It was a VERY productive month here at the Glamorous Homestead. We are making strides to correct the results of our landscape contractor's unprofessional behavior, tweaking the plans just a bit for aesthetics and new realities, and have experienced a pleasant side effect.
I discussed some of the problems we need to remedy in the previous post, so I won't discuss them in detail here. Upon closer inspection of the landscape, I did discover that we had 9 blackberry plants (3 groups of three) after all, but one grouping was in the wrong spot. We had already planted blackberries (where blackberries needed to be) in an empty section. Now we have to decide whether to transplant the 3 blueberries out of that spot and put in the plants that belong.
My husband decided that we should dig a dry creek bed at a low spot in the landscape to keep the plants there from becoming waterlogged. We have clay soil with a good amount of rock, so we have rocks piled up that were removed when digging holes for plants. They are different sizes, anywhere from 4-12 inches long, and perfect for this purpose. The other day he removed ferns growing wild on the property planted them near the bed. Hey, he's brains, brawn, and artistry! The little creek bed is only a few feet long, but the idea is to continue to add to it, digging down just a few inches and letting the flow of the water do the rest.
My husband's masterpiece
We put in two azaleas and one blueberry on the side of the house where the ELP indicated three blueberries. This is to add evergreen interest, as everything else on that side (hostas and other perennials) dies back entirely in the winter. The same substitution will be made elsewhere, taking the Nanking Cherry count from 6 down to three.
We have settled on where to put the raised bed annual garden. This will require us to move one of the apple trees, which will cast too much afternoon shade. We also have to have a few poplar trees removed for the same reason. It looks like we will get lots of mulch out of the deal.
My husband has taken more of an interest in understanding why the ELP put certain plants together and what these new plants we now have can do. Having to deal with planting is preventing him from getting to his other tasks, like power washing, staining, and installing the shelves in our shed. The upside is that all this manual labor has caused him to shed a few pounds and he can now fit into a polo shirt that he could not wear last Spring. I really appreciate him getting out there with me, I am constantly amazed at how quickly he can dig holes and how much more easily he can move bags of topsoil and wheelbarrows full of clay. I also would not have thought to simply cut an outlet into that bed to let out the excess water.
In the last week we have planted rosemary, sorrel, lemon balm, and various mints. We have dug up plants in the beds to properly place them 6-24 inches away to their proper place. And the latest azaleas we put in are showing off their pretty white flowers.
Elsewhere in the landscape, the hostas I planted years ago are officially large, a surviving alpine strawberry plant is busily producing berries, my lemon balm and apple mint continues to spread, and my jostaberry plants finally. have. berries!
This "yellow wonder" alpine strawberry survives at the corner of the house. It is a remnant of my early attempts at landscaping and is not on the new plan. I do have a spot for it as the ELP included this variety of strawberry.
I didn't want to wait for the raised beds to be completed to grow some summer crops. After all, that is a multi-step project that could take time. Its completion could easily take until mid-summer or later. I have five varieties of tomatoes, two kinds of hot peppers, basil and strawberries on the deck. I have to move them around a bit so that they get the full six hours, but they are growing and doing well.
Whew! What's growing with you?