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Posts Tagged ‘making a garden’

October

After caring for the pretty new flower borders all summer long, mainly just fluffing and deadheading, we got back to the project in October and added a new shade area in a nook on the east side of the house.

October 9th

October 9th

October 11th

October 11th

Once again, we dug out the sod because I wanted to plant bulbs in November; the newspaper method would not have allowed that as the paper would not break down in just one month.

another after photo

another after photo

Next to the shrub that was already there, we planted Hydrangea ‘Izu No Hana’.  it is a great beauty. Got it years ago from Heronswood Nursery for Klipsan Beach Cottage; this one is the offpsring of that one.

the flower of Hydrangea 'Izu No Hana'

the flower of Hydrangea ‘Izu No Hana’

Now we just need a very special tree for the very back corner. Small, deciduous, choice, preferably at least a bit unusual. Thoughts: Robinia psuedoacacia ‘Frisia’, or a very special Japanese maple to tie in with Tom and Judy Hornbuckle’s beautiful garden across the street to the east; Descaisnea fargessii would be very fun. All probably require a trip off the Peninsula or mail order to acquire.

We used rock next to the house again.

We used rock next to the house again.

11 Oct: now the garden goes all down the east side.

11 Oct: now the garden goes all down the east side.

The whole day of October 11th we had an audience.

one of the three dogs

one of the three dogs

November

On November 28th, we started the next phase of Larry and Robert Garden 2012, and I almost forgot to take a before picture.

almost before

almost before

November 28th, 10:42 AM

November 28th, 10:42 AM

We were knocking ourselves out to do this project fast, because it came in the middle of bulb planting season and we needed to get back to planting thousands of bulbs in assorted gardens.  We probably would not have scheduled it for this time except that we happened to have unexpectedly acquired, from Chester Land at Olde Towne Trading Post, the main ingredient: a garden boat.

November 28th, 4:44 PM

November 28th, 4:44 PM

This was accomplished in heavy rain and a roaring wind sweeping up Pearl Street straight from the port.  The boat, a little fiberglass pram, was so lightweight that I fretted and stressed greatly to make sure it was well secured.  Allan drove rebar through the bottom into the ground to make sure that even an 80 mph gale could not budge it.   I hope it looks like it washed up in a storm.

29 November

29 November

On November 29th, we dug out beds around trees, which should make the trees healthier, and acquired more rocks from Peninsula Landscape Supply to soften the straight line at the west end of  the “beach”,  but darkness fell before we could apply said rocks.

29 November; I am still not satisfied with the shape of the rock beach.

29 November; I am still not satisfied with the shape of the rock beach.

On November 30th, we softened up the squareness of the beach and at last I felt pleased with the results.

30 November

30 November

30 November

30 November

We planted bulbs (deer resistant ones like Narcissi and Alliums) in these new beds and the beds we made earlier this summer.  By now we were hearing word around town that passersby liked the boat in the garden.  The old fisherman who make a daily trek on foot from an RV park at the east end of town to the grocery store at the west end of town were especially appreciative.  One told us how he used to have a garden and now that he lives in a trailer, he deeply misses having ground to putter in.

30 November

30 November

Above, you can see our good friends Tom and Judy’s historic house in the background.

On December 4th, we planted a few plants, at Larry’s request, for winter colour: a heuchera or two, some primrose starts, and a really cool plant with pink berries that I got from Back Alley Gardens, but whose label I lost.

December 4th

December 4th

In the spring, we will move these plants to the new corner garden in semi shade in order to make room for more showy summer annuals in the boat.

On December 19th when I was upstairs in Judy’s guest room admiring her exquisitely detailed miniature Christmas village, I got to see the great view of the Larry and Robert garden from next door.

December 19th

December 19th

The best thing for me is that it is just half a block from home so it is going to be a pleasure to see it every single day.

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Just across Pearl Avenue from our dear friends Tom and Judy, local antique store owners Larry and Robert live in a beautiful historic pale green house.  There we made in a new garden between June and the end of November, 2012.

18 June

front walkway, June 18th

front walkway, June 18th

side of porch

side of porch

June 18 before

11 AM

late afternoon

late afternoon

By late afternoon we had dug out beds, removing the sod this time instead of using the newspaper method.  We put down heavy duty landscape fabric along the porch and house and laid a strip pea gravel and river rock  for access for painting and maintenance and to keep plants from being right up against the wood.

rocked

rocked

sad rhodo

sad rhodo

We moved a pitifully sad rhododendron to a shade border on the west side of the lot…a border which had once been edged with pavers but was now grown in with weeds.  The rhodo was totally bringing down the tone in the new flower bed we wanted to create on the east side of the house. I can give you a preview of the sad rhodo’s fate since I am writing this months later; it petered and dwindled, and we keep cutting it further back.  Perhaps a miracle will occur in winter of 2012-13 and it will revive.

19 June

On the 19th we brought in a yard of Soil Energy from Peninsula Landscape Supply and mulched all the areas we had dug out the previous day.

shade bed

shade bed

north side

north side

by front walkway

by front walkway

east side

east side

We refrained from planting anything that day because the Soil Energy was quite hot.

20 June

In the shade border on the west side, the sad rhodo was still bringing down the tone.

shade border

shade border

Brunnera 'Looking Glass'

Brunnera ‘Looking Glass’

The rest looked better after we planted Brunneras and Heucheras and revived a couple of hostas that were in there already.

northwest corner of porch

northwest corner of porch

We weeded by the northwest corner of the porch and stuck some lady’s mantle in  a couple of days later.  I tend to keep it out of anywhere where it will compete with other plants but I think it will look nice at that curve and its chartreuse flowers will tone well with the house paint. Allan’s idea!

west side of porch

west side of porch

In front of the porch we tried to get both sides to sort of match with some blooming Asiatic lilies that Larry had had in pots and with a hardy Fuchsia ‘Golden Gate’ and some small ornamental grasses.

east side of porch entry

east side of porch entry

east side of house, planted

east side of house, planted

We got most of the plants from The Basket Case Greenhouse.  We stop there often all summer long especially when they get a shipment of very collectible perennials, including

Verbascum 'Clementine'—GORGEOUS.

Verbascum ‘Clementine’—GORGEOUS.

21 June

In the morning, I walked down to take some photos of the garden in a better light than that of the previous late afternoon.  Below, you can see how Robert and Larry’s house is just past the beautiful Hornbuckle garden.

looking across Tom and Judy's garden to the new garden at Larry and Robert's home.

looking across Tom and Judy’s garden to the new garden at Larry and Robert’s home.

morning

morning

front

front

east side

east side

In the foreground, a showy annual Coreopsis called ‘Jive’ from The Planter Box, our other local source of cool plants.

15 August

By midummer, the garden looked amazing.

east side with Cosmos and Painted Sage

east side with Cosmos and Painted Sage

lush summer beauty

lush summer beauty

by front porch

by front porch

by front porch

by front porch with some late annuals added

 

 

21 September

late September

late September colour

front walkway

front walkway

Autumn crocuses by the porch

Autumn crocuses by the porch

Next, phase two of the garden creation in October.

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17 October

Nancy is back from vacation and we get back to work on day two of her new ornamental border.

We are making it with the same method that I used to create the garden in back of our new house.

Here comes the soil.

Here comes the soil.

Peninsula Landscape Supply delivers ten yards of Soil Energy.  We have it dumped onto a tarp so we will not lose one precious morsel into the lawn.

Mike of Peninsula Landscape Supply getting every bit out of the truck.

Mike of Peninsula Landscape Supply getting every bit out of the truck.

We like Mike.

We like Mike.

ten delicious yards

ten delicious yards

The beds will be built on thickly layered and overlapped newspaper.

The beds will be built on thickly layered and overlapped newspaper.

It is difficult to not stop and read every interesting article while laying the newspaper down.

newspaper

It is difficult to not stop and read every interesting article while layering the newspaper over the sod.  (I do not do well with intolerant friends.)

The first wheelbarrow full of soil.

The first wheelbarrow full of soil.

Above, me digging into the pile.  Behind, you can see stacks of newspaper and cardboard.  We spread them just ahead of the area being “soiled” so they don’t blow away before we get to them. On a windy day, I’ll lay some out and throw handfuls of sod from the wheelbarrow to hold them down.

newspaper and cardboard base

newspaper and cardboard base

Newspaper and cardboard laid over the sod and overlapped.  I kind of prefer just newspaper, but it is hard to get enough.  It goes down with more flexibility, especially when tucking it into the edges and around the trees where we have cut out the sod on day one. Newspaper alone must be laid very thickly; eighteen sheets thick is not too much.  Nancy and Phil had gotten new kitchen cupboards and appliances so had lots of big cardboard from the deliveries.

the ceremonial dumping of the first load

the ceremonial dumping of the first load

I really don’t have any special sayings or invocations for this exciting moment.

Six hours later:

six hours later

We have piled the soil about a foot to a foot and a half thick over all the newspaper and garden beds.  Here’s a reminder of how it looked at the end of day one.

before...

before…

an idea

an idea

At the six hour mark, we realize that the composter at the west end of the bed must be moved so the bed can be run all the way along the south side…Otherwise it will not look right.

18 October

The first thing we do on day three is to dig out all the way to the south end; by the time we get to the site, Phil and Nancy have moved the composter.  Because it is a small area to complete the bed, we remove all the sod.

finishing the back corner

finishing the back corner

We still put down layered newspaper and cardboard to keep bits of grass roots from growing.

After we finish spreading Soil Energy even unto the west corner, we add pseudo biochar….not at all scientific, just charred bits from our campfire circle at home.

biochar of sorts

biochar of sorts

biochar tossed onto the garden....

biochar tossed onto the garden….

and raked in

and raked in

The Soil Energy is usually quite hot and steaming, so I never plant in it till it sits for a day in the garden bed and cools off.

The bed now goes all the way back.

The bed now goes all the way back.

Now Nancy and Phil have their own Mount Sod: All the sod that we dug, covered with tarps.  She can do what I did in my own garden and grow spuds in it next year.  The potato crop lived up to its reputation and seemed to clean the soil and help break it down.  I just dug out handfuls of sod, filled the holes with soil, and put seed potatoes in and got a very good crop.

Nancy's Mount Sod

Nancy’s Mount Sod

Next, we will get dairy manure delivered onto this tarp, which we set up the night before in case we don’t get to the site in  the morning before the delivery truck arrives.

prepared

prepared

19 October

We manage to arrive in time to take photos of the thrilling arrival of the washed dairy manure. In many the lecture by Ann Lovejoy, back in the years when she would speak at the Northwest Flower and Garden Show in Seattle, she preached the word of Washed Dairy Manure.

To quote the garden goddess:

“Not just any manure will do, however. The most helpful manure for garden use is well-composted cow manure, preferably from dairies that don’t use Bovine Growth Hormone or steroids. ….Best of all is pit-washed dairy manure, which is collected from milking barns into a holding pit. The liquids (called “effluent”) are captured and returned to the farm fields, while the fiber-rich remains are composted. The result is usually lovely, fluffy stuff which may have wood shavings or bedding straw mixed in.”

It took a long time to get a good source of it on the Peninsula, but now The Planter Box carries it  from the hormone free dairies of Tillamook, Oregon, and I am so happy about that.

The Planter Box truck arrives.

The Planter Box truck arrives.

four yards of cow fiber

four yards of cow fiber

Raymond gets us every last morsel.

Raymond gets us every last morsel.

a pile of beauty

a pile of beauty

And here is the garden all mulched with the manure, on top of the Soil Energy from yesterday.

all mulched

all mulched

We have planted some plants that Nancy had kicking around in pots and a few starts I brought from my own garden.

manured

It is done!

It is done!

Later we will plant bulbs, and in late winter or early spring we will give Nancy some starts of cool plants from our own garden.

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On October 3rd we began the fall project of helping our friend Nancy (organizer of the Peninsula garden tour) create an ornamental border with the newspaper and cardboard method.

October 3rd

Day one: painfully hot and bright!  I was so desperate for a cooler work shirt that we almost left to drive home and get one; then I realized I had a cotton shirt in the back of the car.  October is not supposed to be so darn hot!

looking west from southeast corner

looking west from southeast corner

(Above). The beds behind Nancy (standing, on right) who did not want to be in the photo but did not back up far enough, oops) are her extensive veg garden. After seeing our garden, she wanted more flowers, thus the new area.

and so it begins

and so it begins

(Above)  I have cut  lines in the sod with the half moon edger  (which is leaning against the wheelbarrow.)  Allan has begun to pull up the strips of sod.

the halfway point of the long bed, showing neighbours' house to the south.

the halfway point of the long bed, showing neighbours’ house to the south.

looking east from halfway down the border to be.

looking east from halfway down the border to be.

around the trees

around the trees

By blissfully cooler early evening, we have dug out a wide strip of sod along the edge of the new border,  and we also dug out around existing trees so the roots won’t be buried too deeply.

another tree dug around near west end of border

another tree dug around near west end of border

Looking east: edges and trees dug around

Looking east: edges and trees dug around

looking east

looking east

Looking east:  Grass path between veg patch and ornamentals will remain. Salmonberry patch (right) will remain for hummingbirds.  And also because I am too old and tired to dig them out.  It is true, however, that salmonberry flowers are one of the earliest hummingbird foods, and I have used the same excuse for not digging them out in my own garden.

looking east

looking east

Looking east from halfway back….areas dug out to tuck newspaper down into.  Soil will cover the newspaper to make an instant bed. Well, instant considering it took five long hot hours to dig out these areas.  Maybe a sod cutter would have worked, but I prefer the quietude of hand tool work.

looking west

looking west

We leave this garden for awhile as Nancy is going on vacation and the whole idea is to create the garden with her.  We will return on October 17th.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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