Monday, May 25, 2009

may being may

The overview. And a cute dog enjoying the fine morning. It is his yard, after all.

Why did the dianthus come back -- I thought it was an annual? And in Betsy's planter, is that Salvia? Or a thyme? Calla lillies coming up in the green planter, with cosmos in the meantime happy as cosmos can be.

Peonies about to happen. Astilbe about to happen. An allium that happened behind them. And that damn hosta.
Irises came out yesterday -- the big humungus weird brown one, (and check out the new lavender live long and prosper, my friend).
Also more Iris -- the purple on the side. These look like they're still purple and didn't turn brown. The little guys in front of them are going to be someone. I forget who they are. Must check.
Lisa's bulbs (brodaeia?) adorable and starry at the front of that bed, merging with the grass in a really appealing and delicate way.

it's an addiction

Saturday after failing to find maternity clothes that fit, even the ones that are ridiculously expensive, I comforted myself with a bit of a fix at Gowanus. And blew the maternity clothes budget there, I might add.

A new lavender to replace the one that didn't survive winter, gaillardia, knautia, geum, and some annuals for the last windowbox planter. Sigh. It did make me feel better though.

And sunday I planted the wee seedlings, that were starting to get a bit unhappy looking in their little flats. Nasturtium everywhere (it's going to be the amaranth of 2009, I believe). Cosmos where the hibiscus was, and back in the peony bed, sunflowers in the raised bed, and the hollyhocks and mexican sunflowers underneath the chives in the bed I'm trying to get going there.

Zinnias still haven't emerged in their little pots. I hope they're ok. It said 7-10 days, so I should give them time.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

what's growing?

I'm growing. Here's the bump, mushed into a bike jersey and shorts.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

decorating the bedroom a bit!

I saw the wall decals from Ferm Living last winter and thought they were mighty cool. So we used them to extend a little bit of nature into the bedroom.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Are they sick?

I'm worried about the dogwood and the hydrangea out in front. They just seem, well, lackluster. There are leaves, but not many. And some branches don't have any. What happened? Am I just practicing handwringing, or are these guys truly unhappy?

The dogwood: just a few lackluster leaves. Some branches without leaves. It's Cornus sericea 'Hedgerows Gold', aka Red Osier Dogwood -- we planted it in September 2007, and last year it seemed a bit happier.

The hydrangea doesn't look that bad until you compare it to the one in the back. They're the same age (wedding hydrangeas! planted October 2005) -- just one is in the ground and the other is in a planter. The one in back has bigger leaves, and is already producing flower buds. In the front, smaller paler leaves. Is it just a growth thing? It's always been happy in that planter in the past.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Gaps to fill

Ok, a little bit of a note to myself about what to plan for this early-spring season for next year, as well as some out-loud planning.

First: the "bionic bed" where the echinacea and joe pye weed grows is really dismal this time of year. Both die back to the ground, and there's nothing else there for spring interest. Now both are coming up, but it's really messy. I need: Fence cover that will be more all season (the new climbing hydrangea should help for that - see it, near the front?), and early blooming flowers that will provide some interest before the echinacea and joe pye grow. And I remember from last year that it was mess -- a big happy mess, but a mess -- even after blooming was underway.

Next: the back raised bed. The raspberries are awesome, and the "Virginia cup" looks to be making a strong revival. But in between there is a gap of ugly fence, and really I hate looking at that pool. We need something tall there. This is where I planted one of the flower seed mixes, so we'll see what kind of flowers appear, but again, early interest.

And, speaking of fence cover, something that can grow behind the aluminum chive planter and cover the fence there? The clematis works once it is up and running, but again, some year-round cover would be nice.

And the shady bed. The hosta does well, damn thing. I really, 100 percent, am sure that I hate the hosta. All hostas. I want to get rid of it. But so far, it and the hellibore are the only thing that "work." It's a dry shade, in need of inspiration. Fern died. Heuchera died. Sorrel died. Pampas grass died. Hydrangeas died. I'm sure I've tried others. Seedlings from the shady "mix" are coming up nicely, however.

While I'm there, I know that the peony dies back and leaves a big gap. We need a later blooming thing to plant behind it. That can be a project for later, but I should think about it now.

The concrete blocks. The candytuft is a suprise and awesome, but very lonely. Mysteriously, the dianthus is coming back -- I thought it was just an annual! Bulbs in the concrete block haven't worked that well - and even when they do squirrels get 'em. More candytuft? The two out there look so lonely.

And seedlings. Such mixed feelings. They take so long. And often don't work. then there are all the planters and other ways to cover a fence that I'm plotting...

Friday, May 8, 2009

in the front

Front stoop beautification is in progress. Ok, it has been for a while, but a week of solid rain meant that I couldn't really show much. Last year there was a ton of action on the stoop. It started to make me feel like the crazy flower lady, however. This year, I'm determined to be a bit more edited. Not sure exactly the direction, don't want to get intimidated, but I had to do something.

Stoop. From top to bottom: is it possible the akebia in the green planter died? There's other stuff sprouting, but could well be weeds. Meanwhile, stuck a Verbena in there for color and fun. Then snaps with alyssum. Then a dahlia. Then in the lower black pot I clearly planted some seeds, but don't know what. And on the bottom little pot, there's a nemesia.

Another view here of the top three - verbena, snaps/alyssum, and the dahlia. And you can see some of my sprouting mystery seeds.

Viburnum and a pot of dianthus and alyssum, which I needed to do a couple weeks ago just to add some color, any color, to the front area. At some point I will add something with a little more, uh, flair. But right now I like the contrast of red/pink against the green viburnum and its dark planter.

And here is the center "collection". The juniper is doing fine. I worry a bit about the hydrangea and dogwood. They just look ... sparse. For lower interest, there's lantana (2 kinds!) in the aluminum planter, bacopa at the base of the dogwood, and a different type of lantana, Samantha), in that small white planter. The clay pot is I think too much. I'm going to move it to the back once it doesn't weigh a million pounds for being so waterlogged.
And here is a planter of poppies. I planted these seeds March 22. Do I need to thin? How do poppies work?

The new aluminum planter hanging on the fence. Again, dianthus and alyssum here. Waiting for some inspiration. This you can see walking up the block, so I want to think it out a bit. (Last year's planter needs a total overhaul -- it's waiting sadly in the back, chock full of rotted bulbs and last year's roots).

May 8 - this year and last

Just last week I was looking at pics from the blog and noticed that by May 8, the irises were blooming. I thought, huh, we're behind. But this was this morning ...
You can also see the strawberries in the closer planter, the chives getting used to their new home in the aluminum planter, and the "virginia cup plant" coming up strong in the raised bed by the fence.

But the lavender is dead. Last year there was bushy new green growth by now. This year -- nuffin. It's dead. Hereby pronounced. RIP. Now, what to put new in that space...

Sunday, May 3, 2009


This was actually about 10 days ago -- right before my last run before the doc put the kaibosh on it. (Marginal placenta previa. I might be reallowed after 28 weeks if it's no longer a risk.)

Soft focus, b/c I'm bashful.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Sun, then rain, then flowers

It's happening. Strawberries sprouting, and lots of stuff ready to come up. Allium, starting to come up. (Matjaz took these photos. I couldn't do anything this great)Verbena, "Diablo", which the greenmarket guy swore had a trailing habit and will grow 'anywhere a petunia' will. Right now it just looks like I planted sideways. Oh wait, I did.
Bunny grass I think? That took ages to start to come up.
From the kitchen, that's me, cutting back the lavender in hope of finding signs of life. I didn't find any. I'm not giving up hope completely. Yet.Windowbox with last week's snapdragons. And some seeds sprouting already.
Bleeding hearts in full swing. I love that ours are white.
Cosmos sprouting too! New windowbox to try to make that cement wall a little less ... stark.
Finally, daffodils. Just in time, since the other ones shrivelled, and the squirrels beheaded the tulips. Damn squirrels.