Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Reminiscing on Last Summer

Last year was a pretty crazy good time. I took on selling some gardeny/vintagey items with some friends locally, my family and I camped our hearts out, and it seems summer snuck up and lasted less than a blink before my etsy shop knitting orders literally took over my life. I can't believe I didn't even post ANY pictures of summer in my garden. Crazy!?  So I'm going through them now... and starting to post a few (ahem, a lot).
I'm just getting deep in the trenches of planning this year's garden- with my husband!!! He's gradually been building up interest in growing our own food, and last year was the first year he did more than till and move heavy stuff for me. This year he's telling me what he'd like to grow, helping me plan it out, and building several things to help maximize our space. I could not be a happier woman.
When planning I always start with a fresh blank sketch book, my seed packets, and last year's pictures. Sometimes I get lost in pictures further back, and I always pull out my favorite books, pin boards, and garden magazine stash. This year I am starting so late in comparison to my norm. Usually I have the book full of sketches by late January, but this January I was still filling knitting orders, and February I was basically cleaning my house... and getting some much needed down time. March has flown by, and my secret tricky plan worked. The trick was to make sure I didn't start longing for spring too early, as living in Minnesota I know that would only lead to disappointment. Here I am ready to LONG for spring, and guess what? It already started. Sure, there's still a ton of snow on the ground, and it was 0 last night. The weather will tease us with 50's this weekend, and soon, in a few short weeks, we'll start to feel warm. Cool season crops will probably be able to go in about 2 1/2 weeks, so I'm excited. And ready. Just in time.
About 10 days ago I planted tomato, basil, peppers, lavender, stock, and black eyes susan vine in the basement under the lights, and this week I added 3 varieties of nicotiana, my all time favorite, "Peace pipe," a pink orangey one called "marshmellow" and a green one known as "Langsdorffs."
I also picked up a few more dahlia bulbs. I haven't started them yet. Going to wait to plant them outside this year. I've been checking on last year's dahlias and they all have made through winter at this time. Very good news!
So here are some pictures from last season. This is a huge dahlia called Fluerel. I could not believe how huge these blooms were, one after another- all on only one plant. It was pretty amazing.
I went lily crazy last year and orders dozens. This was one of many, I've lost track of the varieties for sure, but I think this is "playtime".

This is my shed... I don't think I've even posted picture of the shed Theo built for me?  Well, here's part of it, with my clematis and agave, and some white Echinacea.

This was supposed to dahlia "art deco," but it turned out to be "Renoir." I hope to be ordering 'Art deco" this year when money becomes available. Renoir preformed fabulously, too, though.
The tiger lilies in the very back of the garden.

Always happy to see this daylily brighten a dull spot later in the season.
This is my front driveway garden. nasturtium, lamb's ear, roses, Russian sage, love lies bleeding, and more...

This is one of the border lilies, shorter in stature and thus planted at the very front of my garden where passers by can enjoy the scent.

This container of coleus with gernanium, and dichondra) knocked my sandals off all summer long. I planted them in a huge old boiler, and stuck it right in the front yard. So big and colorful!

This is at the front corner of my house.
I added a huge shade walkway last year under a tree where grass wouldn't grow. I loved this shade garden so much! lots of tender bulbs to fill in around new and small perennials. So much pink!

My favorite clematis "arabella" working hard as usual on the side of the garage.

I made hypertufa containers last year and planted fairy gardens in them. This little shady gem lived in the deep dark shade all season, and grew its little heart out! (I made the twig arbors, too).

This is dahlia "ice cube" on the side of my garage. Another amazing producer for me last year.

This is my back porch shaded gazebo. the awning succumbed to the elements by fall, so this year we'll be trying something different with twigs and burlap. Should be fun!

Here are a few more shots of the front yard; a white wave petunia addiction has begun. wow!

One of my all time favorites, "moonbeam" coreopsis and purple alyssum.
My driveway will be hopefully getting a basketball hoop for my children this year, so the containers won't be there to bask in the sun like last year. I found the chair in the trash.
So excited to find several golden hops vines for only $3 last year. This one is growing on a twig teepee I built in the middle of the garden I have behind our garage.
The hops vine served as a glorious backdrop for the huge dahlias in this bed, including Ms. Eileen, and a red that wasn't supposed to be red...

That's all for now! I WILL have more coming... I'm actually going to start uploading right now. Happy gardening!


Unknown said...

Hi! I found your blog while I was searching on Google images for clematis Arabella! I had a question, would you say it naturally climbs up, or crawls/rambles around on the ground? I keep reading and seeing different things. I don't want it to choke other plants if I use it as a ground cover, but like the idea of it filling in the empty spaces! Did you have to train yours to grow up your tellis? Or does it just naturally go up? Any info would be great I really want it for the garden this year but knowing this info will help me decide where to put it :) happy gardening!
Baltimore MD

Jamie Rex said...

Hi Erin! Thanks for checking out my blog. Arabella does not c;ing, or put out the tendrils that you finds on some clematis. I planted mine at the rear of a very shallow bed, just in front of the low trellis (maybe 3 feet tall), and as the growth was about 12-15" I tucked it behind the bottom rungs of the trellis. From there, some of the branches shot straight up and naturally stayed behind the trellis, and some laid forward. I sort of tuck as needed. I have seen it beautiful as a ground cover in public gardens, and it seems to maintain a nice 3-4 foot radius- but I did have one of my branches that was laying forward actually take root and make a baby! I disconnected it from the parent plant, and am looking forward to seeing if it survived winter. So, if you decide to use it as a ground cover, you may find it go beyond the radius of 3-4 eet if it starts rooting! :) It is probably my favorite clematis right now, I hope you enjoy yours!