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Garden Update - May 2019 : Flowers Oh my!

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WELCOME

HOME!

I am so so happy! It is that time of the year, when my hands, knees and, sometimes hair, are covered in dirt, I am communing with the squiggly earth worms and generally coaxing green things into the ground and lovingly encouraging them to settle in. YES!!! It is gardening season! Woot! Did I say, I am happy?!

Last year, I piloted a vegetable garden, not just to see what would work but also what wouldn’t. It was a hugely enriching experience with so many ups and downs, heart aches, joys and an overall feeling of fulfillment and, yes, accomplishment. I learnt about partner planting, spacing, critters (beneficial and nefarious), predators, most importantly, mindfulness and letting go. {You can read my full garden series here}.

At the end of the warm season, we cut down several trees and, finally, cleared out the overgrown brush in the back and the sides. My old vegetable patch is slated to be a rolling grass hill. And, the new space is slotted for the cleared patch at the back but it is yet to be graded and top-soiled.

This year, I will not be doing much in the way of vegetables. But, there is whole lot going on in terms of aesthetics - flower, slope, shade, patio, you-name-it!, gardening. Well, basically the whole house has to be redone and so it is a few years’ project.

We started by taking out more trees, some rotted and others dangerously close to the house. This was such a surprisingly lightening experience. All the trees were by the driveway and the amount of new sun light that now filtered through was magical. We also pruned several of the old azalea, boxwood, random juniper, rose of sharon bushes because all had been un-managed and many were diseased/dying. The azaleas had gotten uncontrollably leggy at the bottom and sparse in the middle and top; the hibiscus ravaged by storms and the rest, I presume, old age and neglect.

So, it is a chance to start anew! Make it our own, which, is actually great. Because at this point, we have basically gutted this 35 year old house into something entirely and uniquely ours! My heart sings.

And, every muscle in my body aches. LOL. No, we did not hire anyone. We ripped, dug, sawed every single shrub, mini-tree and decade old roots ourselves, working evenings (thank you long days!) and weekends with our own hands; broke a couple of shovels and rakes along the way butting heads with stubborn root systems, fought off ticks that were ensconced in the villainous den of pachysandra (oh how I HATE that weed! Ground cover, pah!). We turned over the soil and mulched the length and breadth of all this newly turned and wonderfully primed soil, to discourage weeds for a few days.

I picked out the flowers I wanted - rose, peonies, dahlias and marigolds for their endearing and enduring beauty and cheerful vibrance. Next was to decide themes for different regions.

Knock out roses are pretty! There is something terribly epiphanic about this scene of beauty protected by wire. Is it worth it? You tell me!

Knock out roses are pretty! There is something terribly epiphanic about this scene of beauty protected by wire. Is it worth it? You tell me!

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The View

As you come in!

I decided to tackle the little space by the driveway first. In a way, this was also my proof of concept space; a little nook that would get me started on the learning journey of what was out there and what I liked. What a fascinating journey it has been and continues. I started by gutting the space of old hydrangeas which were literally deer fodder. Then, weeding and with help of hub, pulled out the remnant of an old hibiscus bush that had been half torn by hurricanes.

For this space, I wanted a cozy, inviting look, as after all, it is first spot you pause on coming to the house. So I went the eternal rose as the center piece surrounded and flanked by bright perennials and annuals. Last year, I said i would not plant knock out roses because they are so common around here. I wanted David Austins, fragrant and oh so English! :) Yet, by the time, I started thinking of planting, it was too warm for the English roses. And, Home Depot had just received some very healthy looking knock out rose and selling them at a bargain. I capitulated. :)

For the sidekicks, I found sedums, a variety of succulents, that are hardy for cold and even flower. So a couple of varieties went in here. Then of course, there is always the deer resistance that one hopes for in New England. I made a list of flowering plants that were proclaimed deer resistant by the internet and that I liked the look of (height, color, etc) - columbines, astilbe, coreopsis etc. For this patch, I picked columbines with gorgeous blue flowers with intricate patterns. They were stunning. It did not quite work out. In the first 24 hours, all my rose flowers, buds and the columbines were nigh well deered off! LOL

I had half expected but it was a terrible blow and heartbreak. Frantic asking on the internet and instagram led to me sprays and deer netting. The latter has worked so far, not so much the spray. But, hey whatever. Later I planted some marigolds and a dahlia that was intended for the front but was way too appetizing for my resident nemesis, the groundhog! {more on that in the next post}. The space is flanked on the ends with a couple of boxwoods that are still limping along from the previous occupants and two more that I transplanted from elsewhere in the garden.

Finally, I added a few little touches to finish the space with a bird house I painted white and grey and hung over a pot of {hopefully} bird attracting flowers and small garden decor.

I love the space. But I am going into it knowing that it may not all work out and if last year is any indication, I should be ready for the learnings and not get over attached to the outcomes. :) As usual, watch this space for more updates on my garden adventures! :)

A mix of annuals and perennials to keep the color pop going.

A mix of annuals and perennials to keep the color pop going.

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The plan

For this space, I wanted a cozy, inviting look, as after all, it is first spot you pause on coming to the house. So I went the eternal rose as the center piece surrounded and flanked by bright perennials and annuals. Then, I added a few finishing touches - a bird house I painted white and grey and hung over a pot of {hopefully} bird attracting flowers and small garden decor with solar lit acorns. Woot!

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Here is to another year of fun, frolic, sun and growth!!! :)


Recently from the garden


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