Spring Flower Planting

It’s about that time for our spring planting!  We both enjoy working in our yard and it was time to freshen up the beds & pots for spring.

Over two weekends and a few trips to Abide-a-While and Lowe’s, the yard was looking great again.

Let’s start with the pots by the fire pit.  They were both still doing great with the lavender, creeping jenny and mums I potted back in October, so I just added a little calipetite for some color.I added some red petunias to our window box & the planter on the front porch.

I added the same red calipetites as the pots to the hanging baskets, and also some laguna sky blue flowers to trail over the edge.I potted a rose salvia to put by the back door, as well as a corn plant for some color, height and to hide the outdoor outlet.

I bought 3 more Mexican heather plants to fill in the corner of the front bed (one was already coming back).  I also dug up some of the lantana in the front bed that didn’t come back from last year and replaced it with more.  3 of the plants are slowly sprouting leaves, so I’m making sure they get plenty of water to fill in the rest of the bed.Between all the planting and lawn work we’ve been busy, but have a freshly manicured yard as the result!  Now we just need to lay some pinestraw and we’re good to go.

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Fall Plants

Since Columbus Day lined up so nicely for our Hurricane Matthew clean up, I took the opportunity to work in the yard after cleaning up the debris.  We continued the yard work the first free weekend we had.

The front bed needed basic pruning and weeding, but nothing too serious there.  I had to cut back a lot of lantana though – it got a little crazy after I planted it!  Hunter pruned the boxwood bushes in the front since they were also getting a little crazy.  After that we laid 12 bales of pine straw in all of the beds.fall-plants-16_09fall-plants-16_07 In both the planter on our front porch and our window box, I decided to plant a combination of dusty miller and purple mums.  Last year I had dusty miller in hanging baskets, and it just looks great next to a jewel tone flower.fall-plants-16_02 fall-plants-16_04Our hanging baskets had been down for some time after the flowers were fried & died in August (oops), so I got new liners, put some potting soil in them and added trailing violas.  I’ve potted those before, and they did great and look nice hanging over the edges.
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fall-plants-16_03I redid the pots we have in the backyard next to the fire pit.  I added some lavender (to be taller & aromatic), red mums, and creeping jenny.  I’ve used creeping Jenny before, and it always does well and adds a pop of bright green.

The back yard also got a lot of pruning and new pine straw, and we finally finished removing the huge branch that was hanging over the garage from the hurricane, hooray!

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A fun surprise was seeing the camilla with buds about to bloom!  I planted that in the spring, and it has been growing, but no blooms yet.  I’ve been checking daily for the first bloom… We also have some more color on the side of the house with all the azaleas blooming in different shades of red and pink.

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After the planting and big morning of yard work, we were both exhausted, but loved seeing the immediate results.  An older neighbor even told us how great our yard always looks – what a compliment!

Clearly I’m starting to have some favorite plants that I have managed to keep alive and incorporate in pots or baskets each year.  Who would’ve thought I’d enjoy gardening so much?  Hopefully all of these lil guys make it through the winter into spring!

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Summer Yard Update

Right before the wedding we did a lot of yard work & patio updates to get it in shape and looking nice before we hosted everyone.  The biggest effort was in the front bed, where we dug up all the bushes and planted lots of new plants.

Then the water company decided to move the fire hydrant in our front yard after 16 years and dig up that bed 2 weeks before the wedding… Luckily they did a decent job putting it back together and I was able to fix the rest of the bed.  Now the plants are thriving and really starting to grow out into the bed.  So much better and more colorful than before!  All the different lantana has been doing great.

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I planted these hanging baskets back in March and after a rough week when we were on our honeymoon, they’ve rebounded with water and are blooming again!  I love how the creeping jenny is so bright and trails over the edge.garden_summer 2016 01

Our friends Liz and Blake gave us this great wooden planter / beverage cooler for our wedding.  I decided to fill it with some flowers and put it on our front porch for now, and the flowers are really blooming!garden_summer 2016 03

I pulled out my American burlap wreath to put back on the front door in honor of Flag Day and the 4th of July coming up.  It’ll probably stay up until after the Olympics.

garden_summer 2016 04Onto the backyard!  Our rosh bushes have been growing and blooming a lot this summer.  I even had to cut back the bushes some so it didn’t grow over the grass! I’ve been trying to dead head the old blooms consistently so I get more blooms, and these had just opened this weekend.garden_summer 2016 06Last April I planted two blueberry bushes in the backyard, along the garage.  The birds got to the berries before they could really ripen last year, but this year they are doing great!  Maybe I’ll be able to snack on them 🙂garden_summer 2016 05

These pots were planted back in March are are still kicking it! One of the pots is having a harder time because it gets more sun, but they both exploded and have grown over the sides after all the rain from the tropical storms last month.Screen Shot 2016-06-20 at 10.58.09 AM

The hardest part about keeping your garden going in the Charleston summer is making sure it all stays watered.  If you miss a few days, then things will start to crisp up quickly!  My cilantro plant bit the dust in late May…

We’ve both been trying to turn the sprinklers on in the morning and after dusk, and then use the hose or watering can for everything that’s missed.  I hope it will all hold on through August!

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Spring Yard Updates

This past weekend Hunter and I spent all day Saturday (seriously, 10am-5pm) working on the yard.   A few weeks ago we dug up the bushes in the front bed, because the water company left a note on our front door.. So we had planned on using Saturday to plant that bed, prepare the lawn, and plant lots of other flowers for spring.

Here’s a before of the front yard for perspective.  Front bed = empty.  Plus we have a fire hydrant and water meter in it… great, right?

Okay, so this is what we accomplished in those 7 hours:

  • Aerated the front and back lawn
  • Raked the lawn and beds. Bye bye leaves!
  • Mowed / edged the lawn
  • Transplanted a tea olive plant to the side yard
  • Transplanted a camilla bush
  • Dug up the last big, ugly bush in the backyard bed

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  • Returned aerater to True Value
  • Trip to Abide a While for consultation & plants
  • Planted 3 pineapple guava plants
  • Planted 2 sunshine ligustrums

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  • Trip to Lowe’s for more yard supplies
  • Planted 4 lantana in the backyard
  • Filled 2 new pots with creeping jenny, bacopa, and orange flowers
  • Moved the old planters away from the fire pit.  Put the new pots in their place.

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  • Pruned plants and bushes in the back yard. Lots of weeding in the beds.
  • Planted creeping jenny and pink petunias in the 2 hanging baskets
  • Transplanted 3 mexican heather plants.  Dug up 1 dead mexican heather plant.
  • Planted 2 more mexican heather in front

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  • Planted 6 osteospermum in our window box
  • Put out grass seed and fertilizer in the front and side yard.
  • Watered the back and side yard
  • Turned sprinkler on to water the front lawn and beds while enjoying a beer on the front porch!yard_16 07It was an exhausting day, but you can already see the results from all of our hard work!  After a big dinner, we were both passed out pretty early that night.

Next up on the yard list:

  1. New patio furniture in the back
  2. Water the lawn and hope that the seed does it’s thing
  3. Finish planting the front bed – encore azaleas or saucy wine salvia were the suggestions from Abide a While
  4. Plant another azalea on the side yard
  5. Add some pavers around the driveway / sideway

Hopefully the next time I talk plants, all of these are still alive and kicking and the yard looks fab!

Winter Garden Updates

I knew the 70 degree temps couldn’t last forever, so I finally broke down and worked in the yard to get it ready for winter and looking good again.  A few weeks ago I weeded all of the beds, and they still looked good, so I turned my focus to hanging baskets, the kitchen window basket and planters by the fire pit.

After a trip to Lowe’s, I was ready to go.  I started with the hanging baskets and filled them with fresh soil, then added a plant that looks like rabbit’s ear (found out later it’s dusty miller!).  I finished them with some purple pansies, because together they just look like winter.

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I put two different kinds of mounding violas in the window box by the kitchen window, and the planters by the fire pit.  I like them because they’re like smaller versions of pansies, and pansies remind me of my great-grandmother, Varina.

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If you’re looking to spruce up your yard for the winter, here are some tips that I’ve learned from Pegs and Lowe’s:

  • Look for healthy plants with lots of buds. Don’t buy plants that are already in flower – they won’t transplant as easily, and you’’ll have more time with blooms if the plants are only in bud when purchased.
  • Remove the plants from the plastic by pushing up on the bottom of the container. Don’’t grab them by their delicate stems.
  • Gently loosen the soil around the roots, and plant in the ground at the same level as they were in their cell pack.
  • Mounding violas should be spaced about 6-8 inches apart. Trailing or spreading varieties can be planted 10-12 inches apart.

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A few weeks in, and they’re all still doing well, despite the frost and lack of rain!  Hopefully these will hold us over until it gets warmer and spring is officially here.  Now we just need to lay some more pine straw..