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Archive for November, 2009

>Garden Week Update

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Well, my week of gardening is almost done. I didn’t complete all of the tasks on my list, but I did complete some tasks that weren’t on my list. All in all it was very successful, and tons of fun! I really enjoyed having my mother-in-law here for the end of the week. She said that she hadn’t been that sore in years, but loved every minute of it. I can’t wait until she moves to Austin in a few years so we can do this all the time.
Here’s my progress in pictures …
1. Make pvc/rebar freeze-protector hoops for the veggies
2. Clear out the grass between the raised beds and place new weed blocker down that I received from Gardener’s Supply in the mail last week
I didn’t quite finish this, but I’m close. I only have a few sections left. If the weather cooperates I could finish today.
3. Dig out more grass and make glass mulch/flagstone pathways. (Thanks to Robin of “Getting Grounded” for the glass mulch idea.)
Path near front door. You can see the new pink pot as well. I had a boring old white pot that was left here by the previous owners. My mother-in-law suggested we paint it pink. It really pops next to the Knock-Outs.
Another view of the front path. I moved the bowling ball to this new location
to showcase the path.
Path in backyard, next to Nana’s garden which we put in Easter of this year. It is surrounded by some extra limestone that I got from the Cemetery. I moved these 1.5 inch flagstone myself, which was quite a feat. I plan on getting help next time.
Closeup of the glass mulch
4. Increase the size of the melon bed.
I didn’t increase the melon bed, but I did clean it out. I had a watermelon plant still hanging on as well as some sweet potato vines that were out of control. Apparently, I should have pulled these a few months ago. They have to be the biggest sweet potatoes I’ve ever seen. When I managed to wrestle these guys out of the ground I found that most of them were hollow. You may be wondering what eats such a giant vegetable from underground …
prepare yourself, it’s gross!

Seems the world’s largest grubs eat the world’s largest sweet potatoes. Ewww!
I found three of these nasty things.
5. Pick up limestone from the cemetery and border the melon bed (Thanks to Brianna of “Seeds
for this idea)
Picking up the limestone was so easy. I just went to the front office and he told me to help myself. They have several large piles of rocks that are free for the taking. I recommend not going the day after a heavy rain, as I did. It makes it a bit more difficult to walk around and park. I will definitely going back here for more rocks at a later time. I love free stuff! My daughter painted the cinder blocks w/ some extra spray paint we had.
6. Pick up mulch from Natural Gardener and mulch all beds
A few of the mulched beds
My mother-in-law and I bagged and hauled 30 10-gallong bags. This new bed sucked up 20 of them. Two days ago this bed was a mix of half dead St. Augustine, another type of grass and weeds. Now it looks just awesome. This took most of yesterday to complete. I hadn’t planned on digging out this bed, so it affected a few other projects. It was completely worth it through. The curb appeal is so much better than before.
We also added two grasses. I plan on growing potatoes in barrels in this area next spring.
7. Make wine bottle borders for beds in the back yard.
I didn’t get this finished. When I started puting in the wine bottles I decided it would be much easier after a good rain. I’d rather spend a few hours than an entire day.
I’ll revisit this project soon.
8. Add two bird baths in backyard.
Finished one bird bath. (Thanks to Caroline from “ShovelReadyGarden” for this idea).
For my second bath I wanted to steal an idea from Eleanor from “GardenOfE”, but turns out that round pavers are really hard to find. I may have to come up with something else.
9. Improve borders around citrus trees
Mulched all of the trees. Here is the kumquat tree, which will have ripe fruit very soon.
10. Finish drip system for other two 4X10 beds
I decided to wait on this. Drip systems don’t go together very well in the cold. You really need to heat to bend the tubing. We’ve also been getting decent rain, so I should be ok hand watering through the winter.
11. Put in edging by the road to keep the water/mulch in the new beds
Haven’t done this one yet.

12. Sand/paint new potting bench

And the unfinished projects continue… I really will get to this one soon.

13. Plant new plants from San Antonio road trip, and any others I happen to purchase in the next week.

Finally, back to some success. I’m really excited about this one. My neighbor, Dana, recommended that I use this hollowed out tree stump as a planter. I found a pot and planted my “Living Easy” rose from the Antique Rose Imporium. I’ve also wanted a succulent garden, but didn’t know where to put it. I’ve decided to put little pots around the stump. I’ve got one already, and will keep an eye out for little pots (or coffee mugs).
14. If I have time … make new patio where grill is currently sitting
I didn’t put the patio in, but I did pick up all the supplies while I had my friend’s truck. These things were not light, 54 lbs a piece!
I had an incredible week gardening. It was so relaxing to just get away from it all and be outside. I had a great visit with my mother-in-law. It’s amazing how much you can bond without saying a word, just digging in the dirt. I also enjoyed meeting so many people. I couldn’t believe how many passers-by stopped to chat about the garden. I must have met at least 10 new people, several of whom I chatted with for a good 30 minutes. There were also at least that many who waved or gave a thumbs up as they passed by. It feels great to know that the hard work I’ve been doing is appreciated by others. Now I think its time to go outside with a beer and appreciate my hard work.

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>Garden Projects Here I Come

>Starting today at noon I am off work until the 30th. My plans are to garden the entire time, except for Turkey Day when I’ll be busy cooking and watching football. I’ve borrowed my friends pickup truck for the next 3 days for hauling all kinds of goodies. Here are the projects I have planned.

1. Make pvc/rebar freeze-protector hoops for the veggies
2. Clear out the grass between the raised beds and place new weed blocker down that I received from Gardener’s Supply in the mail last week
3. Dig out more grass and make glass mulch/flagstone pathways. I picked up the glass mulch from Eco-Depot yesterday. With the rain washing off the sand last night the pile of mulch is looking really cool in the driveway.
4. Increase the size of the melon bed.
5. Pick up limestone from the cemetery and border the melon bed
6. Pick up mulch from Natural Gardener and mulch all beds
7. Make wine bottle borders for beds in the back yard. The drinking-er collecting of wine bottles is already done.
8. Add two bird baths in backyard.
9. Improve borders around citrus trees
10. Finish drip system for other two 4X10 beds
11. Put in edging by the road to keep the water/mulch in the new beds
12. Sand/paint new potting bench
13. Plant new plants from San Antonio road trip, and any others I happen to purchase in the next week.
14. If I have time … make new patio where grill is currently sitting

My mother-in-law will be out starting next Wednesday to help me out, which will be awesome. Other than that, it’s just me. I’ve got some lofty goals, but I’m excited to get to work. I’ll post pictures as I can.

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As usual, I’m last to post. I won’t go into too much detail, other than to thank everyone for a lovely time. I’m looking forward to our next outing.
Here’s my pics…

Cranberry Hibiscus. I admired a similar one at Eleanor’s garden

Awesome Barbados Cherry
Piney Woods Trail Pics

Japanese Garden Pics

Tropical Conservatory Pics










Cacti Conservatory Pics





Sugar Cane – I had never seen one before

Banana Tree – Oh man, is this what I’m in for. The tree in the backyard looks so small



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>Saving the Fall Harvest

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I had seen a few holes in the leaves over the weekend, but didn’t think much of it. I should have known better and next season I will. By Wednesday morning things were getting out of hand. It’s amazing the damage a few little caterpillars can do. I believe that I would have lost all of the cabbage, brussel sprouts, cauliflower, broccoli, and kholrabi if I had waited a few more days. I picked off all of the caterpillars I could find and then sprayed Bt all over everything. I think even the most damaged plants will pull through ok.

Cabbage

Another cabbage view

One of the culprits

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>Salad Feast

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I made a tasty salad from the garden… radish, pepper, spinach, lettuce, and tomato. Mmmm!

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>Master Gardeners Tour

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I know I’m a little late, but it’s been a crazy week and a half. Sadly, now that I waited so long I don’t remember all of the names of plants or gardens. I’ll put them in the order I took them, so hopefully I’m close. I drove in the order of the brochure, since my house is closest to the first one. I really loved this tour. The gardens were beautiful, but also seemed attainable (with a little more creativity and skill than I currently have).
Garden 1 – Rollingwood

I loved this bathtub pond. I knew my husband would too, so I took a picture for him. What an ingenious idea!
Silver Saw Palmetto
Garden 2 – Crowheart Cove

Dwarf Lions Tail. I bought one of these, so thought I’d take a picture of how awesome it looks one established. I have since planted it where my white honeysuckle that succumbed to the heat and our dog.
Garden 3 – Lucas Lane
This garden was quite different than the others, very tropical. It’s awesome what a different look you an achieve while still keeping native and adapted plants.

Some sort of palm

Ornamental Peppers that I absolutely loved. I remember seeing a post from Jenny (RockRose) about this plant. I’ll have to see if she knows the exact name.
Update – Iris from Society Garlic gave me this info
ornamental pepper “Black Pearl” (Capsicum annuum ‘Black Pearl’
Thanks Iris!
Garden 4 – Eleanor’s Garden
I loved this garden. It had to many treasures. I wish I could have stayed longer, but I was running low on time.

White Spiderwort. What a great looking ground cover, and it seems to like the shade. These would be beautiful in my backyard.

Really interesting coleus. I’ve never seen one quite like this before.

Chinese Ground Orchid. This one is really amazing.
Garden 5 – Cheryl’s Garden
What a magical, whimsical place. I loved the plants and yard art. I feel like I probably missed half of it.

I loved this bed. I plan on getting some recycled glass later this month for some pathways. I also loved how the wine bottles were mismatched. I’m in the process of building a border and had been working to try and make them the same height, but after seeing how good this looked I believe I just saved myself some time and effort. The bowling balls are a nice touch too, and I’ve already got one of those in the yard as well!

Loved the boston terrier. I’ve got 2 myself and had been eyeing some statues I saw passing through Hempstead. Wonder if you can get these in town?

I purchased a mint marigold here and took a mature picture for reference. What a great looking plant. The MGs at this site were giving the hard sell on this one, so I figured I had better listen.
Garden 6 – Randy’s Garden

Unfortunately, I only took one picture. It was of this huge banana tree. I wish I had taken more, since this was a beautiful garden as well. The patio was really spacious and a great place to sit back and take in the scenery.
Thanks for all of the participants for sharing your gardens with us!

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