Sunday, May 8, 2011

Foundation Planting-Backyard

This spring has been a struggle.  I have been unable to get outside to do anything due to almost the entire month of April being rainy.  The other issue is completely unrelated to rain.  It is the issue of the patio project.  I don't want to plant in areas that are going to be ripped out or improved.  That limitation has messed up my whole flow!  

Last weekend I finally got a break in the weather and was able to get outside and get something done.  The back beds were still too wet.  The ground was still to cold for bringing out the tomatoes but the foundation area at the back of the house was ready for some action!

This area had three large yews removed last year from the area in front of the meters.  They were getting old and ratty looking so we took them out.  For this year, I wanted to put in a mixture of edibles and perennials in this bed.  The plum tree that currently partially shades it is coming out (fall hazard) so I'll have more light soon.

A trip to my favorite nursery started off the project.  I only went for some grasses to cover the meter.  Like most trips to the nursery, that didn't go exactly as planned.  The $82 bill added up fast.  I had a really nice variety to choose from and I leaned towards the newer and cooler which made for higher prices.  Since my plan was to divide each plant to get more for the money, I actually ended up with almost three times as many plants as shown here.  The impulse buy was the Valentine blueberry.  A pink blueberry?  How could I resist.  The most expensive?  The fern leaf peony at $40.  Hey at least I put back the big bird peony that was $117!

Weeding this bed was a quick job thanks to the fall clean-up we did on it last year.  Planting took a little longer thanks to the residual evil lava rocks that are still found in our foundation beds.  I also found a huge crack in the rain barrel that needed to be dealt with. In that same area, I had to again deal with the ugliest bush in the world.  It is trying to make a come back.  I removed the rocks, dug it up again, covered the area with four layers of landscape fabric and then the rocks again.  Take that Ugly!
I took a break from the foundation plantings mid-day to get one of the self watering containers set-up.  I wanted to get the soil and water in it, so that it can start warming up this next week.  Then the tomatoes will be less shocked when I put them in.  The color scheme for this bed was accidental but might end up being kind of cool looking.  I ended up with a lot of red leaved plants.  Pennstemem, red chard, Red cabbage, molten lava amaranth, rhubarb.  Then I also have multiple bright green perennials.  I added a potato leaf tomato just to try and push things a bit (Galinas cherry) and then topped the area with a non-dyed mulch (I'll save the mulch rant for another day).

The end result doesn't currently look like much.  Dividing perennials doesn't tend to give you instant wow factor but I'm pleased with the potential here.  I post pictures in a month to show you were it went.


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