Sunday, June 13, 2010

The Townhouse Garden - June Update, Front Garden

Finally, the sun has come out after what seems like an eternity if rain. I grabbed my camera and took a walk through the garden to see what was growing, and here is what I saw.
The Ferns are lush and green and the Rhodo I transplanted last year is in full bloom.

I don't know the name if this one, but I do like the blush coloured flowers. This shady location, I think, is perfect. If it were in a sunny spot, the delicate colour in the flowers would have been washed out by now. The Japanese Maple "Bloodgood" is looking great, the deep purple leaves is a nice contrast to the green of the garden. The feathery white flower stalks of the Astilbe with the green of the Christmas Fern are a nice combination
Lavender "Fred Boutin" has sent out it's long flower stalks, given a few weeks, this will be a beautiful display of purple lavender wands, swaying in the wind, buzzing with bee's
The red Azalea (bottom left) has finished blooming, the Lady's Mantel (center) has put out a lot of green growth, and the flower stalks are developing. The yellow Alyssum "basket of gold" is on it's second bloom and the Dianthus"pinks" are just starting to bloom. I really like the grey evergreen foliage of this plant. It makes a great border plant, allowed to cascade over bricks or rocks. It spreads slowly, and is easily kept in check.The window boxes filled with seed Geraniums are well on there way to something fantastic. I have already seen a few flowers forming. This plant purchased as a small seed Geranium was a great deal, if you are willing to wait for it to grow. I really thing these plants do better planted young rather that at a flowering mature state. The mature ones tend to get leggy as they grow and finish before the even get started. With the seed Geraniums I will get a full season of interest and flowers from them. I'm also going to try taking cuttings in August to keep them going over the winter. We will see how that goes, that will be a future post. The Dahlia's (left) are growing slowly, the newly planted Echinacea "purple coneflowers"(center) are settling well into their new home. Pieris Japonica (right) has also put on a lot of growth this spring.
While the Iris has finished blooming (front), the Rose of Sharon "red heart" has put on a lot of growth, once flowering, in July, this plant will continue till frost.Sedum "autum joy" (front) has spread and filled in the void quite nicely.
Lonicera Periclymenum (late dutch honeysuckle) vine is flowering, but not as much as last year. I don't know if that is because of the weather this year or my lack of pruning last year. I was lucky enough to find a rooted branch of this vine years ago. The parent plant being at my parents house. I have fond memories of warm spring nights, where this scent of this highly fragrant vine, would fill the air around the house. I can remember riding my bike home in the evening and having it's intoxicating scent greet me as I rode into the drive way.
One of my favorite things to do with this honeysuckle is to cut a few sprigs, put them in a bud vase and place them on the headboard beside my pillow. That way I can smell it all night long. The funny thing is that come morning, the scent isn't as strong as it is at night.
These fall mums were planted a few years ago, and are still doing well. Some have even started to bloom already.
My rose "abraham darby" hasn't liked all the rain that we have been getting. Most of the first wave of blooms were lost to the rain, and the shrub is looking a little flat. This being a rambler rose, I really should have it trained and supported along the fence. Another thing to add to my to do list.
The rhubarb has put out some good growth this season, I should harvest a few stalked before it gets to late.
The Lilac tree needs to be dead headed, the blooms were so beautiful this year. All the Lavender is doing really well this season.
The Wisteria has been putting on a lot of growth, I have added another wire guide to the front fence.The blue grass is looking really blue and has a few flower stalks emerging, not bad for a free craigslist plant. I have also planted some sunflower transplants and marigolds along the front of the fence. The Ginkgo Biloba trees has put out a lot of leaves in it's third year at this location.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Finding a will and a way to go green

Recently, The City of Richmond introduce a new Food Scraps Composting Program for which all homeowners could participate, with some exceptions.

I wrote into our local newspaper in response to a letter on the topic, which was published, it is as follows:
Finding a will and a way to go green


In a follow up to Carrie Sproviero’s letter in the May 22 paper (“Why can’t townhomes be part of composting program?”), I too was an eager Richmondite wanting to participate in the new Food Scraps Composting Program.

Unfortunately, I also live in a townhouse complex, which at this time, only has the basic blue box program which I’m an avid use of.

After reading the reasons for apartment and townhouse complexes being excluded from the program, I can understand why, but that doesn’t diminish my desire to what to do the right thing for our environment.

So, it was time to think outside the box, and use the guide lines set out for individual home owners “You are welcome to set out multiple green cans and unlimited paper yard trimmings bags” to my advantage.

I went out and purchased my nifty green wheeled can with locking lid (Rona) and proceeded to fill it up with all things accepted.

When garbage/recycle day came I happily rolled my green can all the way to the individual homeowner across the street and set my can with theirs.

Now feeling quite satisfied, I to “can” participate in the program. I’ve made it work for me now and I encourage other excluded individuals to do the same.

Where there is a will, there is a way!


Wordless Wednesday - Just Hangin Out