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First let me start by saying this was one of the best birthday presents I have ever received. My friend and co-blog writer Chris, gave me time to help me in my garden. These days I value time more than I have ever in my life.
Plus spring is a busy season for us dirt diggers. Here is what we did with that time in the garden. Two gardeners are always better than one.
Check out the before and after pictures: Incredible.
Here is the to do list:
- We started with one bed at a time. We weeded, added fertilizer and cut back all the perennials.
- Then we assessed if plants were happy in their spots. We moved 4 shrubs into new homes. WARNING: be careful how many you move in the spring. You must water them religiously during the summer.
- We moved pots and furniture around. Chris has vision…I haven’t developed mine yet.
- We stopped, had some wine and celebrated our accomplishments. We scheduled next session.
- We planted the shrubs and trees I got from various plant sales and swaps- another 5 in total.
- We added soil conditioner and mushroom compost to my soil…it was a little dense. Good tip to remember.
- We planted my fruit bushes – blueberries and blackberries.
- We turned the rest of the veggie bed to prep for tomatoes and other summer goodies.
AFTERNOON 3: …which was a bonus and not really part of my present
Chris showed up with her wonder-man husband Bill to help limb up some trees to offer more sunshine. It is a amazing what one can do with a bow saw, tree pruners and a ladder. NOTE…I held the ladder – it was a very important job!
WOW…it was transformative. Thanks Chris. Thanks Bill. Best gift ever…
You should find a pal and help each other in each garden. It’s more fun and you get soooooo much more done.
This is George Tabor, two of them actually, flanking the path in our woods.
So if you are just starting to shape your Southern garden (and planting shrubs is the way to do it, BTW), make room for at least one Azalea–George Tabor.
Any other suggestions? What are your must have shrubs?
Timing is critical when it comes to growing from seed. I want to have these plants ready to plant in the garden by our last estimated frost date, April 15th. Too early and they will be floppy and leggy. Too late and the plants will be stunted.
Let’s hope my timing this year is just right. (These plants were started March 8-14.)
And it’s time to eat lots of homegrown kale, collards, cabbage and other greens that wintered over so I’ll have that space empty when the aforementioned tomato plants are ready to set out.
It’s also time to fertilize, mulch, powerwash outdoor furniture, weed the beds, clean the porches etc, etc, etc. Spring is the busiest season in the garden, sort of like Christmas if you’re in retail.
This tough little perennial will even grow between pavers, but since the foliage smells a bit like a skunk when it’s bruised, planting starflower on my little patio was not the best idea.
PS. It’s also time to start checking yourself for ticks. Can you believe I got my first tick bite on Sunday? Yikes that’s early.
My favorite evergreen fern, the autumn fern, adds a nice pop of fresh color to the brown and grey woods.
While Wintersweet, carpets the yard with patches of fragrance on sunny days.
There’s no reason that Southern gardeners can’t have something blooming every month of the year. These are just a few of my favorites. What are some of yours????
Waxed cardboard milk cartons are a favorite container for making cuttings. They’re tall and deep–the perfect shape to form roots.
What ever container you use, make lots of drianage holes in the bottom.
And use good MOIST growers mix. Press it in the container well so there are no air pockets.
Yes, you can always buy something new. I’ve seen little glass and plastic houses for rooting. The British have lovely (and pricey) garden jars–
But why not use what we already have?
What are your favorite ways to recycle in the garden?