Saturday, April 11, 2015

East Curb Area

I am so tickled that spring is here!  I am having so much fun going out each day to see what is up, and what is growing.  It's time to start posting about what's going on in the different parts of the yard like I've done in the past.  I am going to start with the curb area by the fire hydrant.  The first three photos are from a few days ago, after one of the two city workers who were cleaning out the water area of the fire hydrant walked into the planting area, stepping on a couple plants.

When I went out to see what the guys were doing, only the one who was stepping on plants talked to me.  When I politely pointed to some plants I didn't want stepped on, the guy told me that it is the city's right of way, and if there is an emergency, people won't care what they step on.  I told him I realized that, then he also said that some people plant right around hydrants, and that is illegal.  I told him I realized that as well, and that I knew what I had planted was not illegal.  I told him the guy who inspected the paint on the hydrant had told me the plants were fine.  They were about done when I got out there, so left after we talked.  I think the quiet guy was not pleased with the other one, but I'm not sure.

The cover for the water is between the fire hydrant and the flower bed.  I decided to take out the irises and perennial geraniums to make a path for the workers.  There are a couple or three butterfly milkweed plants in the bare looking spots that have not come up yet.  Milkweeds are always one of the last plants to come up in the spring, but once up, grow pretty quickly.

Here is one of the two clumps of Fremont's clematis that I had divided from an old clump that had to be moved from the bed it was in at church I go to last summer.  I am thankful that he just broke part of it off, and the rest of the plant is OK.

After putting in the little path, taking the slabs from another flower bed, I decided to add some deterrents to walking on the plants in the form of little stakes and things.

I was thinking about removing the perennial geranium from the end, but haven't so far.  This area used to have day lilies and irises, but I wanted to put native plants in here.  I am glad I did, because they are doing quite well.

I like how early the sedges green up.  The 3 ground plum milkvetch plants I just planted last year are each a different size.  I am pleased to see them blooming. 

Moving to the west, I still have some of the irises.  Rabbits have been munching on some of the purple poppy mallows, but have not eaten them all down so far.  I should probably get more cages made.

The liatrises are coming up.  This may be aspera.

It seems like most of the spring blooms in the yard are not native.  I don't remember what these are.  The other Fremont's clematis clump is in the upper left in the photo.

I may change some of the "decorations" if I find some things I like better.

I hope this works to keep any future workers off of the flowers.  Really, we have not had problems in the past, so hopefully we won't in the future.  The clump on the left is catmint.  The small clump near the flower stake is heuchera richardsonii, native coral bells.  I am pleased to see the several small plants I added last year have grown some.  I have larger clumps in other parts of the yard getting ready to bloom. 

Looking back toward the east, there is a clump of a native coneflower of some kind growing right next to one of the clumps of daffodils.  I may remove that clump after they bloom.  It takes so long for the foliage to die back, and I think I have too many daffodils.

I am thinking this is the verbena stricta plant a local friend gave me last year, coming up in the bare looking area in the previous photo.

I wonder if I should put more stakes and things in this part of the bed for consistency.  LOL

I think I'll risk being a bit tacky in order to hopefully keep the plants from being stepped on, and I do realize this all will be stepped on if there is a fire emergency.

I thought it fitting to bring this over from another bed, hoping anyone wanting to work on the fire hydrant would use the path.  :-)

I hope all is well with you, wherever you garden.  I know some of you are in full garden mode, and others are still waiting for spring to arrive.  Take heart, it is on the way!  (I've said this before, but I hope to start spending a bit less time on FaceBook, so I can get back to more blog reading.)


  1. It is nice to see what new plants are emerging every day.
    I hope your stepping stones help direct future city workers. We don't have anything in the front garden to account for but a lot needs to be accessible in the alley. I made a mulch "path" to our gas meter through the plants and I don't plant anything in the alley that I don't also have in another place just in case I lose it in the alley.
    My trouble has been the mail delivery person going through a bed to make a short cut to the neighbor's house. I put up a wire pea trellis. It blends in between two shrubs and makes it clear that is not a pass through.

  2. I love that you've tried to "pretty up" the area around the hydrant. Sue, how can one ever have too many daffs? (Coming from someone with daff envy.)
    It's all awakening, isn't it? I hope you'll come share this on Tuesday's Maple Hill Hop!

  3. I enjoyed reading about your thought processes to protect the hydrant bed! I'm relieved to find someone else who now and then forgets the name of a plant.

    Spring is a little late in coming here--or so it seems. On the one hand, I am putting off surveying the beds up close and personal. The work that will be required once it warms up and dries off is a bit staggering. I KNOW there's a lot of dividing to be done. Every year I vacillate between doing it in the fall or the spring - and too frequently putting it off until the next "one". Well, there's no putting it off this year!

  4. Hi Sue! It's good to see you posting......your hydrant area looks great. You were really creative to put stepping stones for the workers.....let's hope they use them! You have so much coming up, I love the Daffodils. A great pop of color when we need it the most! I chuckled about you worrying about being too tacky.....since the snow melted and no plants have come up, my big garden looks like a dump! I really went overboard on the garden ornaments....there will be some purging and rearranging going on around here!

  5. When the stepping stones settle into the soil a little, they'll look more natural and encourage walking there. The 'show me thy ways' piece is pure inspiration.
    There are always going to be oafs who will step where they're not supposed to if they passed a neon sign that flashed 'Do Not Step on the Plants!

    Nobody ever had too many daffodils.

  6. Sue, Spring has indeed arrived in Nebraska. I've been frantically cleaning up Terra Nova Gardens. Last year was such a lousy year for gardening I finally just let it go back to the wild. Bad mistake. I've really had to put in much work this spring to get the beds cleaned up and ready to plant. I do have it under some control but still much to do before the last frost date arrives. I've planted onion sets, lettuce, and radishes in hopes to get something started in the garden. Cabbage will be the next plant to be planted outside and the tomatoes and bell peppers will be held for another month in the basement bucket growing system and only allowed outside for the warm days. Hopefully it will give me a jump on the season. We will see. Every year is a learning experience and the successes and failures continue to improve the gardening process.

    Have a great directing foot traffic day.

  7. I have to echo the others who have commented that nobody ever had too many daffodils! They are such a wonderful lift to the spirits in early spring. In fact, as I looked at the photos you had posted at the start of the post, one of my first thoughts was how nice the spring bulbs looked, clustered around the "mouth" of the sidewalk.

    As for the path to the hydrant, it looks perfect to me. Yes, the stones have to settle into the ground a bit, but that will happen before you know it. To me, it almost looks like you were holding the place for the path with the irises and the perennial Geraniums.

    I'm envious of your beautiful ground plum milkvetch. I planted a couple last spring, but they evidently didn't like the spot I chose for them and promptly croaked. For some reason, I just find that plant very appealing.

    As I'm typing this, my eye keeps being drawn to the pasque flowers on your wallpaper background. They are so rich looking that they just make me smile. Mine did well last year, but this year the clump looks pretty sad. We're really too far south for them, so I've been happy that they've graced my garden at all.

    Enjoy the spring!

  8. It seems the guy did not care what he stepped on, even though it wasn't an emergency! Obviously he is not a plant lover, but who knows? Someday he may turn into a gardener. Your curb area is quite lovely and makes the fire hydrant look like a real asset. I hope workers will use the path you installed. Generally people, and even animals, will use a path if it is available.

    Happy spring to you, and I hope you are still planning to come my way!

  9. It's looking really pretty at your house, Sue. I love the daffodils but as you know they really multiply so sometimes one needs to dig and share them. I think you did well to move a few plants and add the stepping stones. Hopefully there won't be any more issues with the city. I always enjoy seeing your garden as things grow over the course of the season. Happy Spring, Sue!

  10. I'm also envious of your daffodil clumps, I have some that grow in nice clumps but others just look straggly. I'm surprised the fire hydrant is set so far back from the curb, usually they are closer and would interfere less with your gardening, and you have so much curb being on the corner. I hope your path works. Your spring bulbs look so cheery, I like the blue by the curb, Muscari? The Milkvetch looks interesting. I'm down on irises too, it seems they are rather high maintenance, at least the newer varieties, needing dividing to keep them blooming, while the older ones just keep on no matter what.

  11. I really like your treatment of the curb area, Sue. The stepping stones not only are attractive, but they also suggest where workers and others can walk--great idea! It's looking great!

  12. I'm surprised your blooms are ahead of ours here in northern IL. My dafs are just beginning to show a hint of yellow. I feel like you, can't wait to check every day and see if something is in bloom.

  13. Great time of the year isn't it :o) Good idea with the stepping stones..lets hope they work. Looking forward to more tours round your lovely garden :o)

  14. Isn't it just the greatest once spring rolls around? It just warms the heart to see all my flowers returning. Yippee!

  15. It's amazing how quickly everything gets growing, isn't it? I don't know how you keep track of everything you have! I hope your little pathway works to keep your flowers from getting stepped on.


I welcome comments and questions from anyone, including those who do it anonymously. Some people find my posts by doing searches, and I like hearing from them. I guess spammers won't even read this message, but I will delete spam as soon as I see it.