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..

Fall Flowers

We’ve had 2 weekends now where the weather isn’t 90+, so it seems fall is truly around the corner.  With the cooler weather on my mind, the other day I decided to plant some new flowers and spruce up the yard for fall after work — I’ve truly become my mother.

Hanging Baskets

The petunias in my hanging baskets were really struggling by the end of July with all the heat, so I had already taken them down. When I was at Lowe’s I ended up getting some small mums, purple flowers and ivy for my baskets.  I wanted some sweet potato vine, but they were out and ivy was a good backup.  I’m not really sure the mini mums work in a hanging basket, but I liked the white with the purple and green, and mums are very fall-y.

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The mums are blooming, and appear to be doing good so far!
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Azaleas

The 3 azaleas I planted back in April seem to like their home, and started blooming again — They didn’t bloom for a few months and were pretty wilted, so I was pumped to see them all flower again and know I haven’t killed them yet.

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Sadly, one of our yellow rose bushes was overtaken by Japanese beetles and kicked the bucket despite my my minor efforts to save it.  I finally dug it up and replaced it with another azalea bush, since I had some confidence in keeping them alive.
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Misc

I bought 2 other white blooms, thinking I’d put them in the planters in the back, but quickly realizing that was a terrible idea.  I put them in a small pot that now sits on our front patio instead.  Again, I’m not really sure of the name, but the Lowe’s employee said they reminded her of popcorn.

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I planted some sweet potato vine in the planters by our fire pit during the summer expecting the heat to kill them off, but they have done the opposite and are thriving.  I typically have to cut them back every week or so because they grow so fast.  I like the lime green color, and these are doing so well that I doubt I’ll change them anytime soon.

After 10 days a few of the vines were taller than me, and were spreading out across the lawn!

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We both want to do something to the front bed with the bushes, but have no idea.  The bushes came back in full force after the huge trim when we moved in, and I had to cut them back the other day.  I think there should be a little color in front of the green bushes — anyone have any suggestions?

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Next yard projects: The usual pruning, giving the front bed some love, and hopefully redoing the back stone path & fire pit area soon.  It’d be great to have the last thing done before we start hosting some oyster roasts…

Planting Time

Can you tell I haven’t been crafting lately?  It’s been so beautiful that I’ve been outside in our yard instead…and we’ve been binge watching House of Cards at night (at least I’m honest).  Promise some cool projects are coming down the line — I was at Hobby Lobby yesterday 😉

I will preface this post by saying I never expected to get excited about gardening at 27.  Like seriously.  It still makes me laugh how much like my mom I’ve become.

With that said, I had been looking forward to ripping out this ugly grass type plant by our garage for about a year, so when I was looking around at Lowe’s one day and saw a blueberry bush, I was sold.  Who doesn’t want blueberries in their yard?

After a little bit of research I learned that you need at least 2 blueberry bushes, so they cross-pollinate…  Back to Lowe’s I went.  The other bush has to be somewhat close to the first one, but not directly next to it, so dug up another ugly bush that had been bothering me for blueberry bush #2.  Yay for blueberries!

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I was also excited about adding some color to the side of the house by the driveway.  The daisies appeared to still be alive and thriving, but we had a big empty gap to the right of them from where we filled it in with pine straw.  I bought 3 smaller azalea bushes and planted them a few feet apart.

We’ll have to keep these somewhat trimmed as they grow bigger so they don’t take over the driveway, but I’m excited for the color.  They might not have been the best choice, but they remind me of my grandparents’ house and I guess I was feeling sentimental at the time of purchase!

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IMG_4429Since both the blueberry bush and azaleas were bought and planted without Pegs, I’m definitely going to have her check them out when she visits, to make sure they’re in good spots.  Helps to have an expert handy 🙂

The day lilies are already coming back in full swing, and will start to bud soon.  My hydrangeas, rose bushes, and lantana are starting to show some life too.  I’m not gonna lie, it was pretty cool seeing the new fern shoots(?) grow up and slowly unravel.  Almost like octopus tentacles.

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IMG_4431I also potted some basil, and want to get a huge pot to put a few other herbs in right outside the back door to the kitchen to be handy for cooking.  And after visiting Hunter’s grandparents at Easter, we decided to get some smaller flowers to put in the front yard, in front of the bushes, to replace the kale.  Plus building some raised planter boxes in the backyard.  So many plans..

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The jury is still out if the Mexican heather in the front will be coming back, but I have my fingers crossed.  My fingers are also crossed for some of the creeping Jenny I put in the hanging baskets that replaced the pansies.  If they fail, there’s a nursery nearby with lots of options…

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