Tag Archive - digging in the dirt

Bon Weekend – Full Frontal

My gardening obsession has reached a fevered pitch recently and we’re going to address the main front bed shortly. The above photos were taken the day we looked at the house. I love variegated Pitosporum (the small bushes in the front), but they have a nasty fungus on them. Actually, most of the plants in the front are infected with something. Apparently we’re not the only yard suffering. The other bushes, mom knows their name, also have to go. I’m just not a fan. In their place we’re planting a loquat tree, white oleander and some lower growing plants. One of our sago palms is already in the bed and we have another sago inside that will now make it’s home outside. I’m in hopes of eventually having a curved palm or two in the front. They cost more, but I love their lazy slope.

I ordered some Hakone grass (aka Japanese Forest Grass) from Hyams this week. Oh Hyams, it has been my secret desire to work there for most of my adult life. Maybe one day!

{ Grass photo credit: BHG }

Juicy Fruit

This weekend’s gardening adventure was our first foray in handling fruit trees. We purchased an Improved Meyer Lemon tree and a Navel Orange tree. There were a few varieties of the oranges and I would love to go back and pick up the Blood Orange tree at some point. We were also hoping to find a grapefruit tree in the mix but alas, not. We’ll have to stay diligent with weekly and perhaps bi-weekly nursery visits. Though there are few flowers left, the scent wafting around the orange trees was divine. Bitter Orange blossoms are used to make Neroli essential oil, but the fragrance from these varieties was enough to send me into a state of complete bliss. I took a bit of effort from Michael to lure me away so we could make our purchase and get our new additions home.

I really, really hope they do well.

{ Photo credit: Sunset }

Garden State

Michael and I just finished judging the science fair for my cousin and I’m taking this opportunity to try posting via the WordPress app. I’ve read very mixed reviews but it seems to be working just fine and dandy.

We spent our second full day focusing on the pond yesterday. We put the retaining border { made from recycled materials }, added the fill soil and planted several bulbs & plants. We added pea gravel under the stairs and will place a divider on each side, sometime next week. The grass will be replaced with a pea gravel path that will eventually lead from the side gate and wrap around the patio, which still has to be laid. We’re still hanging about on rocking pads.

I think we’ve done pretty well for spending a total of about two days on the project so far. We’re also working on three other big beds.

pond2c

pond2e

The fountain is sputtering, we have to clean it and the filter.

Photos of the first day we worked on it…

(more…)

The Garden Salad Days

Garden progress! The weather was absolutely uh-mazing this past weekend and we’ve spent the last three days outside. It’s been a while since we’ve truly felt like we could start something in terms of an outdoor living space. The last two houses were temporary dwellings and we decided not to spend too much energy, or money for that matter, trying to make permanent outdoor features. I can be very impatient and I can easily forget that the garden sanctuary we had in Atlanta took a couple of years of hard work and we had certain advantages, such as no real yard maintenance. I do love container gardens! We moved into this house a little late in the season to really start planting. Top that off with the hottest summer on record and we pretty much hid indoors.

Ok, back to what we’ve done so far. Our old pond form has been in the garage since we left Atlanta. Today it is comfortably setting in it’s new digs. I even have a little animated gif behind the jump of the digging process.

Pond - Phase I

If you click through to the hosted photo on Flickr you can see a few notes I’ve set up to explain the next phase of work to be done in this section. We’re undecided where the second pagoda is going to live. A little history of those two – mom bought them for the front gate of the old family house. When Michael and I moved everything out two years ago, they came with us. Stacey got a great shot of one during the wedding.

Patio pavers

We bought 50 x 16″ pavers. It took two trips to Lowes to bring these home. We actually need more! We got our workout for the day loading and unloading them. The beers definitely made things a little ‘easier’ these last few days.;)

Patio pavers

This is the very temporary pad. We were desperate for a patio fix and to be able to kick back with some adult beverages and watch the clouds roll on by. When we actually lay the pavers for good they’ll have an inch or two in between for moss, herbs and other creeping ground cover. We’re about twenty squares short of our {my} desired patio size, but even just two more rows will be nice. The lounge chairs were purchased for our wedding. They were on sale for $25.00 at Target! We considered selling them before our move last year and now I’m glad we kept them. The second pond setup will go in front of the chimney, which is in the left of the photo.

Patio pavers

It’s a good thing I don’t try to keep my nails well manicured. I honestly do not like wearing gloves while playing in the dirt. It’s just so therapeutic to feel it, and even caked on my hands.

I’ll continue to post progress photos. (more…)

Variegated Canna Pretoria

I have been a huge fan of this canna hybrid for years. They have so much sass!

Garden
Click image to enlarge.

Unfortunately, I didn’t dig up any of the tubers before we left Atlanta. We figured they would be around every year in plentiful amounts. It was difficult to contain my excitement when thinking of planting some here at the new house. We’ve checked Lowe’s, HomeDepot, and elsewhere on a few occasions since the move, but with no luck. Every employee I asked just shrugged their shoulders. I knew it was time to visit Hyams and check with them. We’re now living a bit aways from them.:( I asked one of the employees about them and sure enough, she knew what was going on. Apparently, they have succumbed to a disease this year and many vendors are wary of carrying them. I was so upset that I wanted to cry on the spot. I know I can look to the wonderful Internet to order them, but shipping plants in this heat I’m not sure it’s the safest thing to do.

I’m going to keep checking and maybe take my chance on ordering.

Bon Weekend.

We’re being seriously stupid and trying to finish transplanting our plants today. We’ve read where it’s been 5.5° hotter this June than in previous years. That explains A LOT! I’ll leave you with a photo of some banana trees. Please stay cool!


{ Photo credit: Bonnie’s Plants }

Bon Weekend – a trip to Fantasy Garden

Mom was feeling up for a run to a few nurseries this morning. It breaks our hearts that she lives in an world of incredible pain everyday, so when she says she’s ready, it’s go time! I’m so happy to be back in gardening mode while prepping for the move. We bought two hydrangeas at Rosebank Farms and then stopped by Garden Wise where we bought a gorgeous variegated hosta and a Farfugium japonicum ‘Giganteum’, aka the Giant Leopard Plant. The giant waxy leaves look like a tractor seat. They produce a stalk with yellow daisy-like flowers in the fall.

I follow a blog called ‘Garden Porn’ that is maintained by Michelle Derviss, who is a landscape designer. These are photos of the ‘Pina Colada Garden’ in Novato, CA. I believe this is her actual garden. It’s about as close to my dream garden as it’s going to get. I apologize in advance for the large file weight of the images, but I couldn’t just pick a few. I had a very difficult time narrowing it down to just these…

Fantasy Garden
Fantasy Garden
Fantasy Garden
Click to enlarge.

Want to see more?

In the beginning.

I thought I’d share a couple of reference photos of the early stages of the garden. These were taken at the beginning of June 2006.

Early garden
{ Click on image to enlarge. }

Seeds of Change.

Gardening was one of mine and Michael’s favorite activities. Some of my best memories are from working in the garden all day, showering, opening the loft windows to let out old jazz, louching a glass of absinthe, and then head back out to retire in our seats and enjoy the evening. Below are some images of our loft garden in Atlanta. It evolved from spring/summer 2006 through spring/summer 2007. By autumn 2007 it was a jungle.

garden
{ Click on image to enlarge. }

Today I was on the Charleston MLS site looking at downtown listings so I could see their gardens. Strange, I know, but I figured it was the best way to see some beautiful gardens that you won’t normally see on the internet. My dream garden will have hardy banana (Musa banjo), elephant ears, spider lilies, ginger, canna (I’m partial to the variegated color combo above), gardenia, magnolia, jasmine, camilla, sago palm, palms/palmettos, bougainvillea & crotons (that will probably remain potted for winter storage), ornamental grasses, hibiscus, angels trumpets, and a variety of fruit trees. Along with those, I can’t help but want a weeping willow, our japanese maple, a new bog garden with carnivorous plants and papyrus, and Italian pencil cypresses. We’ll also have a side vegetable/herb garden.

The one thing we will NOT have? Azaleas. I cannot describe how much I loathe them. I usually call them ‘rat bushes’. Yuck. If you want to come take back my ‘True Southerner’ card, I’ll be more than happy to leave it in the mailbox. 🙂

Artemisia vulgaris

Commonly known as mugwort. I took these pictures of our mugwort in the front garden. A member of an online community asked to see photographs to help identify what may be mugwort growing in her yard. The pictures she found online caused her a bit of confusion between it and grand wormwood.

In herbal lore, it has been widely used for protection. In remedial practice, it is used as an emmenagogue, which regulates/promotes menstruation. Mugwort has been used to flavor beers, before the introduction of hops. As a nervine, Mugwort is valued in palsy, fits, epileptic and similar affections, being an old-fashioned popular remedy for epilepsy (especially in persons of a feeble constitution).

Mugwort - Artemisia vulgaris
{ Click on image to enlarge. }

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