Saturday, May 18, 2013

Mulch, Mulch and More Mulch

For the past week or so we have been moving mulch.  Seemingly mountains of mulch.  In reality it was 10 cubic yards of mulch.....but most of it was to be used in the back gardens.  You know....around back and down the hill to the very sloped gardens.
Thankfully we bought the cart to go behind the lawn tractor last year when we put some rocks in the garden.  Charlie loaded and loaded and loaded and dropped big piles of mulch all along the pathway in the back garden.  I had some more weeding to do and lots of little baby plants emerging, so I didn't want mulch dropped into the garden bed directly.
I didn't have my camera in my pocket while all this was no befores and middles of the work.  I did walk around AFTER and am so happy with how the garden is shaping up.   In July I will share a 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013 progress report.  For tonight, visions of a job well done.
This garden bed, above, Charlie lined the edge of the garden with newspaper and piled a lot of mulch throughout.  It is mostly daylilies-- already up.  Other plants in this very wet bed include Cardinal Lobelia and another cultivar Lobelia 'Queen Victoria' foliage and red blooms.  Elephant ears are quite happy in this bed.  Along the back of the bed are three Magnolia 'Little Gem' and a Cryptomeria japonica 'Black Dragon'.

This one is sort of a middle job can see some of the piles of mulch on the high part of the pathway.

The beds along the sides of the house just needed a little top dressing.  The daffodils still have their foliage up in the garden,  don't want to cut nor cover it.   The Deutzia gracilis 'Nikko' is just about done blooming, just a few blossoms left.    You can see that the yard slopes down toward the back of property.

The shed in the front yard shows the slope.   Hopefully the shrubs will hide the cinder blocks in the next year or so.

Everything looks much better with a fresh layer of mulch doesn't it?

Part of this front garden got some edge dressing with the last of the mulch mountain.    We also had to patch some areas of the grass where the dogs and the winter wet weather makes it so thin.

Most of the mulch went to the back.  Thank goodness for the cart and tractor.    Love the flagstone patio bordered by the Catmint, Rosemary and various goodies.

Looking back up to the house, you can make out the beds, now ready for this growing season.  Now mulched the plants stand out and have a presence in the garden.

Lest you think I done with the mulching....there are still a dozen bales of pinestraw waiting, waiting since last year to be spread.  ugh.

Once done, my gloves removed and my shoes taken off....I was in great need of a shower!!

Before showering I walked the yard and got some of these pictures and saw a new little friend.  
He was on the wall by the side garden.  I was worried about him falling off, it would be a three foot drop.  It appears he has had a few bumps and bruises already, see the cut in his shell.  Poor turtle.  I moved him into the garden, under the Edgeworthia for him to forage.

One more exciting capture---

Mr. Gray Fox in my neighbor's driveway.  I was walking the dogs and saw the fox.  Lucky for me the dogs didn't see the fox and the fox didn't see the dogs.  

Is your garden ready for the summer?  

©Copyright 2012 Janet. All rights reserved. Content created by Janet for The Queen of Seaford. words and photos by Janet,The Queen of Seaford.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Couldn't Ask for A Nicer Day

After many days of rain, drizzle, and the lack of sun, today started off with the sun shining brightly.  We have a lot of bird activity in the morning and the I am always on the lookout for birds in the backyard as well as while walking the dogs.  Monday I was out on the deck before dinner and saw a Scarlet Tanager. I had never seen one here before.  Know where the camera was?  Yes, in the house out of reach.  Well, this morning I was looking out the window, enjoying the sunshine when I saw one again!!! Quick tell Charlie so he can see it and run for the camera.   Today I was able to get a number of photos of Mr. Scarlet Tanager, though they are zoomed in of the trees, and then I had to crop the photos, so not as crisp as one might want, but successfully photographed nonetheless!

He flittered from one branch to another, hiding behind the leaves, making a clear shot almost impossible.

Isn't he a beauty?  Last summer and the summer before we had Summer Tanagers in the garden, so this is a new sighting.  Hope to see him and hopefully his mate more often.

Today's great weather was a stroke of luck because a few of my fellow garden bloggers had planned on getting together.  Julie, from Growing Days and DJ from Meander Mountain and I met at Hatcher Gardens for a visit and a garden fix.
I had stopped at Hatcher Gardens with a couple Master Gardeners on our way back from SC Arbor Day celebration at USC Upstate.  December it was still gorgeous, May it was thick and lush.  You can see my posting on the December visit here.
Here are my fellow blogging buddies, under a huge pecan tree.  I love the maturity of the trees in this garden, they certainly have been around for a long time.

The front area of the Hatcher Garden is nicely planted with colorful conifers, Japanese maples, and some ornamental shrubs that offered either texture or color to add to the landscape.  

This longleaf pine, Pinus palustris, looks almost like a cactus or yucca.  

Persicaria microcephala 'Red Dragon' adds some nice color interest to the front edge of this garden.  Not sure what the shrub behind it might be, but to the right is an Oakleaf Hydrangea, Hydrangea quercifolia.  This was a dominant plant in the forefront of the garden near the parking area.  

This mixed bed has Heuchera...maybe 'Lime Rickey', Japanese painted ferns- Athyrium niponicum, another Heuchera, maybe 'Carmel', some nice full herbaceous Peonies, a sedum- probably 'Angelina'  and some Pampas Grass, Cortaderia selloana.    There is so much texture and color appeal, without any blooms...though the peonies are about to pop.

Doesn't this pathway draw your eye to follow the dominant yellow?  One side had the Heuchera 'Lime Rickey' and the other was a color echo using hostas...not sure of the variety but it was a large leaf, maybe 'Guacamole'.

You could tell the Liriodendron tulipifera, Tulip Poplars, have bloomed, petals littered the walkway.  

On the railing of one of the small bridges was a crab claw.  Where did that come from???  

On this 4 x 4 post there were twigs attached with a piece of hardware, why you might ask.... to give the Confederate Jasmine, Trachelospermum jasminoides, something to grab onto as it climbs up the post.  Pretty clever if you ask me!

There were some blooms to see, love this yellow Iris.  I don't know my Irises well enough to say what variety it might be....maybe a Louisiana Iris? 

The last of the seedpods of the Fatsia japonica are providing some nice eye candy.   You can see the pods forming in my post from the last visit

These deciduous azaleas were still blooming, and nicely fragranced.  What a great shade of pink.

See the pond beyond the azalea bloom?  Look at the residents on the log!  I love turtles.

Like I said, it couldn't have been a nicer day.....great time with DJ and Julie!

©Copyright 2012 Janet. All rights reserved. Content created by Janet for The Queen of Seaford. words and photos by Janet,The Queen of Seaford.