Starting from Scratch

sandysoil_2008(6 MA)June 26, 2013

Spring of last year is when I started gardening at my new house. Nothing was planted in the back yard except for hydroseeded grass. The bottom of the yard is in shade most of the day except from about 2 PM on. There are some small trees are growing on the west side of the fence so I should have more shade in a year or two. Here's a photo taken last spring after planting some pieris, astilbes, leucothoe and rhododendrons.

Now here's a photo taken last summer after planting lots of hostas, ferns, toad lilies and turtle heads.

Well, after lurking on here for quite a while, I was bitten by the hosta bug and decided I wanted one of everything. But I was running out of room so I rehomed lots of albomarginatas and multiples of cultivars that I had. They went to the local plant swap and were snatched up quickly.

I bought Cherry Berry, Dancing Queen, Fire and Ice, Fire Island, Frances Williams, Krossa Regal, Liberty, Paul's Glory, Pineapple Upside Down Cake, Praying Hands, Sagae, Whirlwind and Wolverine.

I'm already eyeing a piece of lawn next to the east fence for more hostas next year!

Thanks everyone for all the knowledge that I've acquired on this forum.

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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

aw man... did we enable you .... OR WHAT!!!!.l. lol ..

can you snap the same pic as #1 for a before/after ...

welcome to the club

ken

    Bookmark   June 26, 2013 at 3:55PM
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beverlymnz4

Nice work. I think you can squeeze a few more in there.

Beverly

    Bookmark   June 26, 2013 at 4:52PM
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sandysoil_2008(6 MA)

Good idea Ken. I'll take that photo when all the hostas have been planted.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2013 at 8:56PM
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Steve Massachusetts Zone 5b

Sandy,

Is that woodchip mulch in the Hosta bed? If so you've really been paying attention to Ken. Where in MA are you located? Do you still have sandy soil?

Steve

    Bookmark   June 27, 2013 at 9:10PM
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bkay2000(8a TX)

Great before and after shots. They will just get better.

bk

    Bookmark   June 27, 2013 at 9:26PM
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sandysoil_2008(6 MA)

Steve, I'm in Holbrook right around the corner from Cochato's. I was there earlier in the spring and may have to go again when I figure out how many more hostas I can squeeze in!

That is rabbit bedding in the hosta bed. It has cedar shavings and lots of bunny poop which is great fertilizer.

The sandysoil name is from when I was living in south Plymouth near the Canal. My soil was almost pure sand and difficult to garden with. I'm so happy that I now have real dirt - even with all the New England rocks!

Sheila

    Bookmark   June 27, 2013 at 11:43PM
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weekendweeder(5A NY)

Nice big planting area! Can't wait to see them grow.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2013 at 4:50AM
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Moccasin(z9aMobileAL)

Well well well, a victim of a "silent contagion" for hosta!
Welcome and thanks for coming forward with your lovely garden. You really started with a blank slate, and created something lovely. You are going to enjoy your new garden. Stick with us, because we love to watch gardens grow.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2013 at 1:29PM
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Steve Massachusetts Zone 5b

If I lived in Holbrook near Cochato, I would have very little money left. You are showing great restraint.

Steve

    Bookmark   June 28, 2013 at 10:29PM
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sandysoil_2008(6 MA)

Steve, we'll see how much restraint I have the next time I go!
Sheila

    Bookmark   June 29, 2013 at 6:29PM
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thisismelissa(z4a-S Twin Cities MN)

Well first of all, good for you for giving the hosta some room to spread out. You'll thank yourself in about 2-3 more years. With all that sun, you're going to have rather full gardens!

Be sure to do the same in your new beds!

Welcome to the hostaholics hangout!.... well, at least welcome to the contributing side of it!

    Bookmark   June 29, 2013 at 10:59PM
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sandysoil_2008(6 MA)

Here's the after picture that Ken wanted to see.

I went to Cochato's last Sunday. I took home Niagara Falls, Sun Power, Stained Glass, Paradigm, Rainbow's End and Lakeside Paisley Print.

They're all in the ground and it looks like I have room for one more. So I'll be going back to Cochato.

This post was edited by sandysoil_2008 on Mon, Jul 14, 14 at 12:47

    Bookmark   August 21, 2013 at 4:00PM
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beverlymnz4

I thought I posted to this thread but its not here.

Thanks for the update. I like the hosta you chose. When you go back to Cochato, check out some blues. A frosty blue would complement your shiny greens and yellows nicely

Beverly

    Bookmark   August 21, 2013 at 7:47PM
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don_in_colorado

Nice!

Don B.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2013 at 10:57PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

i dont give the remaining grass... long odds on a long life... lol ...

may as well incorporate that fruit tree into the bed ... lol ..

and while you are at it.. may as well work on the corner curve on the left ....

great job.. thx

ken

    Bookmark   August 22, 2013 at 7:21AM
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sandysoil_2008(6 MA)

Don, thanks!

Beverly, I do have a couple of Bressingham Blues and several NOID blues but a frosty blue would complement the yellows and greens. Any suggestions?

Ken, you and I think alike. I am going to work on the corners and extend the bed. That's for next year though.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2013 at 8:52AM
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josephines123 z5 ON Canada

Sheila, you have a gorgeous setting there! Your hosta garden is beautiful to look at and the variety you've chosen is amazing. It's an impressive garden. BTW...Love the look of your Niagara Falls.

I noticed the netting on your wooden ladder...is it there to provide support for an edible plant by any chance? ....I'm imagining sitting on the deck ..then reaching over and plucking the 'harvest'!

Thank you for the visual treat this morning! Looking forward to seeing your garden grow!
Jo

    Bookmark   August 22, 2013 at 9:34AM
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Moccasin(z9aMobileAL)

I do not see a ladder at all. Jo, what am I missing here? Netting? Hmmmm, I saw no link to a photo album. I'm stumped.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2013 at 10:37AM
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sandysoil_2008(6 MA)

Jo, good eyes! What you see is an old wooden ladder that I got at a yard sale for $3. I tacked chicken wire up both sides and now have a very sturdy frame for my cucumbers! I have four plants on it and it's producing cucumbers faster than I can eat them! In the fall I just fold it up and put it in the basement. Stronger and cheaper than anything I could buy!

Mocc, you can just see the top of the ladder by the deck railing.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2013 at 12:35PM
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Jon

Moc didn't even see the deck; she has tunnel vision when there are hosta in the picture.

Jon

    Bookmark   August 22, 2013 at 1:20PM
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josephines123 z5 ON Canada

LOL Jon....I was also dazzled, like Moc but saw the netting...I use it stapled to my fence, Sheila as support for my clematis. I would love to have an old wooden ladder kicking around...hard to come by....love the creative use of it...way to go :-

We have half a dozen of the same hosta. Have you seen a Flemish Sky in your hunt for hosta? It is a powdery grey/blue and beautiful with wavy leaves and retains this colour when sited in shade..not a Large one. Wondering what you'd think of it..:-)

    Bookmark   August 22, 2013 at 2:07PM
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hostahillbilly(4)

Very nice! You (and us) will be very glad for the 'progression' photos as time passes.

Suggestion - give that Niagra Falls a lot of room! Same with Sun Power if it gets enough sun.

That fence is calling Clematis to me - the Hostas can keep the Clematis roots cool the way they like.

Thanks for taking the time to share!

    Bookmark   August 22, 2013 at 2:59PM
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beverlymnz4

Here is one powdery blue that is in full shade: Astral Bliss
I'm sure there are more good ones out there.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2013 at 5:08PM
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Moccasin(z9aMobileAL)

Jonny, I'll repeat what my African grey tells me:
"You're so funny." hehehehehe....

I looked again, and I saw part of a stepladder near the deck. Sure don't see any netting. I saw the deck railing, nice vantage point to view things. But I'm not blowing up the pictures, don't have my magnifying glass out tonight.

I have Astral Bliss, and it stayed nice and blue for a long time. I also have Awakening Angel, which I mistakenly thought would stand up taller than Astral Bliss. Don Dean said I might change my mind, and I did.

Another powder blue which loses its powder as the summer heats up is Fragrant Blue Ribbons. It is lovely. It is supposed to have a white margin, but mine lost it, and this spring came up totally blue. Maybe it will get it back next spring.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2013 at 11:11PM
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sandysoil_2008(6 MA)

Bev, I do like that Astral Bliss. I'll look for it. Those vases are very pretty.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2013 at 8:23AM
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sandysoil_2008(6 MA)

Here's a progress report on the hosta garden. It's the third year so the hostas planted the first year are leaping like crazy. I extended the bed around to the right and left (as Ken suggested) but still need to mulch on the left. I have three hostas not in the ground and room only to plant one more. So it looks like I'll be joining the "pot" crowd!

    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 1:00PM
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paul_in_mn(4b)

Looks wonderful!

I predict that within 3 years - you will expand your gardens due to purchases and garden maturing and a few needing to be moved.......congrats, we've all done it. :-)

Paul

    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 1:27PM
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Moccasin(z9aMobileAL)

Oh boy, what a difference a year can make! Your scratch back garden is absolutely a knockout!

As a side note, I finally saw the netting on the ladder. I don't know what my problem was last year, but I was looking at the railing thinking FENCING and not LADDER. ...sigh. ....Using the ladder for vertical gardening? I'll have to suggest that to my DH who is the veggie farmer in our family. He can make that ugly tall ladder useful and be able to access veggies at the very top.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 3:48PM
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sandysoil_2008(6 MA)

Thanks, Paul and Mocc, it was a lot of work but it turned out better than I expected so I'm very, very pleased.

Paul, you're probably right about expanding but I'm taking a breather for a bit just to sit and enjoy the garden.

Mocc, the cucumber ladder works so well. Your DH should try it.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2014 at 5:02PM
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bkay2000(8a TX)

Congrats!! Great job!

bk

    Bookmark   July 15, 2014 at 7:47PM
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