What Project are You Excited About this Year?

pam_3(GA 7b)March 16, 2009

I feel like I have a lot of projects going this year already. My husband built a rock wall (in one weekend!) to house my new veggie garden. He got it done so fast, that I am scrambling to get stuff in there! I thought for sure he would not have it completed until time to put the warm weather crop in!

As many of you know, we lost our eldest son, Evan, to bacterial meningitis a couple of years ago. I decided shortly after losing him, that I wanted to have a special garden in his memory. I got busy planning, and planting, and had a nice little garden in time for the lovely 2007 drought. And it turns out, the spot that I chose with all my lovely Hydrangeas and Hostas gets a lot more sun in summer than when I planted in spring. Soooo...last fall I moved almost everything out of Evan's garden to more appropriate spots in the yard. I decided to try something different. I wanted it to be "just right." I got all frustrated trying to think of the perfect garden for my little boy. And then it came to me. A Zoo Garden. Perfect! So, I did some research, bought some plants, and replanted. not everything in Evan's Zoo Garden has an animal name, but here are some things that do:

Tiger lily, Panther lily (if Wayside ever sends it), White Swan Coneflower, Snakehead Frittalary, Bunny Tail Grass, Teddy Bear Sunflower, Evan Saul Coneflower, Evan Matthew Dahlia, Toad Lily, and Turtlehead.

I can barely can contain my excitement, but I have to wait for so many things to come up. In the meantime I have some beautiful Daffodils from esh in bloom.

What are you excited to start this year?

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Pam - I am so sorry about your son. I have sons - the mere thought of anything happening to them just makes me sick. I can't imagine how you go on.... You are really a special person. You've taken your grief and turned to nature -- making beauty out of your sadness. That sounds hokey - but I am just in awe of your positive, wonderful attitude. I'll bet everyone loves you!

Your garden sounds gorgeous! I have many projects I am excited about. However, no money! We always end up starting things - doing the part of the project that requires sweat equity. Muscle work is free! Then we realize, oh- yeah, we need about a thousand dollars to buy stone to fill in the dry creek that I dug (boy, was I in shape that year!) I am restraining myself from digging a pond, since that will take lots of money! :) I'd have a giant hole in the front yard for about 4 years before I could make it pretty! Wouldn't the neighbors love it?

One more practical, do-able project is to get some mulch from the city of Marietta and mulch the path that goes through our woods. I would also like to add more knock out roses in the sunny front, and more hydrangeas in the shady back.

You will have to post pictures of Evan's Zoo Garden in full bloom!

Enjoy your Spring!

    Bookmark   March 17, 2009 at 6:54AM
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pam -- Evan's Zoo Garden...what a wonderful idea! If it got a little more shade, you could include Elephant Ears...! Oh well...maybe someday there can be an Evan's Sunny Zoo Garden and an Evan's Shady Zoo Garden! :)

I am excited about my new raised veggie beds, because I have missed homegrown tomatoes these past few years. I'm also excited about our patio...if that lovely structure is ever actually built. We saved up for the framework brick and it has been sitting in big cubes in our backyard for months. Now we are saving up for the labor (about the same price as the brick).

    Bookmark   March 17, 2009 at 7:23AM
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I'm most excited about my woodland garden this year. last year we only had the screen porch to sit on in the evenings and the sun would set right in your eyes, blinding you and making you sweat your booty off.

This year, we have a large deck out back along with a 1/3 acre woodland garden. I have a fire pit there now and can't wait to start putting all my wintersown plants out there. I've created pathways throughout with mulch and I'm still getting them lined with moneky grass. I will be so nice to finally have a place to enjoy the evenings and not be in the hot sun!

    Bookmark   March 17, 2009 at 4:17PM
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Sounds like you need to share some of that "monkey" grass with Pam. Pam, I have pussytoes (Antennaria plantaginifolia) if you'd like some. A small groundcover that never goes completely dormant in the winter.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2009 at 4:35PM
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pam -- What about one of my favorites...spider lilies?

    Bookmark   March 18, 2009 at 8:01AM
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Pam, your zoo garden is such a lovely idea. how about Lamb's Ears (stachys)? And, sort-of an animal name, i have a "Rudolph" spurge in a sunny spot in my kids garden, which gets red tips that look like red noses in the winter.

And for shadier spots, Bear's Breeches (Acanthus) and Tiarella "Tiger Stripe".

Please post some pictures when Evan's zoo garden flowers!

Your veggie bed sounds wonderful too. I have several veggies just planted in sunny spots around the garden, but without really preparing the soil well first, I am not sure they'll do that well. Maybe a veggie plot will be on my list of projects next year.

This year, we want to finish our ivy removal project, we have just a couple of areas left. We also need to finish laying a patio. I'm excited about the finished products of both, but not the work involved!

I'm most excited about my seed starting efforts so far -- most of these have been Wintersown. I have a lot of seedlings now and will try my best not to kill them at the planting out stage (which i did last year).

I think my biggest goal for the year is to get my kids (aged 5 and 3) out into the garden more often. We planted peas, carrots and arugula a few weekends ago and they are very excited that all have sprouted!

    Bookmark   March 18, 2009 at 11:52AM
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girlgroupgirl(8 ATL)

I'm excited that the back yard is going to be tackled this year! Drainage, cisterns, clearing of junk and debris, fixing the major problems from both tornado and drought. We have lost a lot of water table and the land is caving in. Next winter I'll be able to plant my orchard and have the water to support it!!
I also need to plant the new stairwell garden, amend and plant the deck gardens, get retaining walls, stairs, fencing, walkways and a patio in. Pad for a hot tub and a greenhouse will go in (the actual hot tub and greenhouse to be added at a later date), in the fall we'll decide if we need terracing anywhere (I think we do, but the land-moving guy wants to try it without).
I have ALMOST (I made an error I need to correct) finished the renovated vegetable garden area as well. That's been a big job this last week and I think I've knocked it out in record time! It needs a few tweeks, but looks pretty good. It has me stoked because I was able to find 80 more sq. feet of space which I calculate is at least 100lbs of food.


    Bookmark   March 18, 2009 at 11:27PM
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A new raised bed, to join the other 3. This one is going to be made of lovely cinder blocks... any suggestion for plants that will hang fetchingly over the side? Edible or not... the interior of the bed is mostly going to be tomato & pepper plants.


    Bookmark   March 22, 2009 at 7:36PM
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natalie4b(7b GA)

Hello Pam,

what a wonderful idea to have a Zoo Garden for Evan! Love it! Would really like to see pictures when all the flowers come up.
Did the japanese maple tree survive?

This year I am covering all my bermuda grass, and will eventually plant groundcovers. Lots of work, and it worth it.
Also will be working on a bare hill (all red clay) where junipers once lived. Don't know what to do there yet. My husband suggests we build stacked stone wall, and make veggy gardens. Will see.


    Bookmark   March 25, 2009 at 7:41AM
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pam_3(GA 7b)

Thanks for sharing all of your project plans. It's an exciting time of year. Things are coming up all over the place here now! It's so exciting. Of course, if we have a late freeze, I'll have so much to cover.

Natalie - the japanese maple is alive and well. If I can figure out how to get a picture on here, I'll post one. I tried to do one of my veg garden with no luck.

Thanks for suggestions for plants in Evan's Zoo Garden. i'm going to wait and see how everything looks once it's all up. I probably will have to replace a couple of the Evan Saul Coneflowers, and maybe the Evan Matthew Dahlia (again!) I did pick up a red tiger lily last week from Scottsdale Farms in Alpharetta. Great nursery! I also found a Miranda Hydrangea there (that's my daughter's name.) Otherwise, I'll just be putting in annuals (the teddy bear sunflower and something blue? I'm thinking Angelonia.)

Sharon - have you thought about Thyme to spill over the side of your bed?

Take care,

    Bookmark   March 28, 2009 at 7:59AM
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