Thursday, April 26, 2012

Let's Talk Gardening!

Oh, man.

I lost this post once already. I have no idea where it went. It just disappeared. Obviously I'm a work in progress...

And it was a NICE post about gardens. Because it's spring and I love gardens. I love flowers. They don't talk back...

Nor do they weed themselves, but that's another story!

I love flowers. Greens. Bushes. Windowboxes. So fun!!!!  But I've had to maximize look for space because there's so little time with juggling working, family and writing.

This was the work in progress garden two years ago... It's finished now. And the porch is painted. But see the cool planter on the right? I got that in Allegany County on a research trip. LOVE IT!!!  I fill it with gorgeous flowers, some hanging, some crawling, some spikey...

Chiller, thriller, spiller!  That's the formula for hanging baskets and garden pots. So that adds a burst of color in that corner and now I follow the garden wall with a curve of wave petunias now... Wave petunias flower continuously, they spread, and they've got gorgeous colors. They fill in really nicely and are good in heat and sun.

This is one of my Clematis... I bought them years ago, moved 'em, moved 'em again... And most of them survived. Then I built trellises for them. I made Mandy help.


Another clematis.... They climb the wall and then people can't see the JUNK I hide behind them.
I call it creative gardening, LOL! Because I love to garden... And I love to write stories.

But remember, the year I got "The Call" an old friend figured I must be dying (or dead...) because she drove by a couple of times and the yard looked REALLY BAD, LOL!!!

The tulips got downhearted with this week's snow....


But the spikes for the Bearded Irish are coming through... Thick, spikey, sage green...

I love my Bearded Iris...

And I love shade gardens. Rock gardens. Water gardens. Walls of ivy... Toad gardens. Rose gardens. And my rhubarb is GORGEOUS right now. Time to harvest. In April.... so odd. But it's in a microclimate that brings it early, the back of the house, protected from wind, in the full sun.

So do you like to garden? What's your favorite thing to do in the yard?  Mine is when Beth and I get together in May to fill all the porch pots with impatiens.... vines.... bursts of color because then I have my flowers but I don't have to weed them. All I have to do is give them water because I use Miracle Gro soil and I don't even have to feed them.

Because I'd rather write books!!!  But I love me some flowers!

And Jeter. Of course!!!!


  1. I've been waiting for you to bring p those Yankees, Ruthy. You know they just finished their first series with Texas. Thought about you during every game.

    I have a love-hate relationship with gardening. I love flowers, I really do. But weeding and watering in Texas in July is not fun. Luckily my husband loves the heat, so he gets a kick out of bringing my wilted plants back to life.

    We did our big spring clean up on the front yard this past weekend. Cleaning, pruning, planting and mulching. It looks pretty. Next is the backyard. Lord, help me.

    1. My back yard is where the dogs run... Rum amok, that is! Oy. And I need to clean up the tree fall to get that important first mowing done.... Because it's already four mowings behind.


      But few people see it because it's tucked away. Behind a rustic fence....

      With possibly a missing child or two, LOL!

  2. Oooohhhh -- I love gardening too!!!! But it's soooo cold up here and we had SNOW on Monday!! Love your porch, Ruthy. I want me a porch with a rocking chair or a swing. I just have a stoop, but I have a crazy wild garden that I need to thwart this year. It's amazing how quickly those weeds take hold. And the thistles. Ouch! Don't know how donkeys can eat them.

    I'm putting wave petunias on my shopping list. I haven't planted annuals before. Any other suggestions for a bright sunny location? I'm filling it up with pots.

    1. The pot idea is so clutch for me because I have so little time for weeding...

      Wave petunias, good girl! And remember to use out-of-the ordinary pots. I've got an aged aluminum barrel that I turn on it's side and fill half-way with potting soil and let the plants crawl out. I put impatiens in the back (it's shaded by the barrel) and then splashes of petunia or marigold and crawling fun things... creepers.

      By mid-July it's full and I just have to remember that it's really not IN THE GROUND and that I have to water it occasionally. But part of it is in the ground and it's amazing how pretty it looks when done!

      I love my coneflowers in the sun. They come back and multiply every year and I haven't killed them. And I have turtleheads in front of them, so the green of the turtleheads balances the flash of pinks... For the pots, think bright yellow (marigolds) Dusty Miller (to offset) Alyssum (purple, pink or white to spill over the side) or the cool spiller/crawler with white blossoms whose name escapes me, LOL! I don't plan I mish-mosh... And consider it my job to keep area growers/marketers in business, LOL!

    2. Thanks Ruthy, I'm taking notes. I have lots of perennials in the front -- but I didn't plan for the colour very well so lots of it blooms at the same time. Now I have this one patch that I couldn't weed-control and I got so frustrated I put down a barrier and covered it with bark chips. That's where I'm planting annuals for the first time in my life. And I like mish-mosh too -- more country gardenish! Wish me luck if the cold every leaves (-10 with the windchill today.) Ugh!

  3. Ahh, gardening. I love gardening...but somehow I just can't get back into it. (Have I mentioned this here before? I think I have.)

    The garden I left behind in Kansas was the one I poured my heart into. We thought we were in KS long term, so we put in raised beds for veggies, planted an orchard and had raspberries and blackberries. In the front I planted perennials that would withstand the both the hot summers and cold winters.

    I have plans for this house, too, but the fence has to be replaced first (one of the posts is at a 45 degree angle - and that's just the beginning of its problems). I definitely DON'T want to put in a garden before that happens!

    1. This is exactly why you want pots. Hanging baskets. Because they're easy-peasy (don't start with too many, they're pricey), but I've put gorgeous pots (I use old soup pots, peck baskets, wicker baskets, etc... )

      Then no one bothers them, honey, and you have the color and blooms for your soul!

      I was at a friends antique house last year and she'd done OLD baskets filled with a mix of peat and potting soil and then planted then full of flowers and hung them on big nails....

      I drive people crazy because I'm always putting big nails in things, but I know how to patch 'em so what's the big whoop???

      And flowers are worth it! You see those crazy expensive hanging bags of flowers people put on their doors and posts?

      You can do the same thing for a couple of 6 or 12 packs of flowers and a bag of potting soil. Put it into available containers, let your imagination run wild and just have fun.

      Small budget gardening is my forte! And I share perennial cuttings with everyone. Spread the love...!

      And manure, as needed, LOL!

    2. You've inspired me! My littlest boy (6', 18 years old) works at a ranch supply store, and I hear they have the best prices on plants in town. Now, if I can get him to get some for Mother's Day, he'll get his discount, too.

      Heck, I can hang some of those bags on that old fence. Who cares if I put nail holes in it?

    3. Jan, exactly! It's the little human touch that just makes folks smile, and you can do it on a shoestring with little time...


      Do watch out for Uncle Jim's urn....

      That would be BAD.

  4. By the way - beautiful pictures, Ruthy!

  5. Beautiful photos! And I spotted a kitty on the front walk! And also a gate so you can keep your little ones (kids, not kitties) out on the porch. How perfect!!

    I usually just plant a couple of pots of something. We have direct sun almost all day on our front porch. It's hard to keep anything growing there in the Georgia heat. Petunias have probably done best, and they remind me of my grandmother. :) I love germaniums, but they didn't do well. Marigolds do work well in sun, and I love the fragrance.

    1. Your climate is different, for sure.

      And that heat is greenhouse friendly, but ya' gotta have some good soaker hose, I'll bet. But I noticed in Nashville in December that they had pansies everywhere.


      Pansies don't do well up here. Our cool spring and fall are too short. One ends up too hot... The other too cold. So they just get started and fry or freeze. But they were perfect for Nashville because they love cool, moist weather and they're pretty disease resistant. Such a pretty thing to see! That made me realize that ya' gotta know your climate and your corners.

      Every house has microclimates. Little areas that vary drastically from one another due to sun angle, shade, wind protection. So I make the most of those micros (like planting the rhubarb on the hot south side with lots of mulch that I get free from our town highway department) and that helps give the illusion of lush.

      It's all about perception, right???? ;) Big grin here!

    2. Ruthy, pansies are big! They get planted in the fall around here and go through spring. I usually put pine straw around them to get them through the coldest part of the winter.