Saturday, September 27, 2014

Haiku for the Yahoo! Weather App

Yahoo! Weather app
Stopped clocks are right more than you
Weather app you suck

Yahoo! Weather app
Uninstalling is too good
For this sucky app

Saturday, September 20, 2014

I had to start somewhere

I got tired of looking out the french doors to the back patio and seeing dirt...and fence. I may not know what I want to do with the rest of the back, but I was suddenly inspired to experiment in the one area I can't avoid looking at. I'm pleased with it:

I love this Crepe Myrtle - I think maybe it's Natchez? It has beautiful pendulous branches with white flowers. I'm going to plant another one parallel to it on the right side of the garden. Symmetry!

More angles:

I got it all in the ground last Sunday, just days before the great deluge. These pictures are post-deluge, which is why you don't see a lot of leaves on the ground: they're all washed up against the roots of the big oak tree. I plan to use them as a mulch for a bit, and then when I get real mulch just leave them under it to decompose. [I read things that say not to do that because it acidifies the soil, and messes with the pH too much for native plants like Crepe Myrtles? Argh, I don't know what the right answer is. To quote Barbie circa 1992: "Math is hard. Let's go shopping."]

Here's the outline to the left:

If you squint, the yard already looks better with the wood outline alone. Structure!

I laid the outline of the bed with some 2x4s left over from the patio overhang repairs. I plan to do it with brick, like danger garden! [I asked her via email about the edging and she very kindly shared the info. Then I told her I was going to Single White Female her garden, which in retrospect might freak a person out a little. Nothing in HER garden will die by my hands, so the similarity pretty much ends with me being a big fat copycat.]

I planted:

  • 2 of some elephant ear (dang it!!)
  • 6 Varigated Giant Liriope
  • 3 Cast Iron plant
  • 2 Giant Apostle Iris 'Regina'
  • 3 Canna (the 'Blueberry Sparkler' canna I pulled up from the front beds)
I know the canna will never bloom there but that's okay, I just want them for the darker foliage. The only ones likely to survive winter/come back are the liriope and Cast Iron plants, but it's worth rolling the dice.

Yes, I'm avoiding doing anything substantive with the ugliness of that entire left side of the garden yard. And the right side, for that matter. I just needed something back there to give me hope for the future.

Monday, September 8, 2014

My name is Wendy, and I'm an over-planter

It's 75% strategery, and 25% a really poor sense of dimensions. Or I might have that backwards.

That reminds me of a joke: why are women so bad a math? Punchline: because they're always being told that this [holds up hands spaced approximately 3 inches apart] is 6 inches.

I really do read the tags and carefully consider the size of each plant before I dig the hole. My issue is that I consider the size of each plant individually, rather than looking for overlapping diameters of growth. (I'm sure there's a gardenery technical term for that.)

You'd think an awareness of this would empower me with an ability to fix it, but I've come to the conclusion that it's part of my process. I will plant things too close to each other, let them fill in, and then decide what stays and what goes.

I love an exuberant garden and have an inability to leave empty spaces empty. It isn't because I don't appreciate the value of empty space, it's just because there are too many awesome plants.

Which brings me to today's garden activities. I've been trying to incorporate more dark foliage into my front bed. It gives a garden some gravitas and maturity, I think. To that end, I ordered a small tree called 'Ruby Falls' Weeping Redbud. Here's the picture from the online nursery:
Sooner Plant Farm, Ruby Falls Weeping Redbud
I know our neighbors keep commenting (positively) that my makeover has really opened up the front of the house, but I felt some height variation was in order too. So I planted this baby right here:

This necessitated moving those blue grasses around a bit, which needed to happen anyway. I also planted another 'Lafter' rose in that area (to replace the one that didn't make it back in August), and then I planted some Salvia guaranitica 'black and blue' on the edges next to the walkway.

I'm the least confident in the Salvia planting, because:

  1. That area gets a lot of sun, and my experience with those is that they like filtered sunlight
  2. They're ultimately too close to the rose
But right now everything looks lovely.

I planted another 'Lafter' rose (for a total of 3) over on the far right end, to replace the Atlas blue palm that died. (In my defense, I watered it the same as I did the Bismark Palm which is doing GREAT, so the blue palm can suck it.)

That picture isn't worth posting because the light was awful and my iPhone didn't do it justice, but I'll take a decent shot and post it just for record keeping. Rest assured, it's all likely too close together.

I have grand plans for that side of the house: I'm going to have that stupid giant green shrubbery pulled up and plant a Castor plant! I don't know how big it will get before winter kills it (it's an annual), but it will be a fun experiment. Let's pretend it will look like this:
Photo: Purdue University, Purdue Plant and Pest Diagnostic Laboratory

I planted another one here, just for kicks:
Forgive the ugly shadows, it was early afternoon

I moved the Agave 'Live Wires' closer to the walkway, but that thing will still overtake them if it gets as big as pictures indicate. Luckily it's easily killed if I don't like it.

THIS necessitated moving the poor germander 'Azure' yet again, but I think it's now in a permanent home. I moved another in that far right bed. I also moved the Saliva clevelandii, and I worry it will punish me for that. (I moved a lot of plants today, come to think of it....)

Ironically, my primary goal today was to plant all the irises I ordered from Schreiner's Iris Gardens. Of the 18 I ordered, I got a whopping 6 in the ground before I ran out of dirt. (I always underestimate the amount of dirt or mulch I'll need. See math joke above.)

Monday, September 1, 2014