Northwest, but I gave them a try anyhow.

    Amaryllis is a non-hardy bulb but is noted hardy to zone 9. They grow very well here, until that rare year when the temperature goes to 5F degrees.

    Amaryllis in Florida If it grows in Tallahassee, it grows here, just barely north.

    Thank you for the dedication, Autumn Belle.

    Bangchic, my mother used to say that radishes encouraged more young gardeners than anything she knew, because they come up in less than a week and you can eat them in less than a month.

  20. Hi Nell, you have been busy and it sounds like you will be busy for a while.
    Do all gardeners stand and stare at their beds imagining what to move, grow, fix and add to it? LOL I had to laugh at that comment because I find myself doing it a lot. ;-)


I look forward to comments and questions and lively discussion of gardening and related ideas.

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