Saturday, June 20, 2015

How does your garden grow - June edition

Apparently, gardens grow a bit better when they are actually planted. Who knew?

A couple of weeks back, the Mr. Bowling Ball arborvitae went in the front bed, along with the Bloomerang Lilac. All seemed to be doing well, thanks to the nearly daily rain we've been having. They looked, however, as if they were gradually becoming just a tiny bit dehydrated. As I've mentioned, the overhang of the roof at the front of the condo is abnormally deep, so only the front six inches of a three foot deep bed gets direct rain.

In addition, the Knock Out rose was still in its container, sitting in the middle of the patio, where it has the advantage of getting a lot of water when it rains. It's been blooming continuously, but was starting to look a bit leggy, and pretty much cried out in plant-language "put me in the big container, fool, so my roots can spread out!". Who am I to ignore a plant's tirade?

Besides, the covers were still on the table and settee/deck was time to get to work.

Yesterday would have been a perfect outdoor day, but it didn't happen (and why should I make this easy on myself?). Today the forecast called for a high in the low eighties, with quite a bit of humidity. Ugh. So I toddled outside just before 8 a.m. this morning, planning to do what I could before it got too hot/humid.

For all that I was outside just over an hour, I managed to accomplish exactly what (little) I intended to do. The front bed, with the new small bushes and the lilac, has been thoroughly watered, using a small, cheap little sprinkler head picked up this year. It let me get other things done while the water ran, though keeping the spray low enough not to water the sidewalk meant the bed had to be done in two sections (and the entire bed is only about six to seven feet wide).

The rose is finally planted in one of the urns. Those knock out roses are a hardy bunch. It's gotten plenty of water (it's rained pretty much every day for over a week), but it was obvious it felt a bit pot bound. Still, it has been blooming continuously.

The hydrangea that I thought didn't survive the winter, did survive and needed a trim. The canes from the previous year die off, and you get all new growth the next year. It got a nice pruning and a bucketful of water, to boot.

A general clean up was in order. Dumping out the dirt from last year's hanging baskets, emptying out into the urns and front bed the tail end of not one, but two 2.2 cubic yard bags of dirt, pulling the covers off the furniture, folding them and stowing them in the (now uncovered) bench deck box...all done.

It doesn't sound like much (and really wasn't), but it was about all I had energy for at one time. Not to mention it just kept getting warmer.

Yet to do: Mulch the front bed. Get a plant for the shepherd's hook. Get a plant for the last urn (blazing sun until about 1 p.m., then full shade - suggestions?). Sweep the entire patio (the biggest tree between our two rows of condos is one that creates those lovely "whirlybirds" - gah).

That can all be done after church tomorrow, which is supposed to be a "nice" day - 75 and sunny.

Depending on how I feel, I may try out the pressure washer on the patio tomorrow. The patio has always been a bit grungy, with a little dirt embedded in the concrete. Washing should help. There are a number of mossy/mildewy looking spots, so I've picked up a gallon of Wet and Forget to mix up and spray. Who doesn't love a product that you can spray and then ignore as it works? Safe around plants, too.

By this time next week, the new chairs should be out, the grill brought up from the basement and the new umbrella with its LED lights firmly in its holder. Probably early than next weekend; Wednesday through Friday look to be pretty nice days, and it would be great to have dinner outside, and read by the light of the LEDs.

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