Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Developing my green thumb, part 1

OK, it's finally time for the long-awaited garden post!

This year, spring arrived a bit early, prompting us to start gardening in mid-April.  Sure, we had to move some plants over to the shed for a few nights, and we devised an elaborate covering method for the plants in the ground (using boxes and big rocks), but it was well worth the effort - I think we may actually get food from our garden this year!

First, here's the "good" part of our landscaping setup:

My apologies for the shoddy putting-together of the photos - I hardly have time to put anything together, so this will have to be good enough.  Anyway, this part of the hill is what I worked hardest on last year - the weeding to be done this spring was minimal, and Brendan's dad helped us with putting down the mulch.  We had some beautiful color from the phlox (the pink flowers you can see in the pictures), and everything else seems to be coming along nicely.  I still have no idea what most of these plants are - but that's another post for another day.

And now for the other side: the not-so-nice part of the landscaping:

As you can see, it's a bit of a......work in progress?  Last year I would have said "mess," but the truth is, I've actually done a lot of work over in this area this spring.  This was the corner I never got to last year, and when I started this year, it was an unidentifiable mass of green stuff - mostly weeds.  I just finished weeding last week, and since these pictures were taken, mulch has been put in up to the hibiscus.  We plan on waiting until the hibiscus plants flower, then transplanting some of the ones in the back (the ones that have migrated over time) to the big gap in the middle of the two bushes.  We think that the previous owners of our house had a plan to build a path between the bushes - but we have seen some people cutting through our property as it is, and don't want to encourage that by building an actual path.  A "wall" of hibiscus plants should give us some privacy, which is especially great since our neighbor recently cut down ALL the trees on the side of his property facing ours (and, well, parts that were the town's property, too).

My two favorite plants in our hillside are actually plants that haven't flowered yet this year.  See the ugly pale green plants in the bottom-right corner of the second-to-last picture?  Those are rose campions, and while I think they mostly look like a weed until they flower, they are beautiful when they come out:

And the tiny little green shoots that you can barely see around one of the bushes?  They don't look like much, and also look like weeds when they start coming up, but they are blazing stars:

Those two come out in late summer, but we are also planning on adding some fall color at some point this year.

So there you have it - our humble landscaping garden.  Definitely still needs some work, but I'm proud of all we've accomplished with it this year.  That's enough pictures for this post - but I promise to be back shortly with a post about the actual FOOD garden - my pride and joy!

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