Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Pruning, growing, planting, pulling...

Lots going on this week to share, so let's get to it!

In my last post I mentioned I had recently pruned severeal of my clematis. I took some pictures of the finished products to share. The first picture is Etoile Violette, a group 3 clematis that should require hard pruning. I have never had the guts to do it, and the result was a massive cluster of dead twigs with new growth hidden in it. I spent most of last year picking up the trellis off the ground because even the slightest wind would send the whole thing flying. I had no choice but to prune it this year. However, I did not prune it back to 12 inches above the ground as the "rules" for group 3 clematis would reccommend. Instead, I pruned back to solid new growth. The result has already worked wonders for this plant; in just a weeks time I'm seeing it growing so much, and it should be much more balanced. I'm excited to see how it blooms soon.

Here are before and after shots; the first from last summer, and the second from this week.

The second clematis I pruned was this tiny "Ville De Lyon," also a group 3. Its been in the yard for 3 years, but the first year I accidently hacked off the new growth and we never saw it again. Last year, it grew to about 4 feet and made a small cluster of bright pink blooms late in the season. I pruned back any dead wood on the end of the vines, and have also seen it taking off this week. It should put on a good show for me, both spring and late season blooming hopefully, as it should. No before picture here, I can't seem to locate it at the moment. the ugly white twig in front is a russian sage that should be pretty soon, LOL.

The last clematis I pruned is HF Young, I think. LOL. I planted two clematis on one trellis 3 years ago. One grew, and one never did a thing. I think the thriving beauty here is HF Young. I'm 90 % sure, but it could also be "violet charm" or "ernest markham." I'm probably confusing you. See, I have 3 unidentified clematis in the yard. 3 years ago I did not label anything, and my pencil sketched maps of where I planted things are not clear. This year, as they each bloom and thrive finally, I can identify them and label them permanently. At any rate, I pruned back to new growth of this one, too. It's by far, the largest clematis I have in the yard, and it intertwines with trumpet vine & virginia creeper. Pruning was a big task, but I'm so glad I did it! Here's a nice before and after:

(sidenote: I've moved the hosta, added another Kordes Perfecta rose here, and moved the foxglove from one side of the picture to the other.


Many of my container plants, as well as perenials and shrubs are becoming interesting to the eye this week.

Sweet smelling stock:

Dahlia "bloody mary mix," found in 4-packs for $1.99 at a local nursery!

Lilacs! I CAN'T wait!

Fuschia "autumnale"

This sun-loving coleus is from last year. I took cutting from the plants and kept them on my dinig room table in old bottle crate full of tiny terra co
Apricot non-stop begonia

The kitchen window box: lysimachia with copper violas, apricot begonia, and "Kingswood Torch" coleus.

The wagon planter:

New growth of Morden Centennial Rose, lime b/c of the cool temps I assume:

Rain on some Columbine:

Rain on Achillea "Mollis" or Lady's Mantle

The back bed is filling in nicely. I planted a Cl. New Dawn beside this trellis.

White Pansy

Begonia "Firecracker"

Blue Nemesia

That massive bleeding heart again... it's never been this big.

Blue Petunia

More of those apricot tulips.

A plum tulip, too.

Bougainvillea, red.


This week I put in all of my peppers, onions, cucumbers, squash, and herb seeds. The veggie bed is just about full, and I still have some beans and a second round of radishes, too. I can't wait to have peppers and cilantro!

I extended the front garden bed to put in a few shade loving plants I wanted to move. While half of the bed is small evergreens, roses, and perennials, this end is partly in the shade.

I added a shrub spirea "firelight" a $6 find!

And several coral bells, including "georgia peach"

and "Lime Rickey."

This week I also waged all-out war on the dandelions (and my gluteous muscles!) I can't stand these little yellow flowers. I have to bite my lip when my adorable son tries to hand them to me saying, "Pretty lady, momma!"

Theo is going to put down another weed preventer this week, but for now I've been pulling any giant dandelion I can find out with my handy-dandy weed pulling tool. I've filled this bucket a couple dozen times. I'm certain, if they haven't already figured it out, the neighbors now know I'm nuts!

More than half of this barrell is filled with the little devils. I can't wait to have a dandelion-free yard! I'm determined.
Happy gardening everyone!


Amy G said...

The Bleeding Heart is amazing. I love it. I can't wait to get my flowers and plant them... I think the first chance I'll have is next weekend (5/17) Keep your fingers crossed for good weather that day!!

Karen said...

I have some clematis doing great and some not so great. The not so great were planted last year so I still have hope for them.