Monday, July 7, 2008

Too busy to post!

We've been busy planning our wedding which is taking place next Sunday. Yesterday I put together some pots of annuals to have at the ceremony: caladiums, a variety of petunias (hot pink, Daddy Strawberry, Daddy Orchid and Purple Wave), blue and white ageratum, and some portulaca.

The yard is full of colorful blooms...and weeds! The tomato plants are doing really well and although we won't be here when the first ones ripen we hope T's brother (who is housesitting) will eat some. I planted an herb garden in the back yard, a circle of cobblestones filled with potting soil, and packets of seeds: the parsley, dill, basil and thyme are all sprouting, around a center grouping of Apricot Frost cannas. I have some recent photos I will post later today...

Monday, May 12, 2008

May flowers

Here are some more photos I took over the last week. I put in some lovely azaleas I got for six bucks each at price Chopper. The tulips are nearing the end of their reign. The irises I planted last year are finally starting to flower; some lovely pale pinks and a deep purple one (above); I will photograph them as they continue opening, and the peonies and clematis should be blooming any day now! I also got a few flats at a plant sale up on Delaware Avenue: snapdragons, asters and pinks, oh and tomatoes! I also ordered some blue flowers from Wayside Gardens; some groundcover plants for that difficult patch of dry, root-bound clay soil on the side of the house. I want to chronicle its progress, it is a bear of a project.

Happy Spring to all...

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Spring has sprung!

It may be hard to believe, but three weeks ago there were parts of my yard that were still frozen solid. The cold temperatures and sunless days of early spring were followed by three solid weeks of unseasonably warm days and plenty of sun, as well as a distinctive lack of rain. I watered twice a day when I could, in the morning and at sundown so as not to waste water or damage plants. The result has been unprecedented bloooms!

All the tulips have flowered at once. TulipFest is in two weeks; will there be any tulips left? I was at a neighborhood plant swap today (gave: pink peony, forget-me-nots, two kinds of hosta--got: echinacea, Shasta daisy, magenta bee balm, hosta, and ladies mantle), and everyone was commenting on the crazy weather which has yielded loads of beautiful flowers in our little Zone 5b area.

Here are some photos taken in my yard yesterday: enjoy!

Friday, April 25, 2008

Sunflower Guerillas Unite!

Next Thursday is International Sunflower Guerilla Day!
I already have some Lemon Queen, Velvet Queen and Chianti Sunrise seeds; maybe will pick up another packet or two at the store. Sunflowers grow so satisfyingly quickly...I love them.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Plants in my Future

I have just ordered some plants from
Bluestone Perennials: Pretty Polly Heucheras, September Ruby Asters, a Pink Potentilla, and a Rosy Lights Azalea. I have heard very good things about this company and was impressed with their comments on the Garden Watchdog ratings list. I used a 20% off coupon and saved $8 off my order.

These, in addition to a few plants from the cheap but not necessarily reliable Michigan Bulb Company: some Echinops Ritro, Lady's Mantle, Astrantia, some others I can't remember. They were offering a seasonal special, as they frequently do, plus their famous One-Cent sales. Their plants are decent quality, but I have heard/read horror stories about them, too. You get what you pay for!

For the rest of the season, I will be working with what I have, and a few packets of flower seeds I got on Ebay: sunflowers, zinnias, marigods, cosmos, hollyhocks, columbines, cleomes, Chinese forget-me-nots, portulacas, etc.I am not sure how successful I will be with the seeds (last year was spotty) but it is an inexpensive way to get plenty of color and bloom. We'll shop the end of season plant sales again, too like last year, when we got a mature $40 rose bush for $3, clematis vines for $3.50 apiece, and some salvias for fifty cents. It is all about saving money now, but there are so many bare spots in the yard, waiting until we can afford full size shrubs to fill in means lots of empty space. So I am trying to be creative.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Hello and Welcome!

This blog is dedicated to sharing my thoughts on gardening in general and on the evolution and progress of my garden at my home in Albany, NY.

We moved into a "fixer upper" almost two years ago and the yard was in desperate need of help. We have already done a great deal of work but we also have a long way to go. To make the bigger jobs seem less arduous, I have planted plenty of bulbs and perennials. Right now I am waiting to see my spring bulbs come up. I am taking part in a contest revived by the Woman's Club of Albany Gardening Society. It is the "Plant Your Front Yard Contest" and used to be a big thing apparently. In order to revive it they offered 50 free tulip bulbs to participants.

I got some nice Barcelona Tulips, and planted them with a few other varieties (Recreado, Queen of Night, and some others), plus plenty of pink daffodils, multi-colored hyacinths and grape hyacinths. I can't wait to see all the color in a few weeks.

Albany loves its tulips! The photo above was taken last year at the annual Tulip fest in Washington Park.