Friday, April 30, 2010

Step one: Just start digging

Perennials are amazing. Sure you have the initial investment, but then your dividends arrive a few years later and you are ready to divide! Yay! Free plants! So it will be no surprise that 95% of my garden landscape budget will be spent on these ground pleasers.

There are only a few established plants at our new home. One of them happens to be a thriving patch of Sedums. I divided these plants 7 ways. Love, love, love. Sedums are really quite beautiful and unique. All summer long they provide a textured mint green foliage that resembles a succulent and then after all your summer blooming babies have past their peak, Sedums decide to give summer one last wave goodbye with a mass of burgundy cluster flowers.

At the front of our property there is a hedge of trees. The first time I drove down our long lane, my mind's eye knew that this tree line also needed a hedge of perennials. Eventually, I will be building a stone wall structure that will be grounded with shrubs to act as an 'entrance point' to our homestead, but for right now I have to get the perennials established. A split rail fence will also be incorporated.

I started the bed with a few orange day-lilies. I have since added some of the Sedum, black-eyed susans, cone flowers, lambs ear, and coral bells. I was worried that the ground would be tough to work, but as I dug and shook the dirt from the sod roots it was as if the ground itself was agreeing with my plans, happily turning in all the weeds and pasture grass for the promise of flowers. Little by little I'll keep extending this flower bed, adding plants as I get them. I'd love to plant some Crepe Myrtil, Butterfly bushes, and Beauty Berry in this spot too.

When I first moved in last September, I moved with a mint plant. Knowing that mint can turn into an invasive species, I quickly dug a hole along the woods on the east side of our property so it could winter over. This spring I rediscovered it and all the 20 little runners it had already sent out. I cleared a small area around it and one thing lead to another and I made an impromptu flower bed here too. (Which is also where I suspect I found some poison oak.) I had some left over black-eyed susan's so they found a temporary home here as well. I would love to naturalize the edge of the woods to the lawn in the future.

Tomorrow morning, after I run some errands, it's back out into the garden. This time to get some more veggies planted. We had another cool streak and only my spinach and leaf lettuce decided to make an appearance. The weather man is predicting warmer weather to stick around this weekend and into next week so hopefully some germination will be taking place.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

$6 Front Flower Bed Makeover

(Sept 2009- when we moved in)

There is very little landscaping around our new property, but that is about to change. I definitely have a blank slate to work with! The front flower bed has a few hostas and what I think is a miniature boxwood (or mini because it's growing in pure clay). But there is no "wow" factor and probably won't be for a while, but I can definitely improve on it this year.

(Early March 2010)

Last fall I trimmed back all the vegetation left from the hostas and sprinkled some lime that I had left over from the garden.

(Early March 2010)

I needed some sort of height along the wall. In a back flower bed there was an ill placed bush that I was able to transplant out front. I placed it between the two garage windows. I also discovered that the soil is completely clay. Wait, it is solid clay with an inch of mulch on top.
I amended the soil with compost and some top soil I found in the woods. I really needed to divide the hostas this year, but I think I waited too long. They are almost in full leaf now. Maybe next spring. I also purchased some perennials from a neighbor who was having a plant sale last weekend. Everything was priced from $1 to $3. So I am filling in with those and pansies I started from seed to finish the bed for this year. Once all of those get planted I'll have an after photo. I can't wait to see how this matures this year. I will have only spent $6 for this mini plant makeover!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Gambling with frost

This is one of the veggie plots we established over our spring break. Last night we finished the fence. Our bunny population is way to large not to protect. Sometime in the next week a load of mulch will be delivered and I'll place some mulch all around the perimeter to help keep weeds from growing up the fence. Especially since I have planted sugar snap peas and snow peas all along the inside.
Yesterday after work two rows of red onions were planted, in addition to, golden beets, and two rows of baby spinach. This evening I want to get some early corn planted. We'll see if I get it done.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Handmade Open House

Here are a few photos from my table at the recent Handmade Open House. I didn't get around to making as much as I'd like. I thought with the week vacation proceeding this event I would have gotten much more sewing done, but the weather was beautiful and gardening was the priority. More photo's on that coming up!

All but three of the bags were sold, so I consider that a very successful day! The night before I tore apart my sewing room trying to find any odd projects I made to sell. I found some jewelry that included some refashioned necklaces and bobble rings (pic below).

I think this handbag came out really cute. A simple structured shape but the fabric and applique make it, in my opinion. This bag (I ended up calling Bye-Bye Birdie) didn't sell. Hmmm. Maybe it will be mine.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Time just slips by

I have about 100 pictures on my camera to blog about but do I prioritize my time to post here? Apparently not! And now that more of my local friends (and family) read this blog I have been getting gentle nudges to update. I have been so busy! Gardening tops the list. I have lots of before and after shots. My husband and I took last week off and stayed home during the most perfect spring weather to get a few home tasks completed. It was the best vacation ever!

And this weekend I am hosting a Handmade Open House at my home. Eight lovely ladies who either craft or run a home business will gather with their items to sell their wares. I am pretty excited about it. My friend put together this same event just before Xmas of last year and it was a huge success. And then she graciously volunteered my home for the next one! We figured some date before Mother's Day would work well. And here I am feverishly getting the house in order and driving Jeff nuts. :)

I also decided to reupholster this couch rather than make the slip cover. I read about upholstery and spoke with a lady who gave me some great tips to get started. With the clean lines of the sofa and relatively simple shape I am going to dive in and go for it. I also finally found the upholstery fabric. Now I just need to get started... I may need a few rainy days to justify the time spent indoors.