Garden update

Haven’t posted about my garden in a long time!  IN general, 2017 was NOT a very good gardening year for me.  We had a very long, cold and unusually snowy winter; followed by a very long and record breaking WET spring with nearly NO sunny days; followed by a crazy HOT summer with record breaking heat and more 100+ degree temperature days  than we’ve ever had before!  All in all, a very brutal year for my little flower garden!

My flowering Jasmine did not survive the winter.

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The Jasmine was planted in the big pot with a trellis, to the left of the ladder.  I had specifically selected tall growing vines for those two pots to provide some shade for the back of the house.  My bedroom in in that back corner and gets the late ‘hottest part of the day’ sun.  At the end of a hot day, my bedroom would be 90 degrees and unbearable!  (these duplexes are old and not very well insulated!)

We are only allowed to plant things in ‘existing dirt areas’ in our yards. so I couldn’t plant anything in the ground back there.  Hence, the two pots and ladder; which when in full bloom really DOES help cool down my bedroom.

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I had originally bought Jasmines for both pots.  One died right after I planted it, and I couldn’t find a replacement for it; so I bought something else that grew tall.  (Can’t remember WHAT it is!  But it’s growing well!) Was trying to not spend quite so much money on my garden this year, and wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with that back corner, so I tossed the handful of Sweet Pea seeds that I harvested last year in the pot on the left.  If nothing else, it would give me some shade!  At it worked fine for this year.

 

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The Sweet Peas grew taller than the ladder before they started turning brown.  SO, now I am right back where I started and will need to plant something in the left side pot in the spring.  Trying to start some clippings from the plant on the right; not sure if they are going to root or not though.

I’m trying to not spend too much money on annual plants, but I HAVE to have my Petunias every year!!  The wave petunias for my ladder in the back, and I decided this year to add some hanging baskets at the back patio window for some additional shade.  I ended up buying a bit more than I needed, so I also planted some in my little red wagon and and old rusty shopping cart that I had.

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AND I was hoping that the hanging baskets would help hide that shade hanging over the window.  Yes, I KNOW it’s uG-ly!  But it’s a necessary evil.  It’s one of those shade tarps that blocks 95% of the sun.  They are intended to be hung OVER the patio, but I have no way of doing that; and I really NEEDED some way to keep my bedroom cooler.  This was my best solution.  Finally, now with FIVE layers of window coverings, it keeps the hot evening sun out.

I hung this new shade over the old bamboo shade I put up last year.  Then, INside  there are the vertical blinds, heavy burlap drapes and room darkening drapes; and my bedroom no longer feels like an oven on hot summer nights.

Pictures from the front garden.  I didn’t add too much to the front this year, other than a few starts from my best friend up in WA.  Every time I go visit her, I take her a few clippings from my garden and she sends me home with a few from hers.  It’s a great way to add to your garden inexpensively.

I got very few strawberries from my plants last summer, with it being the first year; so I was really looking forward to having a lot of them to enjoy this year.  So were the squirrels, apparently.  They got to the ripe ones before I could pick them EVERY TIME!  Grrrr!!!  I did not spend all that time and effort planting 30 strawberry plants, just to feed the squirrels!  Time to outsmart those darn squirrels.

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So I spent DAYS digging up every single strawberry plant and replanting them in hanging baskets!  I was surprised at how minimal the root structure on the year old plants was; and decided that I could put 3 or 4 plants in each basket.  Not wanting to spend a fortune on hanging baskets, I decided that I’d re-use what I had and only buy a few additional ones.

So, for now, I planted the rest of the strawberries in some plastic pots that I got from Michael; and they are on old metal rack on the back patio.   Once the hanging Petunias are done for the season, I’ll put these plastic pots in the petunia basket hangers.

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(and I had about a dozen strawberry ‘runners’ that I planted to take up to my friend in WA!)

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So NOW I have a bare space in front of the Roses and Peonies, where the strawberries had been.  I’m hoping to be able to fill that area with plants that I’ve grown from seeds that I harvest from my front yard plants.  Did you notice the little white picket border missing from the back now too?

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Originally I only had to remove the picket from the left (MY) side of the duplex.  Reason being, my side gets a lot more sun and the fencing was plastic and the heat made it crumble and all apart.  After looking for more matching fencing to replace it, I decided to just pull it ALL up now, instead of waiting for it to crumble next year.  I had planned to replace the border next spring, but decided that I actually like it BETTER without the border.  Now that my plants are more established, it really doesn’t need a border.

I prefer to keep my rose bushes well pruned and more compact; which typically contributes to more roses.  For some reason, these that I have now seem to need to grow very TALL in order to bloom.  We get really strong winds blowing in the back yard; and sometimes it’s so strong that it actually bends and BREAKS off those long branches.  So to prevent future breakage, now I need to add trellises.  Trellises are NOT cheap, and I really didn’t like any of the ones I looked at.

So, I’ve decided to build my own.  But given how tall these roses need to grow to produce flowers, I was going to have to build some very TALL trellises . . .and then I’d be needing a small ladder to reach the top to attach the roses to the trellis?!?!  Hmmmm?!?!

I got some sturdy 8′ long metal conduit rods for my vertical supports and bought some 4′ bamboo staked for the horizontal supports . .  . and I’m going to build an espalier trellis for my roses.  I’ve never done this before, so we’ll see how it goes!  I’ll build the trellises in the late winter while the roses are pruned for the season.

This is the area along the side of my duplex.  The white picket is gone now.  I’ve got some marigolds (grown from seeds I harvested last year) planted between the Hydrangea; to add some color for the fall.  Behind the Hydrangea are Gladioli, which have now been trimmed back for the season.  Eventually the Hydrangea will grow into enough of a hedge that I won’t need to add any annuals between them.  But I do plant to add some Liatris (from seeds I harvest this fall) between the Gladioli.  I think that will make a really nice back drop for the Hydrangea.

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This is under the front window, three big Hydrangea bushes along the back, which will probably be full enough to create a hedge by next year.  I’ll have to keep these trimmed fairly low, under the window, as this is the ONLY window that I can put the air conditioner in.

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I had some visitors in a hanging basket of mint in the front, earlier this summer.  Look at those hungry little mouths!!  As soon as I’d get the hose out and start watering the garden, I’d see momma bird swoop down, hunting for worms to feed her babies!  I was surprised at how fast the eggs hatched . .  and again how quickly the babies grow and leave the nest.

And that’s my garden report for 2017.

 

Published in: on September 6, 2017 at 7:56 pm  Comments (5)  
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