Sunday, June 7, 2015

Back at Last!

Feeder/planter filled with mint from the front flower bed.

Wow, hard to believe I haven't posted in almost a year, but a lot has been happening that kept me out of the garden.  I recently moved out of the apartment and into a house on a 1/4 acre, so I'm starting to play in the dirt again. The landscaping here is basically nonexistent, so I have a blank canvas to work with.  The first thing I had to do was take care of some unwanted trees; a couple of fruited mulberries, Morus albas, which were in the way of my planned vegetable garden.

One of the Mulberries that have to go.

I wound up with nine bundles like these.

Stumps waiting for the chainsaw.

Thankfully, the company that collects the trash picks up yard waste weekly, so I wasn't stuck having to deal with bundles of branches for more than a few days.

I've started to rehab the flower beds at the front of the house, digging out a tree and a couple of stumps, digging out the mint that was trying to take over one bed and trimming two rose bushes that were slated for removal, until I found new growth emerging for inside all of last years dead wood. In the bed to the left I wound up digging everything except the daylilies (I think they're Stella d'Oro) up, turning over the soil and replanting the roses, one of which is yellow, the other, unknown, then adding a Queen Elizabeth rose, a flat of Salvia 'Victoria Blue' and two flats of mixed Asters, plus more daylilies 'Stella d' Oro' and finished it off with a solar powered address sign.

Daylily 'Stella d'Oro'

More 'Stella d'Oro', Asters, Salvia 'Victoria Blue' in the back and the roses.

The solar powered sign, with an unknown rose behind it and asters on the sides.

In the bed to the right I planted a trio of hostas, all of unknown varieties, two yellow and one red Inca Vito Princess Lilies, Alstroemerica sp. and also laid out 20 feet of preseeded flower strips that contain a mix of different flowers to attract butterflies and hummingbirds. I've never tried this type of planting before, but for $6 each, I figured it was worth a try.

Hostas; the one in the upper right hand corner of the picture is the one I bought last spring at a yard sale.

Inca Lilies, with the seed strips in the background.

For my birthday I received three hanging baskets to add to the back porch that were purchased from Lisle High School's Horticulture Department.  They hold a sale each Spring and I will be putting in my order next year.  One is full of petunias, one of my favorite flowers, without which my garden is incomplete, one with Million Bells, Calibrochoa sp. and the last is a wonderful Boston Fern, Nephrolepis exaltata.  I also got the flat of salvia from them.  I bought a three-tiered planter at Aldi and put violas in the top and moss rose in the bottom two.

Petunias thriving on the back porch.

Million Bells also thriving; this is my first time having them.

Boston Fern sitting in a vintage concrete planter.

Plastic three-tiered planter.

Of course, Mr B's wouldn't be complete without critters and we've had our fair share here.  Plenty of skunks, squirrels, cottontails, birds and even an opossum.

Trying to raid the bird feeder.

Even bunnies like bird seed.

Grackles come to the feeders all the time, unlike their cousins in AZ.

Even Northern Flickers join the crowd.

Bailey, Lord and  Protector of the Backyard.

That's all for now, and I promise not to wait so long before my next post.

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