Thursday, March 27, 2008

front yard, i challenge thee!

Ah, the front yard. It is a challenge, having a garden that big. Especially one that hasn't been really renovated for quite a while. I think, as much as I was alarmed at some of the things that happened in that garden this past summer, it was a good idea for us to let it grow and see what came up. I have a much better idea of where I want to go with it now.

The main issue for me, aside from the periwinkle and excessively happy euphorbia, is the cedar tree. It is kind of stuck there like a giant phallis. Okay, it might not be quite that bad, but it's definitely out of place. Part of the challenge is going to be incorporating it, because I'm pretty sure it's not coming out. It's big enough to have a sizeable stump at this point.

I think I'm going to surround it with other shrubs, maybe a small tree. I was thinking a witch hazel, but fish wasn't so sure about that idea. Whatever it is, we need to get it in there soon-ish. If not this year, then next. I am going to turn that corner into a little shrubby, sheltered area for the birdbath.

The spirea is coming out too. I don't like it. It's too bland.

The other big change we're making this year is taking the hostas out and putting some of the backyard grass up in the front. The hostas were lovely in the spring, but by late June they were getting burned, and by August they were really struggling. They're lovely hostas, big and sunny green, so I'd like to keep them.

Those asclepias are going to go in the front corner, where out of desperation I planted nasturtium that promptly took off like wildfire. That may say something about how hot and dry it is in that little corner. The lavender we were given last year grew like crazy, too, despite being planted up there in a dry spell in mid-July. If it keeps it up, it might give the periwinkle a run for its money.

Anyway. I have been scheming this winter, as part of my staying-sane-therapy, and here is the result:

Surprisingly enough, that is the product of several hours of work. Sigh. And it will take years to turn out the way I picture it, and I'm not fool enough to think that it will ever look as neat as I plan. Still. It has been good fun, and a good distraction... and it gives me guidelines to go on.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

the first seeds planted of 2008

Voila! The fruits of my labour. Or they will be fruits. Or vegetables and flowers, I suppose. There are asclepias (butterfly flower), the Roma VF tomatoes, and the Long Red Cayenne peppers. Ten of each. Not sure how the asclepias are going to do, but I have to say, finding them at the OSC was a bonus. I hadn't really considered planting them from seed, but why not? If it doesn't work out, I can just buy some plants. I like to try, though.

I will be planting the strawberries and the shallots next time I'm home. We found a good hanging basket for the strawberries, so that should be excellent. I wanted two, but maybe I'll just go with one for this year and see what happens.

Next post: the saga of the front yard...

Saturday, March 22, 2008

she's alive!

Really, I am. Surprise surprise. It is March, and the result is that I am suddenly ready to spring into gardening again. I have been hankering to plant things since early February, but there are a number of problems with this, the primary problem being that I'm not actually living at home right now.

But today I am home, and we're going to go purchase some seeds so I can get some of the vegetables started. I'm going to aim to purchase everything I am planting as far as veggies today, but with the understanding that most I will not be planting until May. Which is coming faster than I sometimes think.

So, the veggie list for this year:
I am also planting strawberries in hanging baskets; the seed arrived from Veseys a couple of weeks ago. This is an experiment I've wanted to try since watching Jamie at Home. I love that man's garden. Also, I would like to cook like him. Heh. I should probably stick to attempting the garden.

Also on the way from Veseys is a black currant shrub ('Black Wellington') which I intend to stick in the back corner of the yard near the veggie plots.

I'll post shortly on the plans for the front yard, which have been gestating through a very snowy Ottawa winter...