Plant shopping!

24 03 2010

Because of the various gaps in my front and back yard gardens (due to the age of the garden and our crazy winter weather), I’ll need to do a bit more planting than usual this year. We also took out two butterfly bushes that grew too big for the space, so that left two big gaps in the side garden. (Note: When the tag on the plant states that a butterfly bush grows 5-8 feet wide, do not ignore it and buy the plants just because they are “today only, just $5 each!”). I speak from experience: if you have a townhouse garden, you do not have the room for this monster—much less two of them!) They will be relocated somewhere else where they have room to spread.

I just ordered some replacement plants from Michigan Bulb Company, Spring Hill Nursery and Dutch Bulbs this week and got some really great deals, particularly with their “buy x, get x free” specials. I’m adding things that I would love to photograph this year and most species that I haven’t grown before. I’ll add few more things like herbs (basil, mint and oregano) for my kitchen garden. I also bought inexpensive bulbs from Wal-Mart this week, too (Liatris, Crocosmia and my favorite, lilies!). I’m filling in the gaps with these great deals and since they’re all perennials, I should have easy sailing for a few more years.

From the Michigan Bulb Co., I ordered (left to right, top to bottom, photos from catalog): Sparkle Meadow Rue, Green Wizard Rudbeckia, Foamflower, Montana Skies Delphinium, Toad Lily Mix, Twinkle Toes, Double-Decker Coneflower, Licorice Mint, Petite Delight Bee Balm, Blue Fringe Daisy, Helenium Mix and Blue Mist Shrub

From van Bourgondein (dutchbulbs.com), I ordered (left to right, photos from catalog): Gloriosa Rothschildiana (gorgeous!), Habeneria Radiata/Egret Flower (I’m really excited about growing and photographing this unusual beauty—not an inexpensive bulb, but I’ve been wanting one ever since they debuted—tell me this isn’t one of the coolest plants you’ve ever seen!), and Hardy Gladiolus Atom (love the white piping outline—wait, is that a 3 point reverse rule around those petals?!)

And finally, from Spring Hill Nursery, I ordered (left to right, photos from catalog): Coral Drops, Lemon Fluff (how cute are these?) and Anchusa Azurea

Wish me luck with my green thumb and be on standby for photographs throughout this spring and summer!

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Parents, plants and partying

22 03 2010

Best parents in the world, shown at right. It’s true. It’s really, really true. Wouldn’t trade ’em for nuthin’. Check out the latest photos I’ve posted on our wedding blog here.

Speaking of blogs…check out my dad’s blog, The King of Texas. He waxes rhapsodic about his family, revisits his childhood (with amazing recall for details), comments on current events (political, celebrity, media and more), and aims to right grammatical wrongs (one visitor at a time) with his occasional lessons on the subject. Check out his archives for some of his essays. I introduced him to blogging almost a year ago and he has become a prolific poster. He has always loved to write and it shows in his lengthy and detailed essays. I just knew it would be a great creative outlet for him. I realize I’ve created a monster, but I am so proud of my grasshopper! Whether you agree or disagree on any particular posting, he welcomes feedback of any kind (but thrives on kudos in particular), so don’t hesitate to comment—he always responds.

Out in the garden…my hellebores, snowdrops and crocus plants are in bloom—after a long, cold, way-too-much-snow winter. I predict some flower photos appearing on the blog shortly. Michael and I cleaned up most of the front yard (gathering six bags of debris!) on Thursday and my friend Tom helped me with a good portion of the back yard garden on Friday. There are lots of empty gaps in the garden this year, so there will definitely be some restructuring of the various beds in an effort to refresh things. I bought a slew of bulbs at Home Depot last night for the front yard garden (liatris, crocosmia, tigridia and lilies). I’m waiting to plant when I’m sure there’s no danger of frost! I also want to try out some new perennial choices so I’ll have some new specimens to photograph this year.

Speaking of flower photography…check out my buddy Ed Vatza’s stunning photos here of the elusive Himalayan Blue Poppy, which he photographed at Longwood Gardens recently. Wish these beauties weren’t so temperamental—they would be in my garden in a heartbeat if they were easier to grow!

And on to the partying…Nanda, one of my Garden Club Weedettes, hosted a knitting party late this afternoon (with wonderful Indian munchies). Yours truly was introduced to knitting today. Boy, was that ever a challenge! I think I’ve gotten the hang of it (sorta/kinda), but it’s definitely seems harder than my basic crochet skills. I’ll post a few photos of my newfound knitting friends and my work-in-progress (I think it’s a scarf—hard to tell at this point!) shortly. Sigh…as if I needed another hobby.

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