A Little Garden Report

The last big garden project–a stone path through the hydrangea bed. Here it is from one end:


And from the other end:


The hydrangeas are big and lush this year. I can hardly wait for them to bloom. And that reminded me of how far we’ve come. Here’s a before–they are one of the first things I had MLG put into the ground–April 2013. They were small and spindly from too many years in a pot.


And here they are now!


Here is the sad Japanese maple, growing out of its planter box–the tree that started this whole garden project.


And when the first bed was complete, the tree had a new home.


Here is the same tree today!


I’ve been scoping out the nurseries, and got a few new plants. This is a moss rose. I love the delicate coloring, and the bit of lime green in the center.


I got these lemon drop something-or-others. They do well in the shade. And the deep red petunia is a different color for me. And some blue lobelia, because they are just so darned pretty.


The first (and only) bloom from the J&P rose I got last fall. It is still a tiny bush. But I like the color of the bloom, and it does have a very nice smell, as promised.


This is the snapdragon I got from Annie’s last year. It is a nice delicate apricot color, which I love. I hope it will re-seed itself, or at least stick around for another year.



And that’s all the news that’s fit to print this Sunday morning. Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Working in the Garden

Yesterday I set as a DAY TO WORK IN THE GARDEN. Between the extra rain we’ve had this year, and my travel schedule, things had gotten a little out of hand. I worked most of the morning in the garden, took a lunch break, and then went back out for a couple more hours. The changes seem so minimal, and yet, it makes a big difference to me, to see some of the weeds disappear, and also to get some pruning done on the trees.

I did some pruning on this lace leaf maple, but I need to work up my courage and do a bit more.


The stone paths were the main place I weeded. Good grief, I have a hard time getting anything to grow between the stones, but weeds! They are happy to fill in the gaps. However, when I started weeding, I was really pleased to see that some of my favorite ground covers (irish moss and corsican mint) had self-seeded between the stones. Seems our lack of rain has probably been the main detriment in getting the ground cover to grow!


Then I moved on to the carnation bed, which I guess gets the most sun, and therefore, the most weeds?


The patchwork path is doing well. I changed out some of the ground covers, and planted some blue star creeper in there.


The campanula bloomed for the first time this year!


And lastly, I put a few plants into the ground. It actually takes me a very long time to decide where to plant the new plants I get. This is a calla lily. I have admired these at the nurseries for years, but never bought one. We’ll see how this does in the shade garden. It will get a fair amount of sun where I planted it, so hopefully it will take off.


I went back out this morning to take a few more pictures of the flowers. Here are the carnations.


This rose is much prettier than last year! I almost dug it up before it bloomed! Glad I gave it a chance.


Lori, what is this plant? It is rather rangy and messy, but the little flowers are pretty, and I believe I bought it because butterflies like it.


And the new little honeysuckle plant has taken off and reached the top of the fence already! So happy. Just a little sniff is all I need:)


This is a dwarf abutilon (flowering maple) that I found. Bright red blooms, and it only gets about 3 feet high. Yes, it has its own little fence to discourage little doggies who like pink (and I guess red is a form of pink?) blooms.


And that’s the garden report for today. There’s a lot more work to be done, but that will have to wait for later in the week. I have one more short trip to make!


In The Garden

One by one, blooms are starting to appear in the garden. It has been a slower start to the blooms because of our cooler temps (yay) but more lush because of more rain (yay.) I’ve forgotten what this perennial is called. Its a really nice blue with purple tinges.


Right next to it these little campanulas bloomed for the first time.


Yesterday I went out to the yard to see what Noah was barking at, and I was completely surprised to see that these roses had started blooming! This is the $5 rose from the grocery store!


This columbine is also doing much better than last year.


And the patch of carnations has started blooming. I love carnations. Such a lovely aroma.


Today we had another rain storm. I got these nice pictures of the roses. I couldn’t decide which I liked best, so you get to see all of them.




Then I went out front to get a shot of the honeysuckle vine. It is going great guns. This is the pink one, that doesn’t have any odor.





This is the only grass in the garden. It just showed up here one day, and MLG and I are so pleased that it centered itself. It must taste terrible, because the deer never touch it.



And that’s it for the garden tour this week. I really haven’t done much planting yet–a few marigolds and petunias. They got a little beaten down by the storms that we’ve had, but they look like they will do well, as soon as we get a little sunny weather. I planted the cleome seeds that Lori sent me, and am inspecting daily for signs of seedlings. I also planted some seeds in those little peat pots, and they will be ready to plant in a week or two.

Happy Weekend everyone!

Before the Storm

It does seem I only write about the garden these days, doesn’t it? I still have plenty of thoughts about food and health and weight maintenance, but it takes more work to write about those things. Here, go read Charlie’s musings about attempting to get his eating under control. He says it so well:)

In the meantime, here’s the latest from the garden. This morning a big storm is blowing in, so I went outside to see if I needed to stake anything up. Here’s a few shots of what I saw:

The foxgloves and friends in front of a pink maple:


A more composed photo:


I got this oriental poppy at Annie’s Annuals last year, and waited impatiently all year for it to bloom. It had one giant bud for a long time, and then one day, this bloom appeared. It is ridiculously large. But it seems it might be the only bloom I get from this plant? We shall see.


The Japanese maples are doing so well. They love this weather we are having this year. A bit warmer (but not too warm,) and a lot more rain!


I love these cheery pink blossoms on some of the ground cover I planted last year.


This is some kind of hardy orchid. I moved it last year, and it is doing very well in its new location.


I am learning the value of moving plants in a garden. I’ve had this wild geranium for a LONG time. I love the blue of its blooms. But it always got too much sun, and didn’t really bloom much. So last week, I wanted to use its spot for the new rose I got. I had MLG move it to the back of the garden, where it is mostly shade. It was immediately happier!


The geraniums and impatiens are still waiting to be planted. They look kind of pretty here! Pondering that…


This is the last stone work we are going to do for a while. I got ONE MORE LOAD of stones on my way home from the doctor this week, and MLG is scheduled to work on placing these stones to make a path here. That is a heavenly bamboo in the foreground, and the two hydrangeas behind it. They are looking VERY good this year. I can hardly wait for them to bloom. That reminds me–I have a hard time making a decision on when/where/if to prune plants. I have started googling “when to prune _____”, and then I just go out and do it! It seems to be working very well. The plants are looking a bit healthier, and are giving me more blooms as a result.


The front bed is ready for a few plants. Yesterday I pruned the cherry tree a bit, and the honeysuckle too, so that the bed will get more sun. That is Chloe. She never stops moving outside. She must patrol the yard. Noah doesn’t seem to notice everything that she thinks needs to be observed closely.


Fortunately, inside she has no problem settling down. She (along with all the other dogs) are happiest when they are touching me:)



Happy weekend, everyone! I wish for you sunny skies and cool breezes.

Garden Doings

I think I skipped a week, so I’ve got more pictures than usual in this post.

I got some plants for the birdcage. I used creeping jenny from my own yard, because it seems to be creeping everywhere. I put that in the stump slots. So far it seems to be taking off.


I knew I needed bright flowers in here for them to show up. I got a primrose, some small bright yellow perennial, and the green plant is sweet woodruff, which I love, but which Noah also loves. I decided this was the safest place to plant that!


The cherry tree in bloom:




The lilac bloomed well, but way up high! I have been carefully pruning it for two years, and it seems to be working.




The fringe bush is blooming. I like this plant, but it also irritates me. It seems to have a mind of its own. I foresee a serious pruning in the near future.


For some reason it occasionally sends out white blossoms as well as the pink.


I bought coral geraniums for the front pots this year, to match the door:)


And I couldn’t resist this Japanese maple at the local nursery. Its shape and color called to me!


THEN, this week I went to get another load of rocks. Hopefully, this is the last load. They have a very nice nursery at the rock place, and I saw the roses. They were beautiful plants, and about half the price that other nurseries charge. I couldn’t resist this pink one. It is exactly the same color as the paint that I had mixed for my bedroom and bathroom! Its called Lasting Peace, with the old Peace rose as one of its ancestors. Its a grandiflora, and has a beautiful smell as an added bonus. I took this picture in the car on the way home!


The next day, MLG was here, and he got it in the ground for me. I think this will be the perfect place for it.


On that same trip, I made a stop at Costco. This was my only impulse buy. I am hoping it will help me to keep my tools in one place. I drive myself nuts by leaving them where I am working, and then immediately forgetting where it was I left them. Also, it says you can sit on it. My back is not enjoying the weeding at all. Maybe this will help.


And now, the cherry tree is coming to an end of its blossom. Its even fun to see the petals on the ground.


There’s one lilac blossom low enough for me to grab and take a sniff of on my way in from the garden. Such lovely, heavy blossoms, all for the price of a little fertilizer and some water.


We had a nice rain last night, and now we are predicted to have sun and warm for the next week. I predict I will be spending quite a bit of time outside, working in the garden and splitting logs (MLG brought his log splitter over and was kind enough to leave it for me to continue working on the log pile.)

Good Bones

This week has been super fun in the garden. Of course it helps that we are having a lovely early spring, which has been warm enough to make things pop out all over, but still cool enough that blooms will last longer than usual.

I got a few plants, and had a few ideas, and when MLG got here, I asked him if we could try them, and then he had ideas to embellish my ideas. So fun!! I feel like we are actually getting a good form for the garden now–“good bones” as they say.

This was a huge chore that actually got done several weeks ago. This was my last  (and oldest) lace leaf Japanese maple that was still in a pot. I bought it 30 years ago when I first moved here! We had discussed getting it into the ground, and since we had such good rain, the time came to do it. MLG cut the pot, just like the one he did last year, so that is only the rim of the pot in the ground. It was terribly heavy, and MLG took the tree in and out of the hole several times to get it in just the right direction and at just the right height. And then he brought over these old railroad ties, and used them to make a border around it. And found some leftover bricks to make a nice platform for the dogs’ water bowl.


I was enchanted by the look of the railroad ties, and I asked him if he could use some to make a border along one of the stone paths. Yay! More places to plant stuff:)


And then he surprised me by putting the railroad ties along the back of the Camperdown elm. You can see we are not done with the rock work here, but we have a plan. Just have to go get the rocks…


Over by the fence by the road, he planted another spirea (I call it bridal wreath) next to the forsythia, and I got another honeysuckle, which he planted next to the fence. I love the pink honeysuckle that I have, but it has no smell, and I missed that.


This is just a view from the backside of the front corner beds. Its kind of a miracle that the tulips did not get covered over by that brick path!


So I saw this ivy at the nursery and was just charmed by it–a pale tricolor leaf. And I wanted to keep it in a container and put it up high, so it could trail down. My neighbor had had a pine tree cut down, and she offered me some of the wood. So MLG brought this stump over, and spent some time making sure it was “level” (these are the things I would never bother to do, but they add a lot to the overall soundness and structure of the garden.)


I had been thinking about moving this “fairy garden” out by the studio door. This way I could have some color out there, and the deer would not be able to get to it. But it needed a perch. So MLG went and got another bigger stump, and went through the same leveling work, and gouged some holes in it so I can try to grow some little hanging plants in there!


On the other side of the door, I have my planters all cleaned up and ready for some geraniums, as soon as all danger of frost is past. The deer didn’t seem too interested in geraniums last year.


Here is one of the maples called Peaches and Cream–a good name for it, don’t you think? It gets more green as the season goes along, but this is how it starts out.


And this is just a view of the shade garden. I love that that fern comes back every year in the spring. It was the very first thing I planted in the very first bed that MLG built for me.



In the back of the garden, more exciting things are happening. MLG mentioned quaking aspens last week, and I do love them. The aspens grow naturally up the hill from us (at a much higher elevation), on the way to Lake Tahoe. I checked with our local nursery, and she said that they would grow here, as long as they were somewhat shaded and in a protected area. Well, it just so happens that we had the perfect spot for them. I bought two of them. They literally look like two very tall sticks, so not very impressive in a picture. And another maple in the ground in front of them. Hopefully I’ll have some good shots to show you later in the year.

I really feel like this year we have made some great progress in making a cohesive garden, and I have thought more about what I really enjoy, and less about what is the “right” thing to do. I’m leaving room for some colorful annuals, and I even bought some peat pots to try to get some of my seeds started, since we can have frost up until May 1st here.

Have a good weekend, and buy yourself a plant. Plants are one of the great bargain pleasures in this world. $2.50 for a 6 pack of petunias can brighten your life for a long time!

A Weekend of Garden Fun

I took a trip to the Bay Area this weekend to do some Mom-chores. But I managed to fit in several nursery visits, where I got my fill of some great bedding plants, and even got a few seeds to try! I didn’t take any pictures at the nurseries, but they are both worth a mention, in case you are ever in the area. First up was one I have mentioned before–Alden Lane Nursery in Livermore.


One of the features of Alden Lane Nursery is the huge oaks throughout the nursery.

And the next one was new to me, Half Moon Bay Nursery. Half Moon Bay has a lot of nurseries, but for some reason we have always missed this one. It is huge, with a great variety of plants, and I also appreciated all the signs telling about the plants. I also thought their prices were quite reasonable.


Half Moon Bay Nursery was so large that we only saw a small part of it. We are looking forward to our next visit!

When we are in Half Moon Bay, we always stop at this orchid nursery. It is immense, and is just overwhelming to see all the different varieties of orchids that are available. Most of them are quite reasonably priced.




I arrived home with all my little plants, and did a quick yard inspection with the dogs, and was happy to see some new plants in bloom!

The flowering almond looks better than it ever has:


Some pretty daffodils:


And the tulips have made it through another year. I was afraid we had put those brick pavers right on top of them!



Little Zoey needed a bath as soon as I got home.


Rain is predicted through tomorrow night, so I am planning to spend some time in the garden on Tuesday, weeding and planting my little treasures:)