- Red Bridges Home
- I am a 40 something, married, mother of two boys who loves gardening, life, and living in Oklahoma. I write two different blogs, one on ministry work and life Redemption's Heart and one on gardening in Oklahoma Busted Stick Gardens Thank you for visiting my page.
Friday, February 27, 2009
I attacked my garden plans last years with visions of beauty, fullness, and completion. I purchased whole garden packages fully expecting them to fill in the first year. Classic rookie mistake. It actually takes about three years for perennial gardens to fill in. Lesson learned. This year, I will invest in a few more perennials and fill the rest of the spots in with annuals.
I still had some nice flowers though. My newest side garden was filled with carnations, black eyed susans, lilly of the valley, sedem, and coral bells. I was pleasantly surprised by the results.
This is my Beauty of Moscow Lilac. I knew she wouldn't bloom last year, but she held up quite good. I'm looking forward to watching her mature.
My hard drive crashed over the winter and I lost a lot of my garden photos. So, I won't be blogging much about last year after all. I do however still have some of my closeups. The garden did fill in pretty well by fall and should do really well this coming year.
We also added a Japanese Maple to the mix, but he really hated this sunny spot and we had to move it to a more shaded area in front of our porch.
This fall I added my tulips, Rose of Sharon Bushes, Lillies, and more daisies. I'm looking forward to seeing those results come Spring and Summer as well.
Monday, February 23, 2009
It turns out that losing three of my four rosebushes wasn't the end of the world. I still have a beautiful climber in the back yard, and I got to go shopping. There is a local nursery in town that supports people with developmental disabilities. They run the nursery and the money earned there, goes back to support job training, housing, and whatnot.
My roses died close to the end of planting season in Tulsa, so the nurseries were pretty picked over. I was however able to find lavender, a fir tree, and a beautiful yellow forsynthia bush as well as a barberry bush. I then moved some of my Iris's from my back yard and added several annual pieces, like sweet potato vine, for color.
I found this beautiful plant at Westlake Ace Hardware on Memorial Day weekend. They had a close out on thier potted arrangements. It turned out to do really well in the heat and looked great with the rest of my plants, but it didn't come with a lable and I have no idea what it is. I'll take my garden scrapbook with me this Spring while I shop around so that I can lable it and know what to buy.
With all of the sandy loam and sawdust left behind from my pine trees - ants moved into the new territory. I don't like ants and after we sprayed the tar out of the garden,I started putting in plugs to keep them away. The plugs worked.
I let my new bed grow for the season while I focused in on building up my other new garden spots. The results ended up a little "over done" by the end of summer, but for a first year garden, it really wasn't that bad. Not a bad second start. I spent my fall pulling out the annuals, trimming back the lavender and pitching the barberry bush (it died under the vine - my bad). I've added several new perenial pieces from SpringHill Nursery and I'm looking forward to seeing what blooms this Spring.
Sitting to the side, in the white pot is a magnolia "bush" I also purchased in the Spring - I really need to stay from on line catalogs. I didn't read the small print and the "bush" arrived as a bare root plant that will require several years to mature.
This was another one of my "oopsies" last year. I thought I was buying THIS.
Spring Hill showed it as part of a "sunny garden spot foundation garden set" that can be purchased as a group and I thought it would be perfect in front of our living room window.
I'm fortunate to have a husband who likes to read the small print and dig in the yard from time to time. While we were planting the new garden set, he read the little box this root came in. It turns out my cute little bush grows to a height of ten feet.
THAT - will not fit in front of our living room window. See what I mean?
I added building out a new bed to my fall clean up and plantings. I wasn't planning on doing that yet - I was going to build those over the winter and plant in the Spring, but she needed a home and my South fence needed some covering, so that is where we put her.
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
Losing all three of my pine trees out front left my yard looking more than a little sad. The sun is strong in Oklahoma and my house faces East. I thought the gaping hole left by my trees would be the perfect spot for a rose garden.
Building this garden took work, but wasn't quite as difficult as I had thought. Friends of ours had just purchased a home in the hills of Keystone Lake and had rocks they were digging out of their yard - two wrongs don't make a right. They learned that those rocks are what kept the dirt in place, and I learned moving roses wasn't very bright.
Being the homicidal horticulturist in denial, I made a lot of rookie mistakes. I built the edging just fine. Found the right mixture of black dirt, compost and fertilizer, but do you notice that my roses are in bloom? I moved them without pruning them. I also moved them without checking for disease. Turns out, my roses had fireblight. I'm not sure how it started, but one went down and took the rest with them.
This is the last rose I saw before I had to dig out my new bed and start again.
Posted by Red Bridges Home at 9:08 AM
Monday, February 16, 2009
I couldn't complain really. About the storm I mean. Tens of thousands of people were without heat, electricity and water for weeks. We were lucky because even though we lost power, we had a fireplace and we had hot water. Clean hot water, which is more than a lot of people.
Friends with chainsaws helped other friends remove debris. Friend's with power let other friends stay with them. We spent the first three days at home, huddled up in front of our fireplace, and cooking on our gas grill, thinking this will pass in a day or two. We were wrong. By the third day we stayed with my Dad, he had power.
These aren't my photos - but if you want to see more about how widespread the impact was and how hard American Electric Power worked during this time period - see their link.
Wednesday, February 4, 2009
My yard was at one time full of trees, shade, flowers and while not perfect landscaping, and least everything was living. Then we had an ice storm.
The winter storm of 2007 killed every tree and bush I owned except my maple.
I had Bradford Pears, Pin Oaks, Pine Trees, Azeala's, and roses. I was able to spare the roses for about six months, then they developed fireblight and that ended that.
We spent the first day of the ice storm listening to the gunshot sound of trees breaking throughout our neighborhood. By the time it was over my yard, both front and back were burried deep in branches.
My pin oak seen above split, one section going west, and the other north. We were able to save one fence, but not the other.
The beautiful mess below was my bradford. That was my favorite tree as it provided shade and beautiful flowers in the Spring. Our rabbit's hutch rested under this tree. And at 4 am, Jeff and I made what we call today, "The great rabbit rescue." I followed him with a lit candle (our power was out) to get Oreo out from under the collapsing tree. The ice had stripped the branches of my bradford like a banana. What is really neat about this particular tree though was once we got underneath, we discovered a cave like atmosphere. The branches were bent down and around the hutch, protected it from the wind and snow. Oreo was rescued safe and sound.
I'm not sure what went wrong with this shot, but that is the rest of my back yard covered in maple and bradford branches. The debris was so deep, front and back, that we actually had to hire someone (at three times the going rate) to clear it out for us. Fortunately electrical lines are burried in my neighborhood which made clean up a lot easier.
Having shade in Oklahoma is a must have. The summer sun kills lawns and makes growing things very difficult. My shaded and green yard, is no more.
I spent most of the Spring, planning, planting and digging out my new gardens.
The ice storm turned into a blessing. Because now I'm one year closer to having a yard that is more colorful and creative than I ever imagined.
I'll post the steps we took for Phase One, and then keep you posted on our plans for 2009.
My yard won't be Better Homes and Gardens beautiful yet, but it'll get there. It'll just take time.