Sigh. I can't seem to catch a break on the outside stuff.
This Saturday I went a bit crazy and did all the ordering of plants to (finally, finally) finish up putting things in the front bed and the patio.
Two of the bushes planted last year are dead. Not mostly dead, but completely dead. For the three weeks after they were planted we had rain and more rain. What I didn't know was that the eaves' overhang was so deep, they essentially got no water during that (why should I water? It just keeps raining!) period.
The third looks a bit tired, but at least it's more green than brown.
The hydrangea, after doing so well through the summer, decided that subzero temperatures for weeks on end during the winter were too much to endure, and it gave up the ghost.
At last, I 've come up with a final plan to fix things, and this year, unlike last summer's medication mixing induced near-coma, I have enough zip to follow through.
Front bed - Replace the three Mr. Bowling Ball bushes, moving all three closer to the front of the bed (therefore more likely to catch any rain). To the left of the water spigot, plant a reblooming lilac bush, not just for the flowers, but for the leaves, which are nice looking on their own. Move the tall shepherd's hook to the right of the spigot, to be joined by the short hook that is currently in one of the urns on the patio. At some point I'll make a trip to the local garden center for a couple of small-to-medium sized hanging plants
Patio - Replace the hydrangea, though moving it to the urn that is partially in the shade. This is necessary because I 'm putting a knockout rose in the original urn - they need more sun than the hydrangea. The third urn is mostly in the shade, and will get some pretty little violas, which in our climate are annuals.
The maintenance - Step one, lay down a thick layer of mulch in both the front bed and in the urns. Step two, water every other day, regardless of rainfall.
I've done the plants, other than the hanging ones, by internet order, mostly because a couple of them (the strawberry sundae hydrangea and the reblooming lilac) are difficult to find locally. The bushes and lilac are coming from Home Depot, with an estimated delivery date of May 11 -13. That was perfect, as it gave me the weekend to pick up a couple extra bags of dirt and the mulch, and to clean/move hooks/loosen soil and do some other prep work, so that as soon as the plants arrived, I could just drop them in.
Home Depot, bless their efficient little hearts, decided to ship the lilac early, and it should arrive today.
Before I'm ready.
When I already have a mess of things to do.
When it is supposed to get up to eighty degrees.
Friday's forecast says "storms & showers later" - what time is later? Before or after sunset? Saturday is craft day, so I'll have almost no time to prep the ground. Sunday says showers again.
I can see me digging away in the rain, just to get this thing in the ground so it stands a chance of living.
Putting this plan out there will help me follow through, right? If I get a chance between raindrops, I'll take pictures of the sad patio and bed and post them.
One question for the vast internet (and my vastly smaller readership) - if I put a small bird feeder on the patio, what shall I fill it with? Just oiled sunflower seeds, or a mix, or something else? Some cardinals nest nearby, and we've some non-robin songbirds as well (I haven't yet been able to identify what they are by their songs, but give me time).