I hope everyone had a wonderful Easter! The weather in our corner of the state was glorious! We've been collecting really well-priced gallon perennials for a few weeks now, and also found some astounding plants on a recent Costco run, so we decided it was perfect weather to get them in the ground! All of these photos were taken in the late afternoon, so please forgive the shadows.
Here are the raised beds we put up last year. I can't believe how big the Arborvitae have gotten in one year! Those blue, cone-shaped "sculptures" are water walls for Mr. Squash's New Jersey tomato seeds. They keep the soil warm and allow you to plant your tomato starts weeks early - even befor the last frost! And yes....there are tomatos inside of them!
This year we added three more raised beds to the right of the existing beds. We had to take down some very old junipers that had gotten out of hand and begun rotting. While they were gorgeous to look at from one side, they were beginning to block the light to the vegetables. When we took them down we not only had room for more beds, we can now enjoy our elderly neighbors gorgeus trees and ancient lilac! They also act as a complete prviacy screen! Later this week we'll be filling the beds with composted soil. The area to the left of the birdbath will be full of lavender and marigolds! Oh - and Mr. Squash repaired the birdbath which had cracked so bad from the winter cold that it would not hold water!
Carnations are some of my favorite flowers - I also think they are my birth month flower. These mature beauties came from Costco! They will bloom clear through August. In front are yellow cosmos, behind is our Hakuro Nishiki Willow we planted last fall. It's leaves are just coming out and not in full splendor as yet.
We've also been collecting garden art! This dragonfly was made out of an old wrench and other spare parts! A local retired farmer turned artist makes these - this is the smallest - he has made life-sized dinosaurs, too!
This half wine barrel is going to be my herb garden this year. I planted Saxifrage in front - as they mature they will totally fill that area! See the brown drip line behind the barrel? We decided to have all the drip line in the backyard replaced this year (150 ft). I remember saying to Mr. Squash that it would be nice if they would invent brown drip line which blends better than black. When the irrigation fellow came - his name is Rains -- how fitting, out of his truck came a huge roll of brown drip line! It was meant to be!
Here is a wider view of part of my planting area. There is a lot more to put in there, and in a few weeks you won't recognize this view! The short, light tan plant to the back in a very old nine-bark. We cut it back this far each year, but by mid-summer it will be 15 feet tall! Behind it is an Oregon Grape and a small holly. To the right I planted a white Buddleia (Butterfly Bush), and some of the plants in the middle are Astilbe, Bleeding Heart, Sedums, Stella d'oro Day Lily, Heuchera, Gallardia. At the moment I can't think of them all. Again...there are more to be planted!
Another phenomenal find at Costco was mature Blueberry bushes! We got three - two Jersey and one Duke. They have tons of buds each which are sure to bring us some ripe fruit this summer! I also have some climbing plants that will be placed along the fence line.
What's this, you say? It's a small blueberry bush start that I felt needed to stay under a cloche until the weather got just a tad warmer. It works similar to the water walls - there is a vent at top which can be opened and closed.
Moving around to the front of the house...we lost all of our azaleas this winter so we found some gorgeous replacements at Costco! The Columbine next to it was planted last year and absolutely thrives in this spot! I ordered another Columbine from Audobon which is planted in the pot you see along with some Creeping Jenny. There were three Hostas in front - one you can see on the left is coming back, another in front of the white marker is just beginning to show, but the third is lost, so I planted another one in it's spot. This is the north side of the house - not an easy spot to grow anything! I have yet to plant the window box to the right of the front door.
I just love our new spring flag! Here I planted two more Azaleas, another Hosta, and you can see to the left of the Azaleas the three lavenders I planted last summer that are making a comeback. We lost a huge Euonymous to the right of the round shrub whose name escapes me at the moment, so I planted a rare, red, Oakleaf Hydrangea!
This is a closeup of the Hydrangea. Not much now, but it is supposed to get quite large! Next post I'll show you some "finds" from our digging!