About Me

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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.

Monday, March 30, 2009

My Southwest Gate

This is the section I've been spending most of my time on before the snow. The city has right-of-way in the far back corner. There are cable and gas lines running through there and I'm not allowed to dig. So, I'm building up. I have three new beds here and will have Morning Glories over the trellis. The beds closest to the trellis contain hostas, a Beauty of Moscow, forget-me-nots, Monardas, Coral Bells, and a green envy cone flower. I can't wait to see that they do.

My magnolia bloomed this Spring. She looks funny with just one branch and one clump of flowers. I'm hoping she'll really grow up this year.

This is how she looked when I got her last year. I think there is hope.

Till next time.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Mother Nature's Last Hurrah

Thunderstorms and lightening kept me awake most of last night. They've subsided and now we have.... snow... big white fluffy flakes of madness. It's snowing sideways here in Broken Arrow. My pictures aren't really doing the beauty of it all justice. We have snow here, but not like this.

If I look out my living room window, I can see the Northern wind blowing the snow sideways across my yard. It's the kind of snow fall I would expect to see in Denver or Syracuse, but rarely Tulsa.

This is a picture I just took of my SE garden. My beds are created, and planted, buried underneath this white blanket are hostas, ostrich plumb ferns, lung wort, Canterbury bells, and forget me nots. There is a red twig dogwood towards the front of it. I'm hoping it provides a nice screen, hiding the utility boxes in the back. I'm almost ready to replace the temporary fencing you see here, with a more permanent structure.

There will be Morning Glories climbing the trellis, as well as a path underneath. This will be a quiet resting place. A room for peace and shade. But for today, it's blanketed by mother nature as winter makes one last hurrah in Broken Arrow.

Friday, March 27, 2009

A Spring Update

I had great visions of building out all of my new beds over the winter - getting them ready for my Spring plants. What was I thinking? Tulsa usually has enough warmish weather during our winters to allow for such planning. Not this year. Either my thermostat has severely changed or it really was too cold to be working outside.

None the less, I thought I'd offer ya'll a peak at what I've been doing over the past two weeks. This is just part of it. I'll post more on Monday.

My plants arrived from Spring Hill two weeks early. Being on the northern cusp of my zone, I know my weather. Even though it felt like Spring, mother nature had one last hurrah up her sleeve.

Undaunted - and desperate to put my new babies in the ground, lest they die on my front porch, I set out to build the four garden beds that I was supposed to build out over the winter.

One of my new beds. This new bed is located directly over the spot where our Bradford Pear resided prior to the ice storm of 2007. I let that part of my yard rest for a full season before building out anything new.

Going through my gardening journal, I noticed that I have nothing yellow. This bed fixes that. My Golden Chain Tree arrived while I was in Nashville two weeks ago, and she really needed a place to belong. The bed was not ready when she arrived. Oklahoma does not have black dirt. I'm learning as well that I can not simply dig a hole and plant a bush. I have to "build" my beds. This bed is built up with cotton burr compost, top soil, and sandy loam for drainage.

A thoughtful note here: While black dirt smells wonderful back home in NY, clean and crisp. Created black dirt made with compost - does not.

These two shots are part of my new "wall." Built out on either side of our old swingset, I have three hedge roses - promised to grow five feet tall.

At the far of of this shot you can see the boxes that I am trying to hide her. Also planted at the end of these roses is a Freedom Rose - that grows about 10 feet tall. I thought that would make a good focal point for the end of the row.

The picture below is my Blue Wisteria vine. I am planning on training her up the swing set. Next year we will turn the set into a pegoda - by extending it either forward or backwards depending on where the city will let us dig. For now, I'll leave it alone and see what the wisteria does.

I was right about Mother Nature - today's low is in the low 30's and they are predicting ice rain mixed with snow. I mulched my beds and I'm hoping for the best.

More to come...

Sunday, March 22, 2009

haven't posted in a while

I'm sorry that I haven't posted in a while. I've actually been busy in the garden, building new beds and getting things arranged.

I will be back on line in a week - so look for new updates, flowers and excitement soon.


Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Heading Out Doors

It is 76 degrees out today. I am heading out doors and playing in the dirt. I can wait to see what is blooming.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Planning for Winter in March

Spring doesn't officially start for another two weeks, but it is 79 degrees here today. I'm climbing out of my skin trying to resist the impulse to plant stuff that I know cannot handle the frost that will come next week. My sunny spot in my house is almost ready and next year I will be able to start things from seed, just not this year. This year, I have to wait and purchase whole plants.

I'm still trying to figure out my "zone." Some maps show me in 6, others show me in 7. I'm apparently on the cusp of both.

My gardens look great in the Spring and Summer with some nice fall interest as well, but in the winter? Even here, I have nadda. Everything is dormant, there is no color, not contrast. B-O-R-I-N-G. I used to have pine trees and they stayed green, but boy did I miss that this year. So, in looking for color for my gardens I came across two beauties I could not resist.

This wonderfully looking specimen is called - Beni Kaze Japanese Forest Grass
(Photo Credit: Spring Hill Nursery)

Botanical Name: Hakonechloa macra 'Beni-kaze'
Form: Herbaceous perennial
Sun Exposure: Partial Shade/Full Sun
Height/Habit: 2 - 3'
Spread: 2 - 3'
Spacing: 2 - 4'
Hardiness Zone: Zones 5 - 9
Foliage Type: Mounds of arching linear green leaves which turn to rich red tones in fall.
Flower Form: Pale green spikelets. Not significant.
Flower Color: Green
Flowering Date: Late summer.
Planting Requirements: Tolerates a light shade without compromising the brilliant fall color.
Soil Requirements: Well drained, fertile, humus rich soil.
Growth Rate: Moderate.

Unique Characteristics: Flowing mound of green grass blades that turn a brilliant red for the fall season. Great for cascading over a bank or retaining wall. Tolerates a light shade area without compromising on the great fall color. Compliments most broad leaf plants nicely in the landscape setting.
Pruning: Cut to base in late winter or early spring.
Additional Information: Beni-kaze translates to "red wind". Describes its flowing nature and beautiful fall color.

I'll admit, there is nothing wrong with owning these - I'm just bored with it being my only "grass" planting. This one is mature enough to divide and place in other spots in my garden. Places where I have Spring and Summer color and need some green.

My other colorful beauty is the Red Twig Dogwood

(Photo Credit: Spring Hill Nursery)

Like I said, my yard has zero color in the winter. I need something pretty.

Botanical Name: Cornus alba 'Argenteo-Marginata'
Form: Deciduous woody shrub
Sun Exposure: Partial Shade/Full Sun
Height/Habit: 5 - 8'
Spread: 5 - 8'
Spacing: 6 - 10'
Hardiness Zone: Zones 3 - 8
Foliage Type: Variegated green and cream ovate to elliptic leaves.
Flower Form: Small starry flowers form 1 1/2 - 2" flat topped cymes, insignificant.
Flower Color: Yellowish white
Flowering Date: Spring
Planting Requirements: Best coloration in full sun.
Soil Requirements: Well drained, but adaptable to a wide range of soils.
Growth Rate: Moderate to fast.
Unique Characteristics: An old fashioned favorite that is still one of the best shrubs for year round appeal. Attractive variegated cream and green foliage all growing season followed by brilliant red stems that last all winter. Provides great color against a snowy backdrop or used indoors as an accent in cut-flower arrangements.
Pruning: Best coloration on new wood. Prune out 1/3 to 1/2 of old wood each year.
Time of Pruning: Late winter.

PLANT DESCRIPTIONS ARE COURTESY OF SPRINGHILLNURSERY.COM I'm using these until I learn what means what and how to properly log things in my gardening scrapbook.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

What is this thing that I let grow last summer?

I pretty much ignored the back strip of my yard last year, allowing the ground to settle from grinding out the Bradford Pear and Pin Oak trees that I lost. While I was resting it, this wondrous weedy looking thing appeared. At first I thought it was a bush planted by errant birdseed. When it reached over 5 feet tall, I decided it needed cutting. The stems were very strong, yet pulpy and fibrous instead of woody. Does anyone know what this is? I have no clue.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Somebody stop me, I'm being a perfectionist again.

THIS is why I never get anywhere. I find pictures like this in magazines I should not be reading, and I give up hope. I found this photograph from Better Homes and Gardens that has given me, at the very least, inspiration and major doses of fear. I love beauty, and I kill things - bad combination if you ask me.

Looking at my yard today, it's hard for me to believe that it used to have trees and was actually very pretty when we bought this house eight years ago. The previous owners had lilacs, azealas, redbuds and rose of sharon - all I which died when I moved in.

Before any of you think I really do stink at this, let me add there was new construction in the church next door. They built up their sidewalks along the fenceline, making our strip of homes the new "low zone" sending water to our yards and saturating our lawns. My shrubs all died from root rot or so I'm told.

I need french drains, but can't afford them. I have right of way "issues" along the line and cannot dig to replace what died - and so, I'm being creative and building up in those places. - which will probably force water into my house, now that I think of it. I need french drains.

My front yard is almost completely planned, and planted. My side yard will be next. I'm looking through my garden scrapbook of hopes and ideas that I created last year,(consisting of photographs cut out from catalogus and magazines) and discovered that I own nothing yellow. Nor do I own trees anymore expect one. (The ice storm took care of those puppies) so, in a moment of spontaneous creativity I bought this:

The Spring Hill Catalog calls it a Golden Chain Tree. I have the spot picked, and the bed ready. I know once my husband sees it, he'll think I've lost my mind and maybe I have.

I'm learning to keep a file of all plants and their facts for easier reference later on. These are the basic facts according to my catalog.

Botanical Name: Laburnum alpinum
Form: Deciduous tree
Sun Exposure: Partial Shade/Full Sun
Height/Habit: 20 - 30'
Spread: 18 - 25'
Spacing: 20 - 25'
Hardiness Zone: 4 - 8 (-20 degrees F) I live in zone 7
Foliage Type: 3-leaflet compound obovate leaves to 3" long.
Flower Form: Pea-like, in pendant clusters, resembling wisteria blooms.
Flower Color: Yellow
Flowering Date: Late spring
Planting Requirements: Nothing special in maritime regions; inland, plant in a sheltered site, north or east slope, in sun but with protection from the wind.
Soil Requirements: Well drained but moisture retentive garden soils.
Growth Rate: Moderate
Unique Characteristics: One of the very few yellow-flowering trees for the spring garden, in blossom, small tree is completely covered with flowers.
Pruning: As little as possible, only to repair damage or provide head clearance - heals poorly.
Time of Pruning: Late summer.
Additional Information: All parts of plant poisonous. Very important note - must keep this away from the animals.

I only paid $19.00 for it, which I know sounds like a waste of money considering the fact that I don't know if it will live or die. But then all my plant purchases are like that. With my skills? There is no telling.

Afterall - my houseplants are silk - if that tells you anything.

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