Garden Updates: Whatcha' doin'?

christinmk z5b eastern WAAugust 27, 2010

The forum seems to have slowed down a lot through summer, so I thought it would be fun for everybody to catch up with what has been going on in the garden. So what have you guys done in your gardens over the summer? Any big projects get done? Any plans for fall?

Early this summer I got fed up with certain areas of the garden and decided to do something about it. Since then I have been moveing things around tossing out plants (ok, just common things that there are a repeated around the garden a lot anyhow). I am also trying to shift things around so that the plants that stay nice all the growing season (ie don't brown up, die down, or have to be chopped back) are in the front of the beds or cleverly placed to disguise the ones that do get ugly as the season progresses. The back yard garden is coming along with regards to this, but I am not happy yet with the front "rose garden" space. I think adding a few late blooming plants would help...

The porportion of things was bugging me too. Somehow the main area of the garden just didn't look "right", no matter how I placed or planned it. Put a tallish plant in and it would block something. There were already too many low plants there as it was.

Then I figured it out- I was working with too many angles in too large a space. So I put in a little pathway that is lined with rocks (like my main pathway in the garden only on a smaller scale). Now I have smaller areas to work with and design out better. Plus, you can see all of these smaller areas from the pathway now!

Forgive the mess, this is one of the areas I have been working on/moving things around in. Here is a picture of the new pathway:

Then I also moved some flat rocks I used as stepping stones by the patio into the new front shade garden. They were of no use in the back since plants covered them up my mid spring!! I really like how is turning (still need more flat rocks!) out. Kind of naturalistic:

Plans for Fall: continue to shift things around in the garden. The temps are starting to get cooler, so now is a perfect time to start moving things again, lol! Then I need to place some bulb orders for the items I can't find locally. Then comes bulb planting time 8-)

Your turn! What have you been doing in the garden this summer? Got pics? What do you have planned for fall?

CMK

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FlowerLady6(z10 Fl)

CMK ~ I love your new rock bordered path. It makes me want to take a walk to see all that beauty that you are growing.

I've not done much of anything because it is just too dang hot and humid. I'm really looking forward to cooler temps.

FlowerLady

    Bookmark   August 27, 2010 at 1:56PM
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organic_kitten(8)

CMK,

Your garden is really looking good. I love the rocks. Your herbs are cool and inviting. In fact the entire area is extremely inviting. That is my kind of garden. I really like what you are doing. Are you going to put a b3nch under that tree? Maybe at the end of the path?

I have been busily preparing to plant a rose garden, and have put in new iris bed (which I don't even have a complete picture to post. BUT...I have put in a new row of iris and I did take a picture of that ...The big iris bed is to the left, (you can see a corner of it.)and the new row is to the right in this picture. To the right of the row of iris is what will be a rose bed with a row of daylilies on the iris side of it. Those are fringe trees on either end of the rose bed, and a Miss Kim lilac (I took yall's advice on a lilac that can grow in the deep south.) planted in the middle of it.

Here is a horizontal view of the new bed:

There are a couple of little rose planted, and more will be planted in the bed. Then move to the right...That tree that you see is a dying dogwood tree, and it is history.

The area here will have an extension of the path, with roses on each side, two or even three deep (depending on the rose) on the right side. Most of them will be Old Garden Roses from Vintage, Heirloom, and Rose Emporium.

(The big tree on the left is losing a couple of limbs too, I need sun for roses.)

That butterfly garden (left of this picture) I put in has really brought in the butterflies, and I will be planting more things next year based on recommendations on the butterfly forum.

I'm having great fun, even with the heat. How about the others? And CMK, thanks for starting this thread. It should be a good one.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2010 at 2:25PM
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aimeekitty(9-10, SW 18)

your path is great, I love paths!

Me, I'm reading and rereading all my gardening books and magazines for ideas. It's very hot lately though so I can't actually plant anything.

Should be a little cooler this weekend, so I should have time to plant the irises and jasmine I got in the mail without them (and me) dying. :)

I'm narrowing down my list of roses for fall planting. I might even order today.

Trying to decide if I want a Lilac (descanso hybrid)... or whether I should wait or do something else. :)

I'm planning on trying to replace out my asian wisteria with native wisteria when it cools down a little bit (maybe next month...?)

    Bookmark   August 27, 2010 at 2:27PM
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plantmaven(8b/9a TX)

Ditto, cousin Flower.
But it has cooled down to 85-90.

Cousin Kathy

    Bookmark   August 27, 2010 at 2:29PM
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lavender_lass(4b)

CMK- Love the paths! That's going to be a great way to walk through the garden and enjoy it from different angles. Have you thought of adding some Hidcote lavender to the rose garden? It's easy to grow, winter hardy and has a great fragrance. I can't wait to see more pics!

Organic kitten- Your new beds look great! What roses are you planting? I like your butterfly garden...in fact, that's one reason I wanted to include a small one in my kitchen garden :)

Now that it's cooling off, my plans are to move all the plants at my mom's that might especially attract the yellow jackets. This means her grapes and strawberries are coming down to my house. We'll get her new strawberries next year that only bear in June.

Also need to plant the clematis around the arbor and move my herbs...which got a little covered by weeds. Still trying to decide where to put everything. Oh, and I have to move my Therese Bugnet roses from the kitchen garden to the fairy garden, because the deer have been snacking on them...again.

Here's a picture of the front garden. Not much left to do in this area, but I wanted to show the lavender with the roses. Most of the roses in the back are damasks and only bloom in early summer, but the smaller hybrid musks in front bloom all summer.

Here is a picture of the kitchen garden.

I am trying to decide if I should move the birdbath back to the bed on the other side of the arbor (by the horses) and put the butterfly garden in that area. The grapes will be on the left (where the bean teepee fell over...again) and there are purple raspberries on the right. I'm thinking of putting a gallica rose where the birdbath is and surrounding it with herbs. I think it would be easier to pick the herbs and keep it weeded :)

    Bookmark   August 27, 2010 at 4:40PM
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organic_kitten(8)

Lavender Lass,
I love the lavender with the roses! It is so pretty, and I know it has to smell divine.

The butterfly garden has been a great deal of fun. With your gorgeous space I know you will have a wonderful new place to visit.

Yellowjackets don't serve any good purpose that I can see. they are very annoying and dangerous little insects. Good for you, protecting your mom.

I am getting too many roses, but among them are Reine de Volettes, Lilac Dawn, and Pink Ganette. And about 15 more, I think. The others are mostly bands.
kay

    Bookmark   August 27, 2010 at 5:03PM
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gldno1

Not much! We are in the midst of hot weather and a drought. So I do very little outside. I am just watering some shrubs and the foundation plants.

I am feeling about ready to mow most things completely down!

I intend to cut way back next year and concentrate on what is near the house....lots of planning to do this winter.

I still have pumpkins and sweet potatoes to harvest (I hope).

    Bookmark   August 28, 2010 at 5:53AM
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oakleyok

You all have been busy! Pretty paths!

I'm with gldno1, I'm ready to mow or pull everything out except my roses. lol.

We've had a nice cool front this week, I have windows open right now, but it's been too hot to do anything other than water.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2010 at 7:14AM
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Thyme2dig NH Zone 5

Christin, the paths look really great! Your shade garden is really coming along. I like the pops of red you have going on in there along with the variegated foliage.

Organic Kitten, you sure have been busy! Great job! Are you getting many different varieties of butterflies? Are you seeing any honeybees as well?

LL, I'm so glad your mom lives close by so that whatever needs to be moved from her yard she can "visit" in your yard. Yellow jackets are terrible. I was so sorry to hear she had such a bad reaction. I love that last picture of your garden with the horses.

I hadn't been up to much. I have been "resting" a lot of the summer since it has been so hot. I heard that this past week we were due for a good dose of rain so this past weekend I got out and dug up and divided lots of perennials and moved them into the backyard. I also dug and divided a lot of daylilies to start that border along my split-rail fence (which meant I first had to move plants out of that border). So I'm pretty much playing musical plants now. My DH has been very busy getting some seating going in the garden thanks to that last thread about who wants more seating! We purchased 2 more adirondack chairs to add to the 2 we already had and he has been painting them really bright colors (something very out of the box for me!) and then he also took our old bench and painted that up too. Once they're all finished I'll post a picture on the seating thread.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2010 at 9:45AM
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natal(Louisiana 8b)

CMK, love your rock borders! I have a small area in the courtyard with similar rocks ... dh brought half of them back from a trip to Scituate Beach in Massachusetts and the rest I bought locally.

Lavender, bet your namesake's bed smells heavenly! It's nice to see you posting pics!

No break in the heat down here for at least another month, but I'm getting tired of looking at the sad state of most beds, so will hopefully start tackling some of it next week when dh goes back to work.

It's time to get the veggie garden prepped for a fall planting of bush beans, Swiss chard, lettuce, arugula, etc. And all pine straw paths need to be refreshed.

I have been keeping notes all summer about what needs to be moved or removed completely in the spring.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2010 at 11:37AM
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Lilyfinch z7 mid tn

i love catching up with peoples garden progress! I finally found the perfect plants for my walkway. I now have a nice mix of blue paradise plox, goodness grows speedwell, frans shubert phlox, caryopteris and catmint, with a growndcover of pink primrose. They were just planted so thinsg dont look good enoough to photograph, but next year should be perfect! I also ripped out a coreopsis that was taking over my bed, and an icky defoliated iceberg and a boring hydrangea with nondecript white flowers will be yanked as well. I feel good that its all coming together out front! i think next year will be so nice now that ive got it all right.
I also convinced my dh that building a arbor swing in my back garden would be great to do together! I know he'll help me but he golfs so much i hope i can get him for a couple days. But if we build it ill be one ecstatic gardener!

    Bookmark   August 28, 2010 at 7:57PM
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xantippe(8 Portland OR)

What have I been doing? Watering, watering, watering! Sheesh, this is getting old! We've been seven weeks without any real rain (just an occasional misting) and I am getting tired of it.

I've also been planning the brutal murder of several plants that have never performed well. I think you become a "real" gardener when you can finally stomach doing this. It took me years, but now I finally do it, and after it's done, the garden always looks so much better.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2010 at 8:00PM
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soxxxx

It sounds like many of us are thinking about downsizing due to the harshness of this summer heat. I have been culling out plants that bloom for such a short span and then look ragged the rest of the time.

I am tired of daylilies and irises eternally having those lower brown leaves. And lantanas, although they bloom excessively, produce an over abundance of those messy black berries. And wisteria and crepe myrtles sending up sprouts at their bases. I am cutting down on the number of plants in pots. I hope I have murdered all the Mexican petunias.

It has been a long dry hot summer here with more work than enjoyment in my yard, but as usual I will look at nursery catalogs all winter, and then be rejuvinated with the first hint of a warm day next spring.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2010 at 8:56PM
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christinmk z5b eastern WA

Thank you for the kind compliments about the paths!

-organic_kitten, it is a good idea to put seating there, but I think it would get stolen if it wasn't nailed down or watched by an armed guard, lol! I took this pic from the front steps, which is where I normally sit to enjoy the front.
Wow! You have done a lot in your garden! Love how neat your edges are. Did you use the blocks to line your other beds? I don't remember them in your earlier photos.

-LL, lovely gardens! Your birdbath is neat. Is it concrete? Do you take it in for winter? I love how it is sitting inbetween the arbor and seating area. From the arbor it really draws your attention to what lies beyond! I don't have any of that particular lavender, but I do have one called 'Ellegance Purple' planted by the roses out front. I am surprised how well it is doing. This summer I tried my hand at rooting a few from cuttings. So far it looks like they have taken. Don't know that I want a lot though, since I am not terribly fond of their scent (what an oddball I am not liking the smell of lavender!!) ;-D

-xantippe, I totally agree! When I first started gardening (well, even a couple of years ago) I couldn't bear to throw away any plant, no matter how ugly it was or how poorly it performed. Doing better with that now...maybe because space is becoming limited.
CMK

    Bookmark   August 28, 2010 at 9:00PM
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irene_dsc(5)

CMK - Love the new path!

I've been swamped at work most of this month, which is great, but didn't leave me with much time in the garden. Last Sunday, we invited friends over to enjoy wine and s'mores while burning our brushpile. That was a very enjoyable evening! Tho the fire was so hot, we had to stand very far back to roast marshmallows!

Today, I pulled my horribly mildewed pumpkins that were taking over the veggie garden, and planted spinach, lettuce, and peas. I do have 6 pumpkins - no idea if they will survive til Halloween! I'm also plotting my bulb order - being busy at work means I should be able to get some bulbs! I'm most excited about my idea to combine Queen of Night purple tulips with Carrousel (white with bits of red) tulips, and to plant alliums (the blue ones) near them to discourage digging. The alliums will bloom later - not sure if they will be with the clematis and/or roses, but that all will give early interest to a section that blooms more in late summer and fall (agastache and boltonia). Plus some different daffodils - pink and white for dd's section, and Tiritomba butterfly ones somewhere - not quite sure where yet.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2010 at 9:53PM
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lavender_lass(4b)

Xantippe- LOL! I just started laughing, while reading your post. My husband asked me what was so funny, so I read it to him. He laughed, too :)

    Bookmark   August 28, 2010 at 10:50PM
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hosenemesis(SoCal Sunset 19 USDA 8b)

Planted irises all day today in two revamped beds. We're going to try to finish the sprinklers this week too.

Amaranth:

Renee

    Bookmark   August 29, 2010 at 12:09AM
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Thyme2dig NH Zone 5

Renee, I always love to see photos of your garden! What are the rings around the iris? Do you plant them in buried large pots so critters don't get to them??

    Bookmark   August 29, 2010 at 3:38PM
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lois(PA Zone 6)

Until last wed, I would have said I was growing tomatoes. Now I am apparently killing them (southern blight, probably due to overwatering i.e; watering before a big rain storm). :o( Everyone complains about how hard roses are to grow, but I've never had nearly as much trouble with roses as I do with tomatoes. Oh well, I did get one crop of maters which was better than last year. Sigh.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2010 at 6:35PM
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roper2008 (7b)

Well everyone's garden is looking really good. Like xantippe I spend
most of my time watering. I have a lot of peppers in buckets and they
have to be watered everyday. My garden is a jungle again. I need to
mow the backyard, way overdo. One thing I am very happy about is
the agastache's I ordered, some from seed. They have been blooming
for some time now and are still blooming beautifully. Will add others
next summer... I received some iris's from Napa Country Iris Gardens
that Rita mentioned. They send some really nice healthy iris's. Would
recommend them.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2010 at 7:09PM
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hosenemesis(SoCal Sunset 19 USDA 8b)

Thanks thyme- those are just barrel rings that I use to lay out the design of the garden. If I don't, I plant things too close together. I'll lift them when I am done planting.

Lois- I feel your pain. Roses are much easier than tomatoes.

Renee

    Bookmark   August 29, 2010 at 11:40PM
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totallyconfused

I was hoping to switch some hosta that are getting too much sun with some daylilies that aren't getting enough, but we're back to the mid-90's again. I may have to wait until spring for that.

I'm hoping once it cools down a bit DH will help me expand an existing bed so I can move an ornamental grass that has outgrown its current home as soon as I can cut it back in early spring.

I'm looking at all the things I planted this year that, for one reason or another, did not turn out quite right and trying to figure out what I can do to improve the situation.

Totally Confused

    Bookmark   August 30, 2010 at 2:56PM
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christinmk z5b eastern WA

-Renee, your garden looks amazing. How in the world do you keep the edges of the grass so neat and trim?!
And what's that cute, feathery pink plant in the pot?
CMK

    Bookmark   August 30, 2010 at 3:40PM
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hosenemesis(SoCal Sunset 19 USDA 8b)

Thanks, CMK. It's St. Augustine grass and it just edges like that- like Bermuda.

I thought the pink plant was Flamingo Celosia, but I just looked that up to get the botanical name and that's not it. It is some sort of a succulent, just past its prime. It was really sweet in full bloom.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2010 at 6:21PM
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lois(PA Zone 6)

Thanks hosenemesis...

On a happier note, I am enjoying the late summer japanese anemone flowers.

Your garden is lovely... Are those tall red flowers the amaranth?

    Bookmark   August 30, 2010 at 9:58PM
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hosenemesis(SoCal Sunset 19 USDA 8b)

I love those anemones. I have two that I think are white. They have never bloomed.

Yes Lois, that is volunteer amaranth. I planted the chartreuse this year, but it does not get as tall:


Renee

    Bookmark   August 31, 2010 at 8:17PM
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aftermidnight Zone7b B.C. Canada

Well, I'm getting an early start on my fall cleanup, the weather is finally the way I like it, sunny but not hot, warm with a hint of fall in the air. Today I starting cleaning out around the edge of the goldfish pool, DH put planks across the pool with a piece of plywood on top so I had a place to kneel while I tackled it, this is a very hard area to get at and it took all afternoon but it's done. I was pretty ruthless with some of the overhang plants but next year they will soon fill in.

The area above this pool needs a major overhaul most of the plants other then a few shrubs needs to be divided or shovel pruned. By the time I'm finished it's going to look sad for awhile but next year it should look a lot better.

I bought several nice sempervivums which I'm going to plant on the roof of the shed which helps enclose my cottage garden, if this works I'll plant more next year. I've always wanted to try this and have finally gotten around to attempting it. I hope the weather holds so I can get all the cleanup done so I don't have a big mess to contend with in the spring.

Everyones gardens look great and I love your new path Christin, is that a maiden hair fern in the bed under the tree? I have a few of our native maiden hairs and a small piece of a golden maidenhair fern I have to dig and put in a pot for a year, it's getting crowded out where it is I hope I can save it.

Annette

    Bookmark   September 2, 2010 at 11:17PM
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christinmk z5b eastern WA

-Annette, thanks! I do have a maidenhair in this area, but you can't see it in this pic. I think you must be looking at the Corydalis by the stepping stone path? Started it last winer from seed. It's supposed to be C. cheilanthifolia, though I suspect it might have been mislabled or identified. Should be interesting to see what it looks like in flower!

I would love to see your roof once it is planted. I've seen people plant things on their shed roofs and it is spectacular! How exactly do you plant the succulents on it? Under the shingles? How do you keep them from falling off during a deluge of spring rain?
CMK

    Bookmark   September 3, 2010 at 8:52PM
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schoolhouse_gw

Today it is cool, very windy. I took advantage of it by finally cleaning up all the branches I had trimmed from the mulberry tree last week. Then I got to looking at the line of tall privet hedge that separates the courtyard garden and the orchard and realized just how much dead growth there was. Since I had my bow saw, I cut one big branch. Well, pretty soon I was breaking down and sawing more until I had a big pile of large dead and dying wood. After a cup of coffee, I went back out and cut it all into manageable pieces and threw it onto a tarp. Dragged it all to the edge of the veg garden where I'll burn it some other day. I must admit it looks a little bare now, but also much better overall. As I was pruning out that hedge, I got to thinking how it would look to replace the entire hedge with a 3' - 4' stone wall(!).

Then I planted my new Redbud tree. I'll tell you the ground is DRY. I mixed some soil from the compost pile with the dirt from the planting hole before filling it back in. I think I'll need to stake the tree before winter, it's a little whispy. Hopefully in about 10yrs. it will look great and help shield the view of the neighbors' house a bit.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2010 at 3:44PM
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hosenemesis(SoCal Sunset 19 USDA 8b)

CMK- it's ptilotus. The little fluffy pink plant is ptilotus.
Renee

    Bookmark   September 5, 2010 at 11:34PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada

Not a lot at the moment! I fractured a bone in my right foot on Thursday so am out of the garden for awhile - frustrating when there's so much that needs doing and the temperatures are getting pleasant for working. AARRGH!!

    Bookmark   September 6, 2010 at 9:40AM
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aftermidnight Zone7b B.C. Canada

Ohhh Woody, I hope your foot mends quickly, isn't it just the way the cookie crumbles, those cooler temps and pleasant working conditions you were looking forwards to slipping away and for me, my pleasant working conditions have deteriorated into rain which the weatherman says is here to stay for awhile, so much to do and so little time. A great big double AARRGH!!!

Annette

    Bookmark   September 6, 2010 at 11:45AM
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schoolhouse_gw

All I have to say is we should hope for alot of snow again this winter or we will be in a drought next year for sure. I planted some things today, and the ground is like concrete - a foot down.

Oops, sorry Woody - didn't need to mention "foot"! Sorry about your mishap, if I could help you I would.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2010 at 3:05PM
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luckygal(3b)

After a summer of drought I was so tired of watering I decided to let it all go near the end of August. About then the rains started so lawns are green again and plants are happy. Haven't had much frost yet altho it will soon happen. I can't do any digging until the rains stop so I guess I can say I'm just enjoying looking at my garden thru the windows, when I take the dog out, or when I'm running to the car! Resting on my laurels and ignoring the weeds! ;-D

    Bookmark   September 6, 2010 at 4:36PM
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christinmk z5b eastern WA

Thanks for the info Renee! Oooo...so cute! Think I will have to find seed of that Ptilotus for next year.

Garden update: emptied the composter the other day and spread it all in the front sunny-side garden (since I have moved out most of the plants, so I can redo the area in the spring). Also was able to lay some of the compost down in the arbor garden area.
CMK

    Bookmark   September 10, 2010 at 12:59PM
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girlgroupgirl(8 ATL)

You all have been up to great things. I've been wrestling with future garden plans. Again.
We had to hire engineers to work on the water issues on our property. Ideas I had wanted to employ are just not going to fly with the City of Atlanta at this time. It's very sad, they are so "behind" in allowing conservation of resources and are mostly concentrating on forcing people to do expensive and crazy things. I hired a landscape architect to help with ideas, she made the most beautiful and unusual plan for me but the engineers say it won't work at all. I had it priced out, and without "everything" it was more than my budget (which I think is generous). Hubby also put the kaibosh on a few ideas...I guess that's OK. He was sort of trying to save some $$ however we'll have to spend the same money anyway pretty much in the long run (but we don't have to do it all at once this way).
I will sadly end up with grass again. I worked for 10 years ridding every single bit of grass from almost an acre, weed grass took over this year when I could do nothing (flooding tears out every plant I place)...So I am trying to wrap my head around various problems and how to solve them in a logical step by step order so that I can move forward but not so far as to make mistakes that could be wiped out with more big rains (which is funny, since it's droughty again here. Not much rain in a month, almost everything looks DEAD :)
I am considering if I want cottage garden space or not. Or perhaps it is more like how much cottage garden space do I want and where would the best place for that be? I've learned my front yard is not "it" (way too hot and droughty last 5 years).
So I physically have not done much, but with weather cooling soon I am hoping to get there soon....

    Bookmark   September 10, 2010 at 10:11PM
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luckygal(3b)

We had a few days without rain so I managed to plant a few new irises. Had to look awhile to find good places as there are not many empty spaces in my 'jungle'. The day after planting them it rained a deluge so glad I got them in when I did as the wet weather seems to be continuing.

GGG, I'm also reconsidering the style of cottage garden I want. I know I don't want to try to keep up the pace the way I have so I'm planning more shrubs, lots of groundcovers, and fewer, more drought resistant, and easier care perennials. Also using a lot of cardboard and mulch to keep the weeds at bay. Hope to figure out a plan for this over the winter.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2010 at 11:41AM
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natal(Louisiana 8b)

A lot of you have really been busy. The only thing I've managed the past couple months has been on paper ... garden changes for next year.

Last weekend we had a fall tease ... temps were still high, but the humidity dropped. It was enough to motivate me to start tackling cleanup. Course one thing led to another and after a day of that I headed to the nurseries. Ended up transplanting a Summersweet that's never done well and replaced it with a gardenia. Found a great deal on quart size pots of Agastache 'Heatwave', so I have 12 of those planted in three different beds. Turned a couple beds in the veggie garden and planted bush beans, Swiss chard, dill, and cilantro. Refreshed the pine straw in the garden paths and feel like I've snapped out of the dog days and can see the light at the end of this long hot summer tunnel. So ready for fall!

3 Agastache with new Heaven Scent gardenia...

    Bookmark   September 11, 2010 at 12:17PM
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