Thursday, March 30, 2006


Five yards of mulch... Now what...

I recieved 5 yards of mulch this morning. It will go into the back yard to make the path into the woods and to expand the mulched planting area around the big Bradford Pear.

The path into the woods comes from an idea in my landscaping book, "Home Landscaping Southeast Region," by Roger Holmes and Rita Buchanan, Creative Homeowner, Upper Saddle River, NJ, ISBN: 1-48011-003-7. See www.creative, on page 96 and 97.

Basically, there is a corner of the yard that goes into the woods. It is fenced off, but we can deal with that in the landscaping. Here is what it looks like before I started. The woods are to the right in the picture in the neighbor's yard. The wooden fence section hides the cable box connection and keeps the dogs from coming through the fence at the corner. My little path will end there, split and come out to the right and to the left with an island in the center in front of the path.

The plan illustration in the book has a number of trees and shrubs including Delaware Valley white azaleas. I picked up a number of these on sale at Wal*Mart today for $1.50 each. These will go into the island along with another white azalea that blooms slightly later in the spring. The remaining plants will be added as I find them or suitable substitutes.

The path, itself, will be underlain with landscape fabric, 3 ft wide. Initially, the path will be pine bark nuggets, perhaps with pine bark mulch over it to fill in the holes. I have done this before and it works. However, the left side of the path will be the principal drain path for the 200 some feet of the back yard. Occasionally during a heavy rain, this can become a small stream, but normally the lawn keeps the runoff rate fairly slow. So, the path could wash away, or bunch up against the fence at the end. If that happens, I will replace the nuggets with egg rock to make a more durable path - stream bed.

The rest of the mulch will go to expand the bed of mulch to accomodate the 5 camelias that I got on sale. Three of these will go into the grass area to the east of the bradford pear and the mulch area will expand to accomodate them. Two more will go beside the dogwoods I just planted in the area. I will also move the kousa dogwood out of the mulch area and expand the mulch to include it. This is according to the plan in my drawing book.

Today was spent killing the grass where the mulch will go using Roundup, and digging holes for the plants in the soil that is laced with 2-inch gravel. Digging will be a chore.

My strawberries in the strawberry pots didn't survive the late frost, so I have 20 new plants to replace the frozen ones.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006


Some catching up on spring works

I picked up three blackberry plants. Thornless - Arapaho. Planted all three somewhat apart along the fence on the western side of the backyard. This is the area where the leaf mulch was placed in the fall. I have also planted 10 trees in this area. These trees are the little things available from the Arbor Day Foundation. This is the second set of these trees I have planted. The first set is on the other side (west) of the house behind the front fence where the lavender grows now. The 10 trees are 2 each redbuds, 2 dogwoods, 2 Washington hawthorns, 2 golden raintrees, 2 crabapples, and one crape myrtle (a bonus tree). Not much to see of these little things.

The four vegetable garden plots are ready for planting. They have been dug and 2 cu ft of peat moss added to each one during the digging. All the grass rizhomes have been removed (hopefully). Plastic edging is installed inside each 4 x 8 frame. Worm food is added in the bottom of the soil matrix using cheap dogfood. This is a trial. We will see how well the worms do. They seem to have disappeared from the soil immediately after the digging.

Brocolli sets are in. Romain sets are in. Sugar snap peas are coming up in one block. Cucumber seeds are sown in another. Green onions are in one 2 sq ft section. Sweet onions have been planted. There were way too many in the bonus package for $0.01 more and get 2... So the extras were just set into the leafmold by the fence (above) to see if they would grow. Carrots are behind the onions along with beets.

I planted some sweet peas along the fence behind the blueberries. They are coming up and the resident rabbit has not found them yet. I see him eating the clover every morning. He hides under the deck in the back or in the bushes by the deck. He is certain that he cannot be seen if he is very still.

I had 5 packages of additional sweet peas to plant and it was getting late to put them in the ground. If you soak them for a day in water, they should sprout sooner. So...I put all 5 packets in a little cottage cheese tub of water and left them overnight. The next morning I began to plant them and found that all the envelope glue had melted. All the peas were loose in the tub. So, now I have a row of mixed sweet peas at the south end of the sunroom.

I found a forlorn bird house shaped and colored like a shotgun shell. Put it up and within a couple of hours it had been occupied by a pair of chicadees. I put up a little house for the wrens that like the shed. No renters for it yet. The new bluebird house is occupied. That one rented in two days.

There are black eyed susans under the three trees in the east yard now, along with purple coneflowers. These should attract butterflies. Also, there are two new trumpet vines planted by the east fence behind the daylilies. These should provide flowers and a green vine on the fence behind the lilies.

I see lilies coming up in the rye. See the earlier note.

First asparagus ... thin as pencil lead!

Rhubarb coming up!

Dahalias are planted in pots. Last years geraniums survived in the garage and are on the porch.

Saturday, March 04, 2006



Landscaping is a landscaping design site that I will use for ideas in my upcomming spring planting. Lots of good stuff here.

Friday, March 03, 2006


Spring is Beginning...

Crocuses are blooming. Daffodils are beginning to bloom. Tulips are comming up. Green onions are peeping out of the ground in the vegetable garden. My rye is growing gangbusters. (This is the grain that I planted too thickly.) Sweet peas are sprouting along the fence behind the blueberries. Day lilies are waking up. Forsithia are in bloom in the nieghbor's yards. Pansies are blooming. The climbing roses are sprouting. The miniture harmony iris are in bloom. These are no bigger than the crocuses and bloom at the same time.

There are flocks of robins and starlings in the yard. The rabbit that lives under the back porch is getting huge. Woe to my vegies...

The RV is getting ready to travel in a couple of weeks.

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