Home Forums Welcome Hello! February: In the Garden

This topic contains 100 replies, has 1 voice, and was last updated by Avatar of susan-in-texas susan-in-texas 1 year, 5 months ago.

  • Author
    Posts
  • #160289

    February is a heavy month for gardening & yard work here in South Central Texas and a lot of my month will be spent pruning, weeding, preparing and planting. Anyone else? Patios? Balconies? It’s not quite decluttering and not quite fixing — but I need to keep myself on track.

    Today: spent several hours in the front yard, raking up more of those *^(%! acorns (two 5-gallon buckets); sucking up/mulching leaves (4 big bags) and trimming the Asian jasmine. Whew!

    I’m trying to sort out how best to arrange the time for this. 15 minutes a day doesn’t work well — there’s too much hauling tools out, changing into grubby clothes, etc. to make that short a time productive. I’m thinking one big push a week — 4 or 5 hours — augmented by some easier/shorter pruning and weeding sessions on the other week days.

    DH hasn’t been much help. He has terrible allergies this time of year. Also, his MO is to wait until things are so overgrown that the neighbors start thinking of calling code compliance and then spending several weekends toiling away — until he throws his back out or breaks the lawnmower (last year he destroyed TWO lawnmowers on his mother’s lawn because he let the back yard grow almost waist-high and they couldn’t handle it. Jeesh.)

  • #230825
    Avatar of lucy1965
    lucy1965
    Member

    February: In the Garden

    I’m shoveling snow off my patio. :-(

  • #230829
    Avatar of luxcat
    luxcat
    Member

    February: In the Garden

    I’m trying to convince onions (planted in early December) that despite the schizophrenic weather we’ve had this year, they should grow.

    I may be losing the battle.

    The roses got pared back during the last cold spell, hopefully they didn’t freak out when it was 85F the next week. There are trees on our street in full bloom that don’t know if they are coming or going.

    Poor plants.

    My meddling father in law reset the sprinkler system that I had just reset to my taste two days before. Perhaps this thread is a sign that I should shift my butt and go re-set it again and hope he doesn’t visit for a while.

  • #230834
    Avatar of chacha1
    chacha1
    Member

    February: In the Garden

    I did a fairly massive patio re-org in January. Planning to take the Presidents’ Day holiday to chuck out three more plants and start shaping my older ficus tree, which got sort of bonsai-ed over the course of 2012. :-)

  • #230852
    Avatar of paisley
    paisley
    Member

    February: In the Garden

    Susan, I will join you on this project. February brings a lot of yard work here. There is planting, sweeping, and that sort of thing, but the weeding is the biggest job here. I should be putting down some mulch after I get a section weeded, to keep more weeds out. So, I think I have to go buy mulch this weekend.

    I don’t know the best way to schedule this task. I keep a pair of slip-on garden shoes and a pair of gloves handy for the shorter tasks, but you are right that most of the time one needs a big chunk of time.

  • #230870

    February: In the Garden

    I won’t post here every day, but this month’s uncluttering theme for me is Paper and Plants. We don’t freeze/frost here, so Feb is a fine month for yard work, but I just have a couple dozen pots (some need repotting) and some shrubby/viney flowerbeds around my patio right now. Everything needs pruning/clipping, since I skipped that while I was sick for over a year. In my case, 15 mins at a time is ok.

    I’m only going to be here a few (?) months, and then the apartment staff will raze my 5+ years of plantings to the ground, so any larger projects are out of the question.

  • #230875
    Avatar of Northshore
    Northshore
    Participant

    February: In the Garden

    The high today was 8F. No gardening for another couple months in Wisconsin. I’m just hoping everything didn’t die with the cold weather that preceded the minimal snow cover.

  • #230916
    Avatar of lottielot
    lottielot
    Member

    February: In the Garden

    Spring is starting here :) I spent half an hour pruning stuff in the garden, much more needed as last summer was so wet I barely touched the garden and it’s looking wild. The rose bush at the front needs big pruning. My allotment also needs plenty of work. I started by dragging out all the dead strawberry plant leaves and pulling up runners etc and doing a bit of weeding. My garden is small so an hour here and there when the weather is good makes a big difference. The patio needs a days worth of scrubbing, repotting and detritus clearing. The allotment I find 2 hour stints is best, any more and I get stiff and sore, any less and it’s not worth the dirt and mud etc. I usually keep a set of clothes in a cloth bag and change into them for allotment work, I get so dusty it’s not worth wearing clean clothes. Or I drag something dirty out of the laundry pile to wear down to the allotment :)

  • #230922
    Avatar of Another Deb
    Another Deb
    Member

    February: In the Garden

    Here in the Phoenix area we are beginning to assess damage from the 4 day cold snap where temps went to the mid 20′s and did a lot of damage to plants. If I trim the bouganvilla now, tender growth might be damaged by another possible cold snap. My husband thinks that would be PERFECT! He hates the bouganvillas.

    The weeds seem to love that cold snap which was followed two weeks later by a long weekend of soaking rain. Since my yard is total gravel, weeding is done chemically. There is no way to pick through all those rocks and get the sprouts. Ugh. I hate spraying…

  • #231094
    Avatar of paisley
    paisley
    Member

    February: In the Garden

    This was a successful weekend. I swept the front patio, did some weeding, got rid of two horrid looking plants, and tossed a broken pot on Saturday. On Sunday, I weeded a small section in back and covered it with mulch. Repurposed some bricks at the entry gate and kept them in place with more mulch. I don’t know that I would have done so much without this thread, so thank you SIT.

  • #231097

    February: In the Garden

    hates the bougainvilleas? I like the red ones best. I wouldn’t want them up close, as they can bear sharp points and make a mess, but they look so nice on the otherwise barren side of my apartment building, parking garages, hillsides, arbors, and along the roads.
    ah, well, I am not fond of palm trees, as it happens. there’s no accounting for taste.

    Today is a day of R&R for me, but I’ve been enjoying the afternoon sun on the patio and will begin clipping and pruning tomorrow. I have a good list to start with!

  • #231101

    February: In the Garden

    Well done, Paisley!

    Spent about an hour in the front side yard next to the messy, messy neighbor. Bagged up two huge bags of mulched leaves and acorns. Think I’ll do the other side tomorrow (next to the neat, neat neighbor) and then move into the back yard on Tuesday. Lots of pruning and weeding to do there. Always.

  • #231119
    Avatar of Jackthetiger
    Jackthetiger
    Member

    February: In the Garden

    Loving the garden thread Susan!

    At our allotment at the community garden it is picking season. We have tomatoes, cucumbers, beans, zucchini, beetroot, spring onions, carrots and various herbs. If we do not pick everyday, the produce goes mad. Last weekend, I cleared out the spent borlotti beans and peas ready for succession planting. It is very hot and dry so we have to water constantly.

    At home, our courtyard and front garden bed are looking a little sad. The big heatwave cooked the roses and clivias and the annuals all died. I will wait for Autumn to replant because it is hard to justify the water on these plants.

  • #231138
    Avatar of Joless
    Joless
    Member

    February: In the Garden

    Gotta get started here too! We need three more raised beds building so I need to get the materials and get on with those. I also need to dig over the veg patch and check whether the rest of the Swiss chard is edible or not.

    I have a planting plan for two huge beds at the front of the house and we are in the midst of hiring our garden/fencing/wonder chap to help us get everything in so it survives. That will be lovely as the front of the house looks so bare at the moment. We need trees!

    There are large bare patches on the lawn from snow/leaves/wetness which need reseeding and then fencing so the dogs stay away.

    The apple trees need pruning.

    We need a season’s plan for the veg patch

    Sigh! SO much to do! But, the daffodils are beginning to show which is awesome (thanks to @Lottielot for the reminder to plant them last autumn) and they are my tribute to my late Mother so it’s fab that they are growing :-)

  • #231142
    Avatar of clutterbug22
    clutterbug22
    Member

    February: In the Garden

    Just spent 1/2 hour on our walkway balcony – quick sweep by front door, quick tidy of bags of compost by wall, quick tidy of a few things in kids playhouse. Also put up 2nd washing line that had come down a few months ago.

  • #231145
    Avatar of KeKeD
    KeKeD
    Member

    February: In the Garden

    susanintexas – thought of you and your ‘beloved’ acorns when I saw an ad for N_t W_zard in a magazine. Not familiar with it myself but I see that they sell it on Ama_on if you want to check it out. Sorry for the blanks but trying to avoid spam.

  • #231148

    February: In the Garden

    KeKeD: OMG! The Nut Wizard looks like it’s EXACTLY what we need! And I see they sell it at the grain & feed store where we bought the live animal trap to capture the baby possum that took up residence in my underwear drawer a few years ago. I will look at that TODAY.

    BTW: It’s not spam when a regular poster makes a product recommendation. It is spam when a troll just pops in to hawk their own cr^p.

  • #231212

    February: In the Garden

    Planned on more leaf sucking, mulching & bagging in the side yard but it rained this morning (rain is a GOOD thing here. We’re in a drought.) It cleared up and turned into a beautiful afternoon, so I worked on one of the poolside flower beds and bagged up 2 huge bin liners of Mexican Petunias. They will come back with a vengeance.

  • #231257

    February: In the Garden

    Another beautiful morning. Pruned more Mexican petunias and Asian jasmine in the bed between the pool and the outdoor dining area. Have a couple of long meetings today so didn’t have time to bag it, but I will do that when I get home. At least another big bin liner full — maybe two! The Texas Mountain Laurels are in bud. Their flowers only last a bit more than a week, but they smell like grape bubblegum. The self-seeding annual, Bunny Larkspurs — which bloom around Easter and surround the pool — are popping up. The Lady Banksia roses are thinking about blooming, too. The pink roses are sending out new shoots.

    I’d really like to spend ALL my time in the garden this time of year. Can’t do that.

  • #231278
    Avatar of irishbell
    irishbell
    Member

    February: In the Garden

    Sounds heavenly Susan!
    Oh how I wish I could be in the gardens in February without risking frostbite!
    In MI, we can sometimes see the crocuses by the end of February or early March, Helebores can be spotted in March,
    April is for tidying up, May is for mulching and planting- then all heck breaks loose and it’s a garden party round here!
    Until round about October/November when we cut back the beds and plant bulbs and wait for snowflakes.

  • #231367

    February: In the Garden

    Irish: I have to admit I have never really been to Michigan, except for a quick landing in Traverse City when on a Lake Michigan sail boat race. It sounds like at the time you are having your garden party we are frying in the heat.

    Bagged up the big pile of stuff I pruned yesterday, and added a bit more to fill up one big bin liner. It rained again this morning and feels a bit clammy and damp outside. If it brightens up I may foray out in the afternoon to do more.

  • #231368
    Avatar of Mimi
    Mimi
    Member

    February: In the Garden

    I just wanted to let you know that I really envy you for the sun in your garden. Be happy! :)

    I live in a climate similar to irishbell and right now I am happy that it is snowing. Yesterday we had freezing rain, sothat we were forced to buy spikes for the boots to get home, LOL.

  • #231377
    Avatar of paisley
    paisley
    Member

    February: In the Garden

    Yesterday I trimmed a rosebush, weeded around it (lots of weeds here), fertilized, and mulched. Today it is raining, so I swept the front patio and planted flowers in the pot by the front door. It looks better.

  • #231424

    February: In the Garden

    Well done, Paisley!

    This afternoon I decided to tackle a fenced off utility area, where we have the pool equipment and a garden shed. Filled up two bags of debris (mostly leaves from the neighbor’s tree) from there and from one of the poolside garden beds.

  • #231438
    Avatar of Rosa
    Rosa
    Member

    February: In the Garden

    i am getting excited about the garden! We are shoveling snow here every day right now (which is actually lovely – 20 degrees and fluffy snow is my favorite kind of winter day) but next week is when i start seeds. One week!

  • #231488

    February: In the Garden

    Rosa: seeds! How exciting!

    It was drizzling a bit this morning — just enough to make it impractical to haul out the leaf sucking paraphernalia. So I did un poco de todo — trimmed a bit of one of the firebushes, trimmed some Asian Jasmine, picked up some bird-pecked pomegranates (but left enough for them to snack on) and pulled some more Mexican petunias. Filled up a big bin liner before I knew it. Tomorrow morning I think will be rosebushes.

  • #231586

    February: In the Garden

    I was just going to spend 15 minutes or so outside today but the weather is GLORIOUS. Even looks like the Monarch butterflies are starting to arrive (or, it’s possible that the winter has been so mild they never left for their vacation in Mexico . . . .).. So — in addition to pruning more of the firebush (it’s a big firebush) and three rose bushes, I started in on the bocage that screens our house from the messy neighbors. When I finish bagging it I should have 2 or 3 more bags.

  • #231612
    Avatar of paisley
    paisley
    Member

    February: In the Garden

    Beautiful day here! One more rose bush weeded, pruned, fertilized, and mulched. Two more rose bushes to go, and many, many other shrubs/flowers after that.

  • #231618
    Avatar of ninakk
    ninakk
    Member

    February: In the Garden

    How did I miss this thread? I’m reminded of the film Enchanted April, which I will have to purchase on dvd soon or April will flow past us with me not having seen it this year. It was on VHS and I threw the cassette out.

    Anyway, seeds. I have some and want to see what would become of them, as many are past their due dates. First, I need to locate them, then make a decision which ones to plant, then, um, plant stuff. Luckily I have a book called Container Gardening, because I didn’t inherit the green thumb… The two indoor plants I have are very patient species… My balcony is a huge challenge though, as it faces south and during the summer season gets as hot as a sauna at times; suffocating and brutal.

    ETA
    I just looked the film up on Imdb. I can’t believe this! I get that it was made in 1991, but I translated this to “How many years ago?” and got a shock no less. A shock I tell you. Did you realise that is 22 years ago??? Holy crap.

    ETA2
    Sometimes I read cookbooks before falling aslerp, but today it is time for the gardening book.
    *gets up from sofa and looks thoroughly through hobbies section of bookshelf*
    Turns out I have four gardening books. Didn’t know that.

    ETA3
    aslerp is quite a happy typo. pronounces aslurp, which makes a fantastic pun against myself.
    Okay, I’m going now!

  • #231630
    Avatar of KeKeD
    KeKeD
    Member

    February: In the Garden

    Green with envy of those who can garden in February! Hoping to get my FIL’s situation and my paper monster under control by the time the warm weather comes so I can spend hours getting my hands dirty without guilt.

    ninakk – lol, may have to add aslerp to my own vocab.

  • #231648
    Avatar of Jackthetiger
    Jackthetiger
    Member

    February: In the Garden

    Planted the seeds for my third crop of peas for the summer. I absolutely love tiny green shoots appearing out of the soil. I have also planted my fourth crop of carrots, beetroot, lettuces and spring onions as well. The tomatoes are still fruiting madly. After this lot, I will start planning Autumn crops so they are ready to go in at the start of April.

  • #231662
    Avatar of ninakk
    ninakk
    Member

    February: In the Garden

    I didn’t get past the first chapter of the gardening book last night, which is this one by the way:
    http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Ultimate-Container-Gardener-Plantings/dp/1780190875/

    It is lovely, sturdy to read, hardback as my copy is. I’m not too familiar with making seeds sprout, but I do have seeds and quite a lot of them actually. I’ve picked six packets that will leave the house one way or the other, whereas another six will be left untouched this year.

    The ones I will tackle with lots of love are these:
    edibles:
    basil, lavender, chives, leaf lettuce, thyme, parsley (the really dense type), dill, and melissa (? Melissa officinalis)
    pretty to look at:
    sunflower, sweet pea, Tropaeolum majus nanum (seemingly translates to nasturtium or cress, it’s the one Monet had in his garden), busy lizzie, and Cobaea scandens

    The sweet pea and busy lizzie are white, whereas the lavender and Cobaea are purple. Then the sunflower and cress bring yellow and red. Apparently one can eat the cress too.

    The order of sowing the seeds:
    February: lavender, parsley, Cobaea
    March: sunflower, thyme, chives, basil
    April: Melissa, busy lizzie, cress
    May: sweet pea, lettuce, dill

    I’ve never done anything to pursue real container gardening, but maybe something will happen this year, now that I’ve announced something in public :)

  • #231664

    February: In the Garden

    Jack: I had a hard time getting my head around “April” and “Autumn” in the same sentence :)
    Ninakk: Sounds exciting! We’d call the Melissa Lemon Balm. Lovely smell. The Nasturtium are pretty and easy to grow. It can be eaten — in a salad, or some use it as a cake decoration. I don’t know the other one — looked it up and it said cup-and-saucer vine or cathedral bells. Looks pretty.

    I mentioned in the goal thread that I finally got hold of the handy couple yesterday. They will be building new garden beds for me, which means I have to move all the dirt out of the current one, which is 17′ x 5′ and more than a foot deep. Then DH and I will have to move the railroad ties (he wants to re-use them as edging on the beds that surround the pool.) This is roughly the design we will end up with, although I want the sides to be corrugated aluminum:

    I also want to have a hardscape next to it (probably decomposed granite) where we can keep the BBQ grill. I’m very excited. Will send a photo when it is done!

    Also on the goals thread a few people mentioned that I must have a Texas-sized yard. Not. It’s 1/5 of an acre — 800 sq meters. Just intensively planted, and our growing season never stops.

  • #231740

    February: In the Garden

    Your plans sound exciting Susan, keep us updated!

    We bought a place a year and a half ago, and deliberately picked one with a small back garden. Due to it being a hilly city, lots of houses round here have long, multi level gardens. After renting a few of those, I realised going up and down steps all the time ( I get knee trouble) stresses me out, and too big a garden meant for me, too much weeding and not enough enjoying. Here, I am aiming for a garden bursting with flowers and green.

    Inspired by this thread I popped into the wintry garden yesterday and did some tidying and neccessary pruning. Very enjoyable pottering about.. :-)

  • #231741
    Avatar of ninakk
    ninakk
    Member

    February: In the Garden

    I can’t wait to see photos from your new garden beds, Susan! I just can’t wrap my head around the fact that someone on the Northern hemisphere is waltzing around in t-shirt right now. It feels like an insane idea when looking at the vast whiteness and falling snow here.

    With the seeds, I had stored a barely-written-in garden diary. I ripped out the two first pages and started afresh, wrote two full pages. It was great and I put into words that I’m rather eager about my project!

    One of the gardening books I mentioned is this:
    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Country-Diary-Edwardian-Lady/dp/0718115813/
    and I think I’ll read along month by month. The drawings are enchanting.

  • #231775
    Avatar of paisley
    paisley
    Member

    February: In the Garden

    I am eager to see the progress on your garden beds, Susan.

    Saturday was a good day in the garden: the weather was nice and I got a fair amount done with the weeding/pruning/mulching. I am feeling less energetic today but I hope to make some progress with tidying up. I have to resist the urge to buy a pretty flowering plant. When I still need to sweep, weed, trim, and so forth, I can’t just buy something pretty in hopes that it will make the place look good. (The idea is the same for indoor decorations, I have found). Even though I know this intellectually, I still have to work hard to not make that purchase.

  • #231779

    February: In the Garden

    Paisley: I am taking the same approach. As much as I am tempted to run off to the garden store, I want to get all the maintenance work completed first — there is still time to plant.

    Ninakk: I read that book when it first came out but do not have a copy — think I’ll reserve it from the library. Meanwhile, I do have LOTS of garden books for knowledge and inspiration, and you have inspired me to haul them out . . .

    It rained here all day yesterday — not hard, but steady — so no work done in the garden. Maybe today. Too early to tell how much things will have dried out.

  • #231789
    Avatar of chacha1
    chacha1
    Member

    February: In the Garden

    Cleaned up the patio garden yesterday, just in time for forecast rain. Mostly reorganization, sweeping, getting rid of three plants and the old cat tree, setting up the new cat tree and putting it in place.

    Coveting a new less-obvious rug to hide the cord of the heat lamp.

  • #231807

    February: In the Garden

    Spent about 20 minutes pruning, and got another bag of yard waste topped up. Now I think I’ll sit myself down and read a gardening book for a few minutes.

  • #231827
    Avatar of lucy1965
    lucy1965
    Member

    February: In the Garden

    Shoveling.

    Again.

    *cries*

  • #232071

    February: In the Garden

    Please don’t cry, Lucy!

    Another glorious day in paradise after a couple of days of light rain. Spent an hour clipping a little here, weeding a little there, thinning all over — and filled up a bin liner before I knew it. Whilst it was raining I pulled out some books for inspiration and was taken anew with the Sunset Western Landscaping book., although I must keep reminding myself that “West” is a big area and what looks sweet in Seattle will not work in San Antonio.

    I do think I will spend another hour outside after lunch. The sunlight improves my mood.

  • #232075
    Avatar of lucy1965
    lucy1965
    Member

    February: In the Garden

    *sniffs*

    It’s mostly for effect, Susan — my sister in Dallas responded to my delight at finally finding pet-safe ice melt by saying she needed suntan lotion (!), so I’ve been sobbing and wailing at her.

    What I should do is work out what needs to happen outside before we list the house, and what would be reasonable to do once we get to Oregon: signing up for a community garden plot would probably be pushing it, but there’s a balcony . . . .

  • #232077
    Avatar of chacha1
    chacha1
    Member

    February: In the Garden

    It’s a day of hideous Santa Ana here in L.A., meaning cold desert wind blowing in tons of muck from said desert, meaning allergies. Grrr. And it’s supposed to get up to 80 degrees by Sunday. DOUBLE Grrr.

    I found and ordered a small, patterned green rug to cover up our heat-lamp cord on the patio (which has green outdoor carpet). It will replace the brown doormat currently in use, which will go out to the building’s stairwell where the management has so far neglected to put one. This particular rug oddly enough has the same name as some of DH’s cousins. Surely it was meant to be?

  • #232078
    Avatar of lucy1965
    lucy1965
    Member

    February: In the Garden

    Obviously it was fated, chacha! And 80? Blergh!

  • #232080
    Avatar of chacha1
    chacha1
    Member

    February: In the Garden

    LOL blergh indeed!

    ETA: It is winter dammit! Take your 80 degrees and bugger off!

  • #232081
    Avatar of lucy1965
    lucy1965
    Member

    February: In the Garden

    It’s 37 here; send me a few degrees?

    (I can’t wait to get to Oregon, no, really, can you tell?)

  • #232086

    February: In the Garden

    It’s 62 here with a brilliantly clear sky — but the weatherman says a cold front is coming through and it might get down to 40 tomorrow night. I don’t think we’ll have another freeze, though.

    Frustrated at the garden tools. We have THREE wwed-whackers — two electric and one gas, and all seem to be missing parts. DH might know where the missing pieces are, but I don’t. Grr. I also have two hand-held trimmers. Am trying to charge them both, and if they aren’t charged tomorrow — out they go. So — I trimmed the area next to the vegetable beds with a hedge trimmer. This is so wrong. Did enjoy another hour outside, though :)

  • #232087
    Avatar of lucy1965
    lucy1965
    Member

    February: In the Garden

    *pushes electric weed-whacker through the router to susan*

  • #232091

    February: In the Garden

    Oh! Thank you! And I will transmit the Western Landscape book so you can dream about Portland. Got it? I don’t have a very fast connection.

  • #232094
    Avatar of lucy1965
    lucy1965
    Member

    February: In the Garden

    Oh, that’s so sweet of you! Thanks!

  • #232100
    Avatar of Katt
    Katt
    Member

    February: In the Garden

    I work in Portland. I’ll just transmit our current Western Landscape to you lucy :)
    54 and cloudy. Supposed to be sunny & 60 on Friday.

  • #232102
    Avatar of Zora
    Zora
    Member

    February: In the Garden

    79 Fahrenheit in Honolulu. It’s the rainy season here. Some of the plants in my tiny back-of-condo garden like the rain, others hate it. The plumeria tree likes it dry and sunny, so has been dropping leaves in a fit of despondency. The volunteer ivy, OTOH, is growing like gangbusters. I’ve got one tiny chili pepper growing.

    I try to go out every day and do something for fifteen minutes or so. My garden is small enough that this suffices most of the time. Occasionally I do some heavy pruning, or repotting, or scattering of compost and bark chip cover.

  • #232105
    Avatar of paisley
    paisley
    Member

    February: In the Garden

    After a couple days of rain, we have clear skies today. I spent about 45 minutes weeding, pruning, sweeping, and fertilizing. My tools are all OK but the mulch that I bought while it was raining seems to have disappeared. Pretty sure I didn’t use it all. It’s OK if DH used it (have to encourage any help I get), but I don’t think that’s the case. Grr here too.

  • #232137
    Avatar of lottielot
    lottielot
    Member

    February: In the Garden

    Yesterday it was 0c and snowing, today is 9c and sunny. I can’t keep up! But given the sun hasn’t shone like this for literally months, I’m making the most of it today :) Will tidy the patio a bit, plant some lilies and plant the flowering cherry tree. Spring is hopefully nearly here, it’s been a dark and gloomy wet winter here.

  • #232140
    Avatar of Jackthetiger
    Jackthetiger
    Member

    February: In the Garden

    It is HOT, HOT, HOT in Melbourne and we have had only a few sprinkles of rain since last September. The garden is looking dried out and tired. Almost all of the annuals have now turned to sad dry twigs. I will pull them out tomorrow, but I am waiting for another month until I replant. The roses, and clivias are dry and a bit crackly, but the native iris is thriving. My veggie allotment is still going well; we had eight different veggies for dinner last night and we had grown seven of them.

    Susan, all of the people who would like a bit of your winter warmth would probably hate to feel the full blast of the Summer heat:) I really like your raised garden beds, but will the metal radiate too much heat into the soil? We have to establish new a new veggie garden and we were wondering about galvinised beds.

  • #232144

    February: In the Garden

    Jack: I don’t think the metal will be too hot — in fact, I’m hoping that it might reflect some of the heat, just as our metal roof does. Maybe I should send the plans to the county extension service and see what the master gardeners think about it, though. I spoke to the female half of the handy couple last Friday, but they haven’t called back yet — the first priority is to replace the MIL’s damaged deck so that we can sell the house, but the garden beds are next on the list. My next step is to remove the soil from the current beds. Ugh.

    Both of those battery-operated hand clippers seemed to have held a charge. Guess they just don’t perform from their charger plugs. Yeah! I really didn’t want to buy a new one. Much easier to clip with batteries that to haul out the 50-foot extension cord.

  • #232150
    Avatar of lucy1965
    lucy1965
    Member

    February: In the Garden

    lottie: I think it’s been a hard winter for everyone this time ’round; I hope your planting went well.

    susan: is the soil going to be in contact with the metal, or will there be a barrier of something like marine plywood? I’m wondering if moisture in the soil might be corrosive, is all.

    Part of my needs are apparently handled: the friend who’s been counting the days until our move is buying a house near her sister’s in SE Portland, and has informed me in no uncertain terms that I will be helping her with the garden. We’re the sorts of friends who have dinner weekly and are “aunties” to each other’s animals, something I haven’t had living here, so I’m looking forward to it.

  • #232162

    February: In the Garden

    Lucy: glad you sorted out the gardening in Portland! And Jack, you are quite right — we pay for the mild winter with a scorching summer. Last summer it was 100+ degrees almost every day — with virtually no rain for three months.

    This morning I took my newly-charged clippers and trimmed the grass edging the planting bed by the side of the house. Also sat down by the “hellstrip” next to the sidewalk and teased most of the fallen leaves out of the plants — also trimmed a bit. This afternoon I took five minutes and trimmed the Asian Jasmine lining the path on the other side of the house. Filled up a tall kitchen trash bag :)

    Things are starting to bloom! We have thousands of “bunny larkspur” that self-seed every year around the pool. A few are starting to show color, although most are still too immature. The Texas Mountain Laurel blooms are showing a bit of purple — any day now! The bulbines on the hellstrip have sent up shoots. And we always seem to have some roses — but now there are lots of them. I love spring!

  • #232175
    Avatar of lottielot
    lottielot
    Member

    February: In the Garden

    Gardening with other people is always good, Lucy :)
    Yesterday I weeded the allotment, planted garlic (late, never mind), and broad beans and lots of gladioli. I did some pruning in the garden and picked up all the tiny twigs and branches which were all over the garden after recent windy weather. I still need to plant the cherry as I ran out of time. I have to hack back around where it is going to go. Lots more to do in the garden, hope it stays nice.

  • #232176
    Avatar of Jackthetiger
    Jackthetiger
    Member

    February: In the Garden

    Lottielot, Do you grow broad beans in the summer? I will be planting seeds soon as a winter crop. How much do you love them? Pasta with broadies, pancetta and toasted almonds, broad bean dip…they are one of my favourites :)

  • #232184

    February: In the Garden

    mmmm — broadbeans!

    I think I’ll get the back yard “finished” today. Probably another two big bags of yard waste — and then (if I am lucky) I will be able to maintain it at this level with a few hours a week work in small chunks of time. Now if I can just convince DH to mow the lawn . . . . such as it is.

  • #232224
    Avatar of lottielot
    lottielot
    Member

    February: In the Garden

    Jack: I usually plant broad beans late autumn and they are ready late spring. I also plant them early spring and they are ready a bit later. We have light soil so autumn sowings do better generally. I love baby broad beans, they are awful in the shops as they’re much too big.
    Allotment: I’ve asked for more wood chip to be delivered for paths. The chap I asked is very obstructive so I told him if he doesn’t do it then I will. Hopefully that will get his rear in gear, as I know he has contacts to do it and I will have to start from scratch. He is the most dreadful person and I loathe dealing with him, particularly as I’m now in charge and he will be spreading dreadful stuff about me behind my back, as he has with everyone else down there. There aren’t many people I hate, but I detest him, horrible old bully.
    I planted a bit more stuff, it’s too cold for much right now.

  • #232238
    Avatar of lucy1965
    lucy1965
    Member

    February: In the Garden

    *looks up* Broadbeans? *makes happy “om nom nom nom” noises*

    Allotment brawls are the worst, lottie, but if you’re in charge of the place and the paths are all mucky, breeze right on past and order it — could you ask some of the older members if they know where it comes from? He’ll trash talk you whatever you do, but if everyone can see that while he’s been flapping his gums, you’ve been getting things done, if they’re decent human beings they’ll roll their eyes when newcomers mention him and say “Oh, Such-and-So’s always been a bit of a wanker; pay him no mind. Our Lottie, now, did you see what she’s done with our shed?”

  • #232257
    Avatar of chacha1
    chacha1
    Member

    February: In the Garden

    Tiny bit of cleanup and a lot of watering on the patio today. Also the application of some bonsai wire to my older potted ficus, which needs guidance.

  • #232343
    Avatar of Jackthetiger
    Jackthetiger
    Member

    February: In the Garden

    Wise words Lucy. I do not know why people throw their weight around in community groups. Our garden has a few political animals too.

    Love the baby broad beans, Lottie. They are never the same from shops.

  • #232411
    Avatar of lottielot
    lottielot
    Member

    February: In the Garden

    Lol, Lucy! I have no intention of touching the shed, though I may see to the hanging baskets at least. Most people dislike this man so few people will pay attention to him except the codgers who will moan no matter what. However, I’ve gotten over the ‘this is so annoying’ phase and have sorted out all the new plot holders to everybody’s satisfaction, so now I find his obvious meddling quite funny. I will put him firmly in his place if he oversteps the mark, and hopefully he will work that out. It’s like dealing with a Machiaevellian toddler really.
    We have gorgeous weather so I’m out this afternoon making the most of it :)

  • #232412
    Avatar of KeKeD
    KeKeD
    Member

    February: In the Garden

    At my house the wind is howling and several inches of snow is predicted for the end of the week but yesterday I saw the tips of my daffodils coming up and I am trusting Mother Nature that Spring will come soon! Just spent way too much time on a plant supply website dreaming of warmer days and colorful blossoms. I have not involved my wallet so far but I’m sure that will come soon enough.

  • #232414

    February: In the Garden

    KeKeD: I’m resisting plants, too. I might weaken today, though . . . .

  • #232422

    February: In the Garden

    I succumbed to a visit to the Garden Center — told myself it was just research, but — get real. I bought four plants:
    (1) A Tasmanian flax lily which looks quite lovely and as it spreads by rhizomes may fill up the planting bed in the front of the house.
    (2) Mexican honeysuckle: lovely orange flowers and should be evergreen here unless there’s a real hard freeze
    (3) Firecracker plant: DH expressed admiration for this when we passed plantings of it in Galveston. It’s a Cuphea, and I’ve had luck with my bat-faced cuphea. It’s a fun plant.
    (4) Artesmia: To fill an empty spavce in a planting bed in the back yard next to the house.

    I also have been working a bit in the front yard — leaves and acorns, acorns and leaves. Should fill up another big bin liner by days end. I’m getting to the point where I have to winkle the leaves out of the Asian jasmine groundcover, so not too much fun.

    And it’s another beautiful day in the neighborhood.

    Susan

  • #232424
    Avatar of chacha1
    chacha1
    Member

    February: In the Garden

    I am liking my uncluttered patio so well that I have decided to replace an existing set of plants with different plants, so I can increase flowers and hummingbird appeal without adding more than one new container.

    I have a big pot with an anthurium and a cymbidium cohabiting. They are going to go into the volcano in favor of fuschias.

    An even bigger pot has a peace lily and a money tree cohabiting. They have been fairly unrewarding for quite a while and I am cogitating on divorcing them. If forced to choose between any of the four named plants, I would keep the anthurium because of its red flowers, but it’s not big enough to make an impact on its own. Maybe I should find it a different companion.

    Was thinking of bringing one of my plants in to the office, but after decluttering and rearranging my desk I am not sure I want another one in here. Though if I annex part of the vacant space beside me I could add one without impinging on my desk space. Hmmm.

  • #232437
    Avatar of paisley
    paisley
    Member

    February: In the Garden

    I didn’t get too much done on Saturday, but I got a lot of gardening done on Sunday. There has been a lot of weeding, trimming, fertilizing, and mulching going on here. Yesterday (Monday) was rainy, so everything should now be well watered. Today is beautiful, and I would like to get outside to do more, but I have too many other indoor requirements. Maybe later in the day I can do 15 or 20 minutes.

    I am still resisting the urge to buy plants. They look so gorgeous at the plant center. So far, just more mulch… it won’t be long, though.

  • #232462

    February: In the Garden

    I succumbed to a second garden center stop today and purchased three coreopsis, two Mexican maiden grasses and a Cape Honeysuckle. I’ll be digging some holes tomorrow!

    I did end up filling another bin liner from the front yard — leaves and acorns.

    Ran into the handy couple at the grocery store last night and they are overbooked — don’t think they can get to my vegetable re-design until May. Now I have to decide whether to plant the current beds or just let it slide this year . . .

  • #232466

    February: In the Garden

    it’s exciting to read about the progress here! I had to give up my allotment last year when I was sick, but I still have potted herbs and flowers and small beds at the patio.
    I thought I’d be participating more here, but apparently I could keep up with paper or plants, but not both! Today, though, I potted the one remaining houseplant that needed it. I used a quart-sized yogurt container–it was going to be hidden in the pretty ceramic pot I already had, so I just put some holes in the bottom of a container I’d have thrown out. :)
    Maybe tomorrow I’ll get to the patio plants.

  • #232488
    Avatar of chacha1
    chacha1
    Member

    February: In the Garden

    susanintexas, isn’t there anybody else in your town who does that kind of work??

    I redesigned my patio garden (in my head) yesterday and then did it all over again this morning. The layout I have now is pleasing but as I sipped my tea and looked it over today, I realized I am right – it’s the plants that are “wrong.”

    I’ve had some of these for more than ten years. They are just innocuous houseplants, nothing special, and have done their duty. Time to trade up.

  • #232489

    February: In the Garden

    chacha: I’m sure there is, but I trust these folks to do it right for a good price. We have not had good luck with others. I’m willing to wait.

    Got in about 20 minutes raking this morning before it started raining. Sigh.

  • #232535

    February: In the Garden

    Got six of the new plants planted and watered in — the beds next to the house in the back yard look good! Also re-connected the hoses (the spigots were covered to prevent winter freezes, which isn’t going to happen now.) That spigot in the back leaks badly — I think I am going to pressure DH to get it fixed this year. If it were up to me I’d call a plumber, but he’s been insisting for YEARS that he will fix it himself.

    It rained again last night, so am hoping it dries up a bit so I can work some more when I get back from the book group. Rain is good, but it sure puts a crimp in my plans.

  • #232536
    Avatar of paisley
    paisley
    Member

    February: In the Garden

    Rain is wreaking havoc on my garden plans. If I could have chosen, I would prefer to get all this rain after I finished my pruning, clean-up, and fertilizing. But nobody consulted me….

  • #232541

    February: In the Garden

    My three new bare root roses have sprouted leaves. I covered them last night when heavy frost was expected. Snowflakes (bulbs), miniature blue hyacinths, miniature daffodils and African daisies are in bloom in the front yard borders. Older daffodils are 4-6 inches high; the paperwhites bloomed between late November and mid January.

  • #232562
    Avatar of chacha1
    chacha1
    Member

    February: In the Garden

    My crafty goddess friend (FoffShop on Etsy) has agreed to give my two pots of dracaenas a new home on *her* patio. Yay!

    Gusty winds last night had my reed fencing and mirrors in disarray this morning. Boo! Fixed that with some bonsai wire.

  • #232617

    February: In the Garden

    watered and tidied all my patio pots. repotted the oregano; trimmed back the parsley, chives, and thyme. need to plant some basil and cilantro.

    The beds are well established (5+ years) and the shrubs and groundcover don’t need watering, though I do need to clip/prune to make them tidy. I have to move by the end of summer (maybe sooner), and then maintenance will raze my plantings, so I decided not to invest any time or effort in them this season. Feels odd not to be planting this time of year, but I guess I just uncluttered those mental obligations–or “detached” myself, as someone mentioned on another thread today.

  • #232654
    Avatar of djk
    djk
    Member

    February: In the Garden

    And here it’s snowing. Again.

  • #232660
    Avatar of lucy1965
    lucy1965
    Member

    February: In the Garden

    Here, too. *sits by djk, offers tea*

  • #232663
    Avatar of djk
    djk
    Member

    February: In the Garden

    *delicately takes one lump, passes the scones*

  • #232676
    Avatar of chacha1
    chacha1
    Member

    February: In the Garden

    My new little green patio rug arrived; this morning I put the two old doormat devices out in the building’s back stairwell. MUCH BETTER.

  • #232725

    February: In the Garden

    Snow! I want snow — next year.

    Spent a couple of hours in the front yard today — I am so sick of leaves and acorns. Filled up another bag and a half. The trash can is full and there are bags stacked up. I feel like I have everything raked and pruned that needs to be raked and pruned to ensure things will grow as they are intended to. Everything else is cosmetic.

    The next garden project is to disassemble the current vegetable bed, starting by moving out the dirt. I’ll start that — little by little — next week. DH wants to re-use the rr ties as edging for the large bed circling the pool. Sigh.

  • #232737

    February: In the Garden

    a new version of garden uncluttering for me: I just put an ad on craigslist for three of my shrubs and a few smaller things. I’m not asking for much $, but whoever takes them has to dig them up!
    I’ll prune the shrubs and vines I can see from inside, but I’m no longer invested in the shrubs on the other side, and they can go whenever.

  • #232884
    Avatar of paisley
    paisley
    Member

    February: In the Garden

    We had wonderful weather this weekend. I accomplished quite a bit of cleaning up, raking, pruning, etc. I am beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel in the back yard. The front has barely been started…

  • #232955

    February: In the Garden

    You are an inspiration, paisley. We are having a windstorm today, so no gardening. The gust have been up to 40 mph and some areas in the city have lost their electricity. Our neighborhood looks fine so far . . . and just as I typed that I heard a huge crash. A big section of our back fence just toppled over. Oops.

  • #233007
    Avatar of lottielot
    lottielot
    Member

    February: In the Garden

    Oh dear, susan! Too cold to be out for long here, hope it warms up soon.

  • #233009
    Avatar of lucy1965
    lucy1965
    Member

    February: In the Garden

    Go, paisley, go!

    susan, keep your head down!

    DH and my best friend are making me laugh: he was very concerned that I have cuttings from the roses in the front garden, while I patiently explained that they were either antiques or David Austins I had planted myself, and all but one were far too big for apartment gardening. Then BF said “You’re going to be right down the road from this place; you don’t need cuttings.”

    And I took a look at the site and waved my spare money good-bye for the foreseeable future.

  • #233010

    February: In the Garden

    oooooh — Roses!

    According to the newspaper the winds were up to 50MPH yesterday. Glad all we lost is our fence. Others lost roofs.

    Spent about 45 minutes in the garden today planting the last 4 of the new plants I bought. Two of the holes were toughies to dig! Everything is planted and watered in now, and I even fertilized a bit. Now off to a staff meeting and maybe some more gardening later in the afternoon.

  • #233011
    Avatar of Ella
    Ella
    Member

    February: In the Garden

    Susan: Yikes, phone the handy couple quick! I wouldn’t even bother consulting your DH.

    Oops, just noticed that you posted the pic 19 hours ago. I hope everything is back safe and steady by now?

  • #233021
    Avatar of s
    s
    Member

    February: In the Garden

    At least it’s not a view of the messy neighbors!

    Hard to believe it’s a snow blizzard in the Midwest.

  • #233041
    Avatar of Barbs
    Barbs
    Member

    February: In the Garden

    We just got hit with Snowpocalypse II this morning. I have been decluttering snow from the driveway. We are running out of places to put it. :)

  • #233050

    February: In the Garden

    OMG, Barbs. Hang in there! I’m off to Nashville Thursday and there is a 50% chance of snow. I’m worried — I may have to buy a coat.

  • #233059
    Avatar of irishbell
    irishbell
    Member

    February: In the Garden

    Ice, sleet and snow is what’s in my gardens, still!

  • #233065
    Avatar of Sky
    Sky
    Member

    February: In the Garden

    After the rain stopped and it was 73 degrees, I pruned my rose bushes back, blew out the garage and picked up all the sticks and pine cones in the yard.

  • #233067
    Avatar of chacha1
    chacha1
    Member

    February: In the Garden

    Come the revolution, I think I’ll plant me a hedge of rosa gallica or rosa rugosa (or both) for the hips. I doubt we’ll have so much land that I’ll want to devote any to a plant that ONLY provides flowers. :-)

  • #233134

    February: In the Garden

    Watered the new plants, picked up a bit of yard waste and moved 15 gallons of the garden bed soil to a new location. Plan on doing a little of this every day so I don’t get overwhelmed.

  • #233170
    Avatar of paisley
    paisley
    Member

    February: In the Garden

    That’s some gust of wind, taking down your fence, SIT. I hope you like those neighbors. Did your new plants all survive the wind? It was windy here earlier in the week too, so no work done. I hate looking at the backyard when it is unfinished, but I have had some family obligations that have kept me away from the yard today. I expect I will be able to get back to it on Saturday. There is an outside chance of a short freeze over the weekend, so I really do have to get all the mulching done. Best of luck moving the garden soil– that can be tiring.

  • #233175

    February: In the Garden

    All our plants survived, Paisley — just a few twigs blown off the trees. I’ll be out of town for four days, so the garden in on its own. Freeze? Oh no!

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.