Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Spring seems to have come early for the south and I am not complaining!

violas from last spring
It may still be February but it feels like spring here. We had at least 3 weeks of upper 60's to mid 70's!! Sorry to rub it in to those still dealing with snow! I am taking full advantage of this time to get as much done as I can outside as I have a very busy schedule now till June. I only hope winter doesn't decide to come back! The grass is really greening up now...yay, no more ugly brown to look at! I bought me some more dianthus (a new favorite plant of mine, they survive the winter here and bloom all summer in full sun and are so colorful) to plant this past weekend along with some violas and pansies.


The roses are really leafing out now and I have been very busy for days pruning and retying my climbing roses. Which speaking of, here is a tip in case you never heard of it before...I was using that green plastic stretchy stuff that comes in a roll but found it stands out like a sore thumb and looked hideous. So I got out some old nylon stockings and cut 1" thick strips off then cut that in half to make some ties. So much better looking, blends nicely! By the way thank you Connie from Hartwood Roses for recommending those yellow gloves (can't remember the name), they work great! I must admit though that this is really the first year I have really pruned any of my roses. For one they were still too young to do anything but prune off any dead or damaged canes or tips. Plus remember that most old garden roses do not like a heavy pruning and should be fairly light anyhow, removing dead/damaged canes, spent canes, crossing canes or to remove twiggy growth. Do not prune hard like a hybrid tea except perhaps in severe cases, they will not be happy. My climbing roses were a different story, they were now ready for the laterals (those canes coming off the main canes that usually come straight up from the ground) to be pruned back to about 6-12" to really give me a good show this spring. That was hard for me to do as I am so afraid of ruining the shape of the rose but I have watched some great videos on doing it and went for it the best I could. We shall see what happens. I am told that roses are very forgiving so lets hope they forgive me! I also got some Black Kow to top dress them which I do every spring and fall if I can.

 Some of the roses I ordered have come in and are now waiting on me to get my butt in gear and get their new home finished so they can move in. Still waiting on 4 more. I also have been busy transplanting and moving plants around. This is something that for whatever reason I just hate doing. I don't know why but I just don't like doing it. Mostly what I was either transplanting or digging up and giving away were Black-eyed Susans. I have a love hate relationship with these plants. They are terrific plants as they are not picky at all, drought tolerant and bloom summer into fall...the down side depending on how you look at it is they reseed everywhere! Good in one way as they give you new plants without having to pay for them bad because they will reseed in places you don't want and there roots take hold like cement and are tough little boogers to dig up.

Here's the right side before the nepta was added and before the daisies were blooming

 I have a bad habit of starting to many projects at one time. Anyone else do that?? I get so annoyed at myself but every year I start a new project adding to the half a dozen I still haven't finished. Well I have family coming for a visit here really soon and I would like them all done before isn't going to happen but I will try anyway! So now that the roses have been dealt with and the sand shoveled into the run I am now focusing on trying to at least get the project done in the front of the house which I started this winter. In front of my house the builders had planted some puny salmon pink azaleas. For the last 5 years I have been wanting to change that. Well 2 years ago I worked on the right side of the house, dug it all up got rid of the azaleas and planted pink knockout roses, between those 'Becky' shasta daisies, along with some nepta. Love it! Color all summer into fall and all that needs to be done is a little deadheading. 
 So this year I started on the left side. Now I have a patch of bare dirt that is awaiting a tea olive, some larger white azaleas , some low compact gardenias, and the pretty little water fountain my husband bought for my birthday. Before I plant anything though I want to spray it with a weed and grass killer because that bed was once choked by centipede grass and some weird tuberous weed that no matter what I have done in the past it will not go away. So this is my chance to finally get rid of both once and for all! I hope! That is one project I do hope to get done before company comes as it is not very attractive in its current state.

Here's the the left side waiting to be finished

 So that is what I have been busy doing for the last couple weeks or so and will continue plugging away at little by little. The two big projects I hope to get done are the front foundation area and the long bed along the backyard privacy fence for the roses that came and are coming. If I can at least get those done this spring or at least the end of this year I will be happy. That will finally be a check off on my long list of unfinished projects!! So for those in the south that are lucky enough to be enjoying this spring like weather what projects have you been up too?


  1. Hey, Meghan, I'm with you about loving this spring weather. I think everyone's to-do list is long. It's just the nature of the beast. Thanks for giving the low-down on Black-Eyed Susans. Fortunately, I don't like black & yellow together so I won't have to deal with it. Redoing is a fact of gardening life, sad to say. The parts you have completed are lovely, and I like your plans for the left side. Little by little.

  2. Meghan,

    I'd love to see you sketch out your bare spot on paper (scan it and post it please!), of how you plan to fill your bare area, and then see step by step pictures of the planting process, for us flower dummies who have no clue how to create a flower garden! How bout even a few pics of you shopping for flowers and seeds in the store? What's a good deal, what's not? Thanks!

    Love ya!

  3. Mel,
    You crack me up! I think the idea of the sketch is great and I will get on that. But if you think I am going to have someone take pictures of me shopping for flowers your crazy! lol I would really get some looks not to mention you know I hate my picture taken! However maybe I could get a few snapshots with my cell phone just of the plants. Thanks for the ideas!