Saturday, January 31, 2009

Story of 2008's New Flower Bed, Part 3

In the last post, I forgot to mention a couple more people from the cottage garden whose blogs I visited before learning how to create one.  FlowerLady and Sweet Bay answered questions early on, and have blogs I continue to visit.  Sunday Girl was also one of my first blogging friends from the cottage garden forum.  There are others, too, that were in the link from Part 2.  I am putting these in my "Front Yard" labeled posts.

We left off the first week of July.  This next pic is from 7/7.

The snapdragons were supposed to be a larger size than they were, but the blooms were pretty, and the butterflies liked them.  This one was from 7/12.

The bells of Ireland were moved out of my herb garden.  The zebrina mallow is from a friend's garden.  This is from 7/19.

I was tickled to find this larger crocosmia, Lucifer.  The amsonia next to it was 75% off, so I had to find a spot for it.  This was taken 7/19.

The next series were taken 7/27.  That's a purple blooming datura in the front.

The Vancouver dahlia is at its peak here.  The moonflower seedling moved from the back is growing well.

On 8/4, there were more blooms, including delphiniums, which rarely overwinter for me, and some vanilla marigolds, which were hard to get good pictures of, because they reflected the light.

8/6, from the house:

I experimented with making a collage, but was too chicken to make more until putting this up and seeing if I like it.  

This shows the cleome volunteer I moved from the veggie garden.  The dates of the pics are 7/7, 7/14, 7/27, and 8/4.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

SkyWatch Friday 1/30/09, a fluffy cloud day

These pics were taken in the late afternoon on Thursday after I got home from work.  I wished I'd have taken my camera to work.  The clouds were even fluffier and awesome looking in the sky there.  To see skies from all over the world, visit the SkyWatch Friday site, clicking here or on the icon on the sidebar.  Thanks, Klaus, Sandy, Ivar, Wren, and Fishing Guy for hosting this fun view of the world.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Story of 2008's New Flower Bed, Part 2

I left off the story of my new bed on June 8th.  Around this time, I found the Cottage Garden Forum on ivillage. There were several people there, including Cameron, from Defining Your Home Garden, and Nell, from Secrets of a Seed Scatterer who encouraged others to start blogs. I finally gave it a try in October, and am currently near my 100th post. As time went by, other people also started blogs, and there were several threads on the topic.  One of them, "Do you blog your gardening?"  includes bloggers' links, some of whom you may already know.  

I planted several kinds of foxglove, and enjoyed their blooms.  I am hoping most of them have survived the fluctuating temps of this winter.  This pic was taken 6/15.  I think it's a strawberry one.

This Vancouver dahlia was a splurge, and it bloomed the whole summer.

By 6/15, I had given away the amsonia I had put in the corner, and replaced it with a crocosmia. The blue flowered plant is a small type of delphinium, I think, blue butterfly. I placed pots and watering cans around to fill in some of the spaces.

I was planting things in this bed all summer, and putting pics up in the Cottage Garden Forum, getting lots of encouragement that it would fill out.  This was taken 6/18.

This plant, a perennial bachelor button, was part of the circle bed. The gold balls will look like the yellow one when they are in full bloom.  This was taken 6/25.

I can't remember the name of this clematis, but it was planted around 6/30, and I cut the flowers off after taking their pics so the plant would root well.  It didn't start growing until close to the end of the season.

This pic is from 7/6. The helenium, red hot pokers, and pine leaf penstemon were part of the circle bed.

On 7/6, the moonflower I had moved from my veggie garden is growing, as are the sunflower seedlings near the fence.  The cardinal creeper in the blue pot is starting to grow on the fence, and I found a couple cypress vine seedlings that I moved to the ground on each end of the fence.

I don't remember if I mentioned that Larry had asked me if I could think of something to put near the curb next to one of my other curb beds, since the weeds were taking over the grass. Do you think I said I'd have to think about it?  Nooo!  It didn't fill out as much as I wanted, so I'll be putting more plants in there in the spring. Here it is 7/7, next to the lovely red fire hydrant. I should probably find some red blooming flowers to put there.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

The Mill, with a link to their website

Meems, from Hoe and Shovel asked me to put the link to The Mill in a separate post, since it's against the SkyWatch rules. She also said she'd like to see the place, so I was tickled to oblige. I think it's the first coffee shop in town, but if not, it's one of the first.  Their story is on their website, The Mill, and you can buy coffee and other products from them there.   

Lots of other coffee shops have sprung up near by, but we still prefer The Mill. Larry and I went there this morning, and while I only recognize one of the men in the 4th photo, I know he is one of the owners, and I have seen him roasting coffee beans.  They graciously let me take their pic.

The porch is frequented by lots of people when the weather is nice.  Unfortunately for me, it's the smoking section, so I don't spend much time there.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

SkyWatch Friday 1/23/09

Last week, I told Fishing Guy I had some pics with street lights, too, and hadn't put them up yet.  That inspired me to find more lights to take pics of, but I didn't make it to the neighborhoods where I thought there may be some. I took my camera to work today, and found some not as old lights to take pics of, and took a couple on the way home from work. There are street lights in each picture. 

To see more skies from the world, click here: SkyWatch Friday.  Thanks SkyWatch team!

The first 3 pics were taken 1/11/09, in an old area of downtown. The Mill is our favorite place to buy ground coffee and beans, and to sit inside and drink coffee while relaxing.  We have a tradition of getting granitas after the farmers' market, which is a block away on Saturdays in the summer. They have a website, where people can buy coffee, and I started to put a link to it, but remembered that's against the rules of Skywatch.  They have no clue I put this pic in, and I have no connection with them other than being a customer.  

These are from today:

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Story of 2008's New Flower Bed, Part 1

I neglected to take a picture of the messy room upstairs that I had agreed to get organized last winter in order to get Larry to agree to help create a larger flower bed in the front yard.  I told him it would show that I can keep up with a larger bed and the house, too.  Well, spring came, and the room did not get finished, and I told Larry that even though I hadn't done what I said I was going to do, I really, really wanted to have a larger area to plant some large growing annuals.  One of the reasons he was dragging his feet was because he doesn't like the look of flower beds in winter.  When he saw how determined I was, and agreed with me that he's never been sorry when we created another bed, he relented.

This first photo was taken 5/3.  I may have had this pic in my fire hydrant post.

This pic was taken 5/28. This amsonia was planted the same day as one in the east bed in case one of them didn't make it, and both did.  Speaking of that, in each of my flower beds, is at least one kind of flower that is also in at least one other bed.  Not all flowers are in more than one bed, though.

Spring weather arrived late, and then, it rained a lot, so we didn't get the work stared as soon as I wanted to.  While waiting, I read part of the book, Lasagna Gardening, but when I saw that it was a long process best started in the fall, I wished we had known for sure that we were going to do this, and done it then.  

Larry knew someone who wanted to go in with us to rent a sod cutter, so we chose to do that rather than the lasagna method.  We had not had any experience with one before.  It turned out to be awkward and difficult to use.  Plus the slope of our yard, and frequency of needing to turn around added to the difficulty.  (She ended up changing her mind and not having her sod cut after all when she saw how much Larry was struggling.)

Here are a couple pictures from 6/1, as we were getting ready to work.

Hey, what color is that fire hydrant?

I helped roll the sod, and we did not consider how heavy those rolls were going to be.  That was hard work!

I asked several neighbors if they wanted the sod, and a couple did, but didn't have a way or the time to come get it.  Larry was done in, and did not have the strength to move the sod.  Another neighbor, a state patrolman who used to work for a sod farm was going for a walk while I was out working. When I asked him if he wanted it, he went right to work.  He put it in his truck, "Bessie" and went home to put it in the area he had recently taken the zoysia grass out of.  He also took the clumps of sod I dug out by hand, but decided not to stick around for me to finish the ones still in the next photo, also from 6/1.

It rained the night after the sod was cut, and off and on for a few days, so we weren't able to work the land right away.  On 6/3, you can see the blue tarps I kept putting on the area whenever it rained.  I didn't think to use them the first night, so it took awhile for the soil to dry enough to work.

6/3, closer:

6/3, closer still.  I love those pretty blue flowers on that amsonia!  I like the orange hawkweed, too, and keep it from spreading too far.

On 6/4, it's raining again.  Well, I guess it's good for the rest of the flowers.  This pic was taken from the side yard, near the east edge of the house.  The butterfly bush in the foreground is a purple bloomer, and the butterflies and bees love it.

I took to poking holes with my garden spade, and later on with my garden weasel, hoping the soil underneath would dry out.  This was taken 6/6.

Finally, on 6/7, Larry used our Mantis tiller, and incorporated Canadian peat moss, which is the kind they replenish, compost from our pile, and some bags of manure, which some say aren't that great to use, but I didn't have access to the real stuff at the time, and wanted to have more organic matter there.  We won't need to till again now that it has been loosened, and good organic matter added to it.  It got dark before I was finished planting for the day, and I just had to take some pics anyway.

I took more pics 6/8.  We looked at different kinds of fence, but decided on this easy to put up ourself one, which came in sections.  I liked some others better, but was more into instant gratification.  I cut back the amsonia, which was finished blooming, and planted it in the corner. I later dug it out and gave it away, because I decided it would get too big for the area.

The celosias in the front didn't grow as tall as I thought they would, and I found other plants I wanted to put there, so I dug them out and put them in pots.

I put way too many pics in the file on this bed throughout the season, so I have split them into more than one post, and still have lots, and ended up writing way more than I had planned. Maybe next time I won't be as wordy, but I am not able to make any promises.