Friday, August 21, 2009
The Tyee Ã¢Â€Â” Good to Grow: A Series Funded by Tyee Readers
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Sunday, March 15, 2009
As I approached the familiar red barn, I found myself walking a little faster, wondering what kind of seed's I would find.
There was so many things to see. The Richmond Garden Club http://www.richmondgardenclub.com/index.html had a table, they were selling seeds that they saved from the Paulik Gardens, and also some seeds that they had found in old mason jars, saved from the original property owner and caretaker.
There were mason bee houses for sale, honey, Heritage seeds from Harold Steves, as well as the Richmond Pesticide Awareness Coalition.
Saturday, March 7, 2009
There's a lot of things I want to do to this blank slate of a backyard. There were a few plants and some garden beds in place but nothing that I was going to keep. The ugly fence is going to be replaced in 2009, so I can't do to much with the backyard, just enough to make it pretty for this year.
The existing hard edged combination of brick and plastic edging are going to be replaced with something more natural and flowing.
The purple Rhodo in bloom.
After each of the tree's finished blooming, and before the new growth really started to grow I removed all the old leaves by carefully snapping them backwards. The old leaves were not in good shape and by removing them, it enabled me to clean up the spent flower blossoms from this and previous years and I could see the "bones" of the trees. I cut out any crossing branches and opened up the tree for good light and air movement. I find you can prune them hard and they are very forgiving.
A different perspective
The back fence isn't strait across, it juts in about 2 feet from the property line half way across. Next year when the fence gets replace, the fence will all be the same depth, running on the property line. This should give me and extra 20 square feet to garden in. Right now nothing can be planted along the fence by the gate, but next year the gate will stil be in the same place, but I will have all that extra room. The granite rocks will have to be re-worked to accommodate the extra bed.
The Crocus's are the first flower to bloom in my garden. I've planted them in front of the Lavender bushes, the Daffodils are planted just behind and are just starting to bloom. Later in the season the Lavender hides both the Crocus and the Daffodil leaves, as they can be kind of ugly at that stage.
Spring time and the Daffodils are in full bloom and the Japanese Maple is just starting the leaf out. The "Basket of Gold" Aurinia saxatilis is also just starting to bloom, I love how this plant will cascade over the rocks.
The "Basket of Gold" is starting to cascade over the rock border and the small yellow Rhododendron is blooming.
I don't know the name of this pale yellow Rhododendron, but is looks like it can be kept small. I transplanted it from the back garden last year and it seems to be doing much better in this location.
Closer to the house is mostly a shade garden, the small cedar hedge make sure of that. It's the perfect spot for some Ferns and a Hosta. I've also planted a Hydrangea, Astilbe and a "Nelly Moser" Clematis growing up a trellis on the down spout.
I added interest to the entrance way by removing some of the agrigate bricks and plastic edging that were there when we moved in and replacing it with some flagstone and re-worked the planting area with some more of the bricks. This to is shaded 80% of the day, I've planted some Bleeding Hearts, Ferns and more Hosta's. I tried growing some moss between the flagstone but this area was just to shaded. I'll have to rethink what I should use to replace the moss.
The red Rhododendron in the distance is a well know variety, Jean De'Montague. I've always loved the Rhodo's that have big clusters of red blooms and dark green leathery leaves, and now I have one of my own. The Dahlia's are just starting to come up. Shasta Daisy's are planted just below the living room window and a Rosemary and Bay Leaf bush are planted below the kitchen window. A Late Dutch Honeysuckle is climbing up a trellis attached to the downspout. I started this plant from a cutting off a 30 year old Honeysuckle that's at my parents house.
The west facing side of the townhouse is a tough area to grown plant's in. It needs watering every day in the summer, to solve this problem I installed a drip irrigation systems to water all of the front garden. Sherri from Lee Valley Tools was a speaker at a recent Richmond Garden Club meeting, she talked all about installing a drip irrigation system, using the products offered by Lee Valley. I looked really simple, so I gave it a shot, and I'd have to say it was money well spent. What use to take me at least 30 minutes to do, now takes me about 2 minutes, to hook up the hose and turn it on, and if I get really lazy I could always hook up a automatic timer.