Wednesday, December 21, 2011

My First Garden

I planted the majority of these plants in 2008.  I'd say they've filled out nicely, at least the ones the deer and woodchucks haven't destroyed.

Also, please note I've made great progress this year repainting the back of the house.  Ooohhh, it's painful to look at that blue!  I might have finished if it weren't for the blistering heat and humidity, flooding, tornado, earthquake, hurricane, and October nor'easter.  You know--the usual excuses.

My Pride and Joy

In the brutally hot summer of 2010 I decided to plant a garden in an awkward space in the front yard.  It's a little strip of land next to the neighbor to the west.  It's lower than the rest of my yard and had been planted with a strip of iris and ladybells.  When I first moved in my brother mowed the front lawn and didn't realize this strip belonged to me.  Here it is after I had ripped up the grass.

Part of the motivation in planting this area was to procrastinate on painting the back of my house, which is 32 feet high at its peak.  I was burned out from painting the front in 2009.  I primed for 9 hours with a ten-minute break one day and another day for eight hours with a couple short breaks.

Since I didn't want to spend a lot of money, I transplanted plants from my mother's abandoned, large cottage garden in her backyard.  Talk about brutal work.  Heat, humidity, mosquitoes, hauling huge bushes and plants, and mulch from my sister's pile. I am amazed that everything lived, and thrived.

It was a leap of faith, as life generally is, and especially gardening.  I had no idea what colors the flowers would be, or even what they were, since my mother couldn't remember too well.  I ended up with two hydrangeas, phlox, bee balm, black-eyed Susan, Russian sage, a rose, coreopsis, daylilies, coneflower, ribbon grass, and veronica. I bought, on sale or with coupons, four roses, an ornamental grass, a butterfly bush, cranesbill, gaillardia, veronica, catmint, dwarf blue spruce, dwarf Russian sage, and bellflower. My friend Tina gave me a hydrangea as a hostess gift and I transplanted many iris after dividing them, as well as some ladybells.

I had no idea how it would fill out the following year.  That fall I bought three asters and a chrysanthemum and also planted bulbs--red tulips, purple hyacinth and purple grape hyacinth.  Here's a look at the fall garden.

Here's the spring view.

This past summer the garden really came into its own, which is surprising for only its second year.  My mother pointed out that that's because I was transplanting mature plants.  Oh.  Duh.

The tiki torch is my neighbors;' I'm not so much into tiki torches.