It has been a lot of hard work, but all of the planting in the front garden is done!
The garden was stripped down to bare dirt early last week and I then worked on improving the soil to help all of the plants grow stronger and healthier. Jeff and I broke up the soil with a couple of spades and then I raked and hoed in some manure, humus, and garden soil. It was tough work and I’m pretty sure I got manure on my face in the process. Let’s just say that I made many visits to the utility sink while working and took a thorough bath that night!
I worked on the planting over two days. Digging for the bushes took a lot more time than I imagined, since I had to dig the holes much larger than the root ball. The annuals along the sidewalk a piece of cake, though, and the mulch went down easily.
For the center of the garden, I decided to take a suggestion offered by many readers and add a concrete urn. I already had one, so it was free to try. I actually used to have a matching pair, but one of them broke to pieces in the move, sadly. So, I was left with a single urn that didn’t really have a good home. It seemed like a fitting piece, appropriately sized, to put in the center.
Right now, it looks a little like Shaquille O’Neal standing in a kindergarten class, but everything around it will grow and it won’t look so head-and-shoulders above everything else. I have it sitting on a stone paver, but I need to level it out a bit better, so it’s sitting straight.
I planted white wave petunias in the urn, which will spill over, making it a feature a bit more worthy of being the centerpiece. Right now, it looks a little simple, but growth will take care of that in time.
I don’t know if it’s going to be a long term solution, but I have a soft spot for this urn and I love that I found a place for it. If you’re wondering about the metal ring around it, it’s actually a strap that was used to repair the cracked urn long before I bought it. I love that someone loved it enough to repair it. The repair is so ingenious, too. To some, it might look like a broken urn. To me, it’s a one-of-a-kind piece with a story.
The hostas planted around it were actually two larger hostas that I dug up and split. Their leaves are starting to reach skyward again and I’ve noticed new growth on them after being in the ground for just a few short days.
Jeff and I also worked on the “trellis” for the column. It took a little bit of creative DIYing to figure out something that would work for such a narrow, tall space. We ended up using four small garden fences (that were already painted white and made for exterior use) and cut them to size. Hopefully it will make a good ladder for the Sweet Autumn Clematis.
It has already started climbing and growing at a pretty good rate – I would say about 2″ each day. I’m not expecting it will cover the whole trellis this year, but it’ll be fun to watch it grow.
In the comments of my last garden post, a few people expressed a concern about Sweet Autumn Clematis and I have found a great dislike for the vine from some in a few of the gardening forums I researched. It can be very invasive and can drop thousands of seeds throughout a garden, yard, and even a neighborhood. After reading all of this, I had a pit in my stomach and thought I should go dig it up and find a better alternative.
After further research, though, it’s not as invasive when planted in colder climates and my zone, zone 4, is the coldest climate where this vine will survive. It seems that the self-propagation is kept in check where it’s colder. I also read that pruning the flowering part of the vines once the flowers start to fade and before they start to seed can help as well.
So, I’m going to keep it for now, but I’ll definitely keep an eye on it and I hope I won’t regret it! I have already started to research some climbing white roses to see if any would be a good backup plan.
While looking for a hand spade in my garage, I came across my cast iron cow! It was in a box for a year and I had entirely forgotten about it. It has a new home next to the front door.
Would you believe that we just powered washed the porch and I swept it, too? It’s been windy and we’ve had a lot of strong storms, so the porch keeps getting littered!
I did do some more work on the porch yesterday, changing out lightbulbs and finally turning the lantern fixture, so it isn’t angled. It feels good to take care of those little details. I’ll share an official before and after of the garden in another post, but while I’m sharing about my yard, I thought I would share my cherry trees! Like the peonies, they are a gift from the previous owner.
I am not sure what variety they are and if they are ornamental or sour cherries that I can use for cooking. Any ideas?
Either way, it makes me happy to see them making a strong showing this year.
More garden updates coming soon…