The Shady Porch: Tis the Season to Garden and Landscape

5.02.2014

Tis the Season to Garden and Landscape

Since spring has finally arrived in earnest - and not in date only - we've gone full-tilt into lawn and garden mode. We have some pretty exciting goals for the season, and I wanted to share them with you...as well as some of the beautiful blooms we're already enjoying.
 
Tis the season...to garden & landscape
'Tis the season...to garden & landscape


First, we found a fire pit on sale at the end of last summer. We will install it this spring by setting the fire bowl upon the top of a circle of landscaping bricks that have been set into a bed of pea pebbles. Incorporating the stones and the gravel will make the pit safer while extending its life and usefulness. 
Supplies for our backyard fire pit. Fire bowl, landscaping stones and pebbles.
Supplies for our backyard fire pit - Fire bowl, landscaping stones and pea pebbles.
We had a landscaper stop by to see what could be done about our sloped garden. Surprisingly, he said our biggest problem was a water cherry tree on the hill behind the garden. The tree, he said,  was stealing most of the water from the garden. He also pointed out that the location of the tree was blocking most of the direct sunlight through the middle of the day. We immediately removed the tree which completely revamped how our hill looks, and now we have great supplies of cherry wood for the fire pit and the hubby's smoker. (This is in addition to the apple already drying from the fall trimming of the apple tree. We are expecting some fragrant summer fires and some awesome summer smoking!) 
He also complimented our terracing and said that the only thing he would suggest was the addition of some drain pipe to capture any runoff so that the garden would become almost self-watering. So we are just about ready to put in the garden. 

Water cherry wood and apple wood from recent removal and trimmings.
Water cherry wood and apple wood from recent removal and trimmings...
perfect for the new fire pit!

The landscaper surprised us with a declaration that we have a grub problem. I think we failed to spot it since we have Zoysia grass and a dog. We thought the slow-greening nature of the Zoysia and the locations of Sophie's (our dog) repeat 'business' operations were the causes of the hay-colored patches of lawn this time of year; the landscaper said those factors are deceptively similar in appearance to grub damage. Looking back, we should have known since last year because we kept marveling at the number of Japanese beetles there were. Hopefully, this will be an easy fix. 

A landscaper cleared Sophie of all blame, diagnosing our tan grass spots as a grub infestation!
A landscaper cleared Sophie of all blame, diagnosing our tan grass spots as a grub infestation!  
Finally, many of the seedlings of both vegetables and flowers are ready for planting. We close off our back porch in plastic each Fall creating a grow room and it really helps us get a jump start on our garden.  

Vegetable seedlings
Vegetable seedlings

Here's whats popping up around the Shady Porch this spring...

Purple Bearded Iris
Purple Bearded Iris

 
Purple Bearded Iris
Purple Bearded Iris

Baby's Breath
Baby's Breath


Wild flowers on our hill
Wild flowers on our hill

Azaleas
Azaleas

Lilac bush
Lilac bush

Flowering Dogwood (next door neighbor's tree)

Flowering Dogwood (next door neighbor's tree)


Flowering Dogwood

Flowering Dogwood


A lonely Crocus
A lonely Crocus
Here's some garden updates from past seasons...


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