Friday, August 7, 2009

Garden History - Chapter 5

Chapter 5

Now that the palate of the yard is clean and we are starting from scratch we planted the grass seed on the sides and back yard. Also, while landscaping we saved buckets of bulbs. Narcissus, double and single Jonquils, Daffodils, Snowbells and, much to my delight, Spider Lilies in hot pink! (I had been trying to find that plant for years but never knew its name!). Then my husband and I planted some of the plants I toted with me through the years. Chinese Holly, Irises an Cannas’. They might have to be transplanted, eventually, because I wasn’t quite sure what the sun would be doing throughout the year. We, then, waited through the winter season to see what would pop up in the yard come spring.

Now, while I tell you part of this story, I want you to know that I am married to a lovely man that loves grass but knows absolutely nothing about what a plant looks like! His theory is… if it is green, it is grass. I had to draw smilies on my fence so he wouldn’t mow down my spider lilies when they come up in the late summer! With that thought in your minds, everything that has been planted in this yard is very low maintenance or IT CAN BE MOWED and will come back!! I call it Man Friendly. If it cannot be mown down it is protected with some sort of divider.

Much to my surprise there were a lot of plants that were very hardy and had survived all the landscaping! There were, also, a lot of assorted wild plants growing in the grass and yard. I don’t know all the names of them but there were wild violets, a very pretty, petite, five pointed white flowering plant that, I later, found out was a variety in the onion family. (They were all over the place. I imagine that some people would love to plant them in a flower bed.) Then, there was a beautiful low growing plant that had leaves which were clustered and round. That turned out to be an old fashioned variety of buttercups, also, a very prolific plant!

Originally, there was raised, three foot high, hand built patio on the back of the house. It had beautiful yellow jasmine and morning glory vines growing up a privacy lattice structure. Unfortunately, we had to tear it down because it was a termite heaven! A bit of never, never advice. Do NOT build a landscape timber box, filled with a dump truck of sand, then put bricks on top to create a raised patio!! This structure was a wonderful environment for termites! It, also, holds rain water that will, eventually, leach into one’s basement. NOT GOOD, trust me. The homeowner, builder, of this patio did not put anything next to the wall of the house to protect it from the water draining into the side of the house then to the basement floor. Very bad.

As I had mentioned, in the previous post, we had to have a fence installed. Along the base of the fence, I took all the buckets of jonquils, daffodils, and narcissus and planted them in the lawn. I used these plantings to cover the 2×12 boards at the bottom of the fence. The blossoms are pretty in the spring and the greenery lends cover to the boards which elevated the fence. Then when they have turned brown in the early summer, all can be mown with ease. Since I liked the Morning Glory’s I plant them in window box containers on the ground (that protects them from the weed eater) and let them trail up the lattice I had my husband attach to the fence. This coming summer we have a new plan for them.
I moved some of the buttercups and violets in spots next to the house to protect them from my mower guy.

Many of the plants I have in my yard I have received from friends. Bearded Irises, Peonies, Butterfly Ginger Lilies, Angel’s Trumpet/Brugmansia, variety’s of Cannas, orange Double Day Lilies, a variegated grassy planting that has a purple bloom in late summer and a Cedar Tree (three inches high when received!).

There are plants that had to be purchased, sometimes twice. Azaleas, fruit trees, ferns, cast iron plants, frizzle, winter daphne, figs, blueberry. Some of the fruit trees had to be replaced because I, originally, thought that I could use a standard tree. NOT! In a small space, one has to use grafted dwarf trees, lol. My hubby was not too thrilled while digging up fruit trees, that were established, because the wife said they were too big. He was not a happy camper!!

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