Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Gardening won

There has been very little sewing to share the past month. I haven't kept up with what's been going on in blogland either.  It wasn't for lack of interest.  Rather it was a lack of time. Setting the garden to rights before the heavy heat set in gobbled up all my days off and some evenings as well, and tired me out so that all I wanted to do was tuck into bed at the end of the day.

Evening primsrose
After a couple of years of letting gardening chores slide down the priority list, there were just some things that could not be put off any longer.  Some flowerbeds were terribly overgrown, plants needed dividing and thistles and dandelions were just a little too comfortable.

I forgot to take "before" pictures, but here's a peek at the "after" as it starts to bloom.

Redbud tree surrounded by lilies
This bed around the redbud tree is brand new. It caused my daughter to stop dead in her tracks when she saw  us digging in May.  She finally found her voice to ask:  "You're adding MORE?  Didn't you say last year you couldn't keep up with what you had?"  She was right, but that was tired, hot August me saying that.  The version of me who was digging a new flower bed was the optimistic May, spring-is-finally-here me.  Plus, all those lilies came from plants elsewhere in the yard that sorely needed dividing, and how could I throw any out after they survived the long winter and started sprouting again?  There are daisies, purple salvia and ornamental grasses behind the redbud, all divisions from elsewhere in the yard.

Oh, that redbud?  Four years ago a stick came home from Girl Scout daycamp for us to plant.  We stuck it in a bucket of water while we pondered where to plant it, forgot about it for four weeks, remembered it and decided to throw it away...but when we went to get it to toss it, it had sprouted leaves so we dug a hole and hoped for the best.  It's doing great!

We added about a foot and a half to the width of this flower bed because the plants were too crowded and planted in a straight line with no imagination. The proportions are much better now.  Black eyed susans and purple coneflower will bloom later inthe summer once the lilies are done.  I hope the pinkish-red daylily I moved from the front yard will bloom too.  It looked a little parched earlier this month.

Swingset frame birdfeeder with flower garden
We're still feeding the birds (and squirrels).

Tipsy pots

The tipsy pots are a challenge to keep watered, but they add a nice but of height and summer long colour with the annual blooms.

New front steps and retaining wall planter

Our proudest achievement this spring is the little retaining wall beside the front steps. We had listing, crumbling concrete steps and a rusting, rickety railing replaced with these new steps and railing last fall.  It looks so much better that we were encouraged to finally do something about the slope to the left of the steps, where plants couldn't thrive because any water just ran down the slope before it could sink into the soil.  The wall is built and my husband and I are still speaking to each other!  Now we'll see if the plants survive, and if the wall survives next winter's frost.

Vinca, marigolds and purple fountain grass


Now my challenge is to keep things watered. It has been rather wet and stormy for the last week or so, and I know that once things dry out I will still think it just rained and surely I don't need to water yet...

Now that the garden is mostly reset, except for a bit more weeding and mulching, I can get back to work in the sewing room and focus on finishing a few patterns as well.  I'll need testers for Magnitudes soon.  The pattern will have baby, throw, twin and queen sizes.  Anyone interested?