I had a chance on Sunday afternoon, to start cleaning up the flowerbeds and planning my “portable garden” in my head. (I know, I know…no longer a safe place for storing things.) We moved away from this home in November of 2007 and moved back in August of 2009. After nearly two years of neglect, the flowerbeds look mostly like this.
The house is going back on the market and we will also be celebrating our senior’s graduation with a reception here in about two weeks, so I was hoping that the beds would look more like this.
Since that isn’t likely to pop out of our flowerbed in the next two weeks, I’ve started clearing out the remnants of past flowers, digging up stuff that I have wanted out of there for the last 3 years and putting in new plants. The hostas that someone planted in full sun have been removed and are waiting to be placed in their shady new home. The daffodils that languished in the darkest northern corner of our porch have been moved to sunnier locations and a new layer of cedar mulch will be added to the completed project. First, I have to actually complete the project.
I have just under 30 feet of flowerbed to spruce up in the front of the house. Sunday and Monday, I carved out a couple of hours and worked on the first 12 or 15. That space is comprised of a right angle corner near our front porch.
I love the lavendar tulips. I just wish they lasted longer. I have tons of lilies from past years, (see them popping through) and some new ones, as well as asparagus fern to fill that space when the tulips are gone, though. I also added the red salvia which seems a little silly as I have spent three years digging and taming purple salvia that had overtaken this entire bed when we first bought the house. I don’t think this variety is nearly so invasive or prolific. At least that’s what I’m telling myself for now. I can’t remember the name of the pretty silvery-white foliage I put in front of the tulips. Our two and four-year-old neighbor girls were “helping” me as I was working and diligently removed each plant’s spiky label thingy to use as beds for the worms they were collecting from the flower bed. : )
I do remember that these pretty pink flowers were called Armeria. I love the wispy, grass-like foliage and the tall, slender stems topped with a perfect mound of pink. They are just so graceful looking. They are also perennials and will spread some. Plus they are easy to divide in the spring and move to other spots. I also have quite a bit of columbine peeking through in this area and more lilies.
My poor droopy daffodils are still adjusting to their new homes. We’ll have to wait and see if they can adapt. I still have to fill the rock bed you see in the background. Not sure what I will be doing there, yet. I know I want something with some height to it, in the ground, right at the corner of the house, next to that bed. I am considering ornamental grasses, various shrubs and my favorite guy has suggested an evergreen. Speaking of my favorite guy, he graciously handled the manual labor (digging a big hole) to plant my latest bargain.
I had been “browsing” the trees at each place I looked for plants. They are always so costly and timing-wise are not fitting into the budget right, now. We knew that the bare front yard was screaming out for one, but it is a smaller space and a 70 foot oak or 50 foot maple would have been overkill. We had settled on some sort of flowering tree with a smaller stature and so I have continued “watching” for a bargain. Home Depot had pretty ones this weekend for $99.99 and Shopko had them on sale for $52.49. I saw two at Menard’s for $59.99 each. That was still more than I was willing to splurge on this week, so I headed on to Wal-Mart to pick up the annuals I still wanted for the flowerbeds. That’s where I found this sweet little crab apple for only $20. She was easily 9 ft tall sitting on the floor in a bucket, but now that she has her roots firmly planted in our front yard, she is more like 7 ft tall. She’s not a majestic beauty, yet, but she has lots of potential and has even popped out some lovely pink blossoms.
These are the annuals I still need to work into these upper corner beds and this small area near the porch that gets little to no sun until very late in the afternoon. Once that is finished I will get started on the 15 feet that runs from the corner bed to the street. Oh, and I definitely need to get these going.
Just ignore the Tinkerbell table and look back behind there to my “portable garden beds”. : ) I am really tired of building a beautiful garden and then leaving it for someone else when we move right at harvest time. I have mentioned previously, that we don’t have any truly level ground for raised beds, except in the front yard and I’m still not convinced that would be a good plan. So, I have four Earth Boxes on our sunny top deck, and if all the rave reviews are to be believed I will have all the tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers and herbs we can consume.
Each box holds about 2 cu ft of potting mix and came with dolomite, mulch covers and fertilizer. They have a watering system built in that seems pretty ingenious. See the tube that runs through the tray? Simply use that to fill the bottom (under the tray) with water, which will self-feed from the bottom to the roots of your plants (above the tray). The boxes have an “overflow” spout, so you always know when it is full and the excess just runs off. This looks the closest to my favorite square foot gardening as anything I have found, yet, for our temporary situation.
Tomatoes, artichokes and eggplants will fit two to a box. Cucumbers, melons, and squash can be planted 4 per box. I will be able to fit 6 per box of bell peppers, broccoli, cabbage, jalapenos and herbs and 16 for beans, corn, peas, garlic, carrots or radishes. There are many other combinations possible and I just need to sit down and finalize a plan, since I only have the four boxes. I’ll take lots of pictures and continue to update you with the progress over the summer.
I’m actually pretty excited about this “baby” garden, just outside my kitchen door and that has casters to roll right onto the moving truck with me if we get the house sold.
I ordered three blueberry bushes last fall, too, before we decided we would go ahead and try to sell. So, I know those will be arriving soon and while I am a little sad to know I will be leaving them behind, I know they are going to add tremendously to the landscape. Edible landscaping is the bomb! And I love it as much as square foot gardening. Self-sufficiency is not as common as it used to be in our society and we have forgotten how simple it is to incorporate beauty and function into the area where we live. I hope as the spring and summer progress, you will be inspired to carve out your own little space and begin some beautiful and edible plantings. Even small spaces can produce in great abundance. A few large pots on a deck or patio can net you gorgeous outdoor decor and organic herbs and vegetables to make your favorite dishes. What will you grow this summer?