Monday, September 12, 2011

Late Summer Yardwork

I am on a quest to reduce my load of Yardwork, in order to free up more time for the far more pleasurable act of Gardening. It can be a fine line which separates gardening from yardwork, but I count digging holes and lawn maintenance as work. My husband on the other hand, like most men for some peculiar reason, takes pride in cultivating a pristine lawn. For him it's a hobby, not mere "yardwork". He de-thatched and re-seeded the front lawn yesterday, and is determined to make it Best in Show in the cul-de-sac.

Meanwhile, I dug 12 holes in my Front Entry Garden and embedded "permanent" 1 gal pots, so that I will never have to dig holes there again. I will simply slip pots of Annuals or Bulbs into the embedded containers, ensuring a year-round show of color and interest, and then I can slip them out and replace once the show is finished.

In addition to reducing the amount of hole-digging that I typically do each season, I am also trying to limit the time spent pulling weeds. I planted a group of 5 Ajuga 'Burgundy Glow' under the Crape Myrtle 'Petite Orchid' next to the Garage, and hopefully they will spread into a thick mat to block out the persistent weeds.

With the arrival of the cooler days of late summer, it's such a pleasure to spend time out in the garden tackling projects and making progress!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Monday, September 5, 2011

A Second Chance

Five years ago I had a thriving Orchid Collection with around two dozen Phalaenopsis, Dendrobium, Cattleya, Oncidium, Paphiopedilum, Vanda, and Cymbidium. And then my son arrived in the Summer of 2008, and then we bought a house in 2009 which shifted all my focus and energy to my outdoor garden, and finally another baby arrived in Spring 2011. The orchids withered away throughout all these transitions, downed by mealy bugs, starvation and thirst, and general lack of care. I figured it a lost cause, and after the last frost this year I dragged their corpses from the basement and sat them in a corner on the deck to await a trip to the Compost Pile. But then weeks turned into months, and as they lay forgotten a few began to show some signs of life. Surviving with only Mother Nature's water, and the high humidity of a Mid-Atlantic Summer, 3 managed to make a comeback. Today I gave them a good soaking, trimmed their roots and divided one, then re-potted. Thankfully, I've now been given a second chance to cultivate a glorious Orchid Collection.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Falling for Garden Mums

With the arrival September, I had been looking to add a splash of Fall Color to my Mailbox Butterfly Garden, and so I swapped out the Salvia 'May Night' for a trio of hardy Chrysanthemums. I never much appreciated Mums before, but after discovering that they actually do over-winter quite well and are not mere disposables, I have a new found respect for hardworking Hardy Mums. They light up a garden and contribute flower power just when it's needed most, and so I will always make a place in my garden for this great Autumn wonder.


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