new flowerbeds along the Final Pathway
When my dad & I dug the drainage channels from the downspouts away from the house back in February, it left an entire garbage can full of clay dirt that I intended eventually to use for flowerbed planting along the Final Pathway when it was done. It kept bugging me that the ugly can was in the way of my nice pathway, but I was so busy with all the kitchen stuff & other projects, and I couldn't budge the can at all unless I emptied it! I finally got around to that project a couple weeks ago, including arranging the gravel better along the brick, adding sand into the clay soil as well as sweeping more into the brick, the topping with potting soil for the new plants.
I've always wanted black-eyed Susans, and these have a variegated petal that shades darker to the center, some purple verbena since I know the red verbena has done so well out front as ground cover, plus a not cheap but very cool dahlia that's young foliage & stems are dark purple with orange flowers...perfect for Halloween so I splurged! I ran drip irrigation for each plant off the main line I installed along the house back in the spring, mixed sand into the clay soil, adding potting soil too, planted the plants, including some 4th of July leftovers, and finally used my bark mulch I bought on sale back in April when it was 2 for 1...and I still have 6 bags of bark left! I also swept 2 bags of sand into all my brick patio & pathways around the whole house...so I used my birthday massage chair pad that night! :)
From stepping stones in gravel with giant can of dirt, to plumbago, black-eyed Susans, purple verbena & a "Halloween" dahlia along the newest brick pathway...notice the ugly green plastic garbage can is now GONE! hooray!
tiny pumpkin patch so far
I knew I had no time to plant pumpkin seeds this year, so during all my frequent trips to Home Depot & OSH for my kitchen, I kept watching for pumpkin seedlings, but didn't find them until late June. I didn't want them trampled in the dark, so I waited until July 5th to plant them. I ran drip irrigation for each of the 4 plantable pots that had 3-4 seedlings each pot, but only one plant has survived from each pot. They are doing well, blooming plenty with vines growing longer all the time, but they need watering every day or they start wilting in the afternoon sun, so I've adjusted that. No pumpkins have set yet, but I've seen plenty of buzzing insects investigating, so I'm going to leave it up to chance. Even if I don't get any actual pumpkins, I can still use the vines as Halloween decor and set my fake pumpkins in the vines...I've done that before! ;)
Pumpkin seedlings, from planting to today...still growing!
tomato & chili harvest
My side yard is doing well again, and since my poor peppers got dwarfed by the tomatoes last year, I planted them in front, so they're both doing much better this year. I have one big bell pepper that is now bright red, and several Anaheim chilis, and of course a TON of tomatoes. Well, not enough for canning, but plenty for me to eat fresh off the vine with balsamic vinegar & feta cheese...yum! :-9
Lots of tomatoes already, including some more citrus flavor zebra heirloom tomatoes, already 4 good-sized Anaheim chilis, enough for two delicious batches of fresh homemade salsa so far!
abundant grape harvest!
The grape arbor is absolutely full this year! This is the third year since it was planted bare root one month after I moved in. It was in a pot in the general area at first since I knew I would build the brick patio later that year, then when the arbor was built, it went into the ground in September 2006. It must be the perfect spot, since it's sibling seedling planted at the same time at the gate arbor is a full year or more behind as far as growth, since it should be bearing fruit after 2 years, but nothing yet but leaves on that one. When I prune the grapevines this winter, I'll shape it more to expand better onto the movie screen trellis so there is more balance. It is nice to have so much shade on the bench now, especially with my new fluffy outdoor cushions.
Already 3 big bowls of grapes harvested, with still bunches as large as your head hanging on the vine! Nice shade with the new cushions too...
Obviously I was concentrating more this year on hardscaping with finishing the brick, then doing my kitchen remodel instead of tending my plants this spring & early summer...my poor geraniums haven't been deadheaded since the winter I'm afraid! But it is very nice to enjoy a pretty garden even without constant maintenance...look what it used to be when I moved in compared to now! :)
We'll get to enjoy the garden again tonight with another Cinema Brittahytta evening...the usual suspects will be watching The Usual Suspects... ;)