Sunday, April 26, 2009

Coulda shoulda woulda gardening

Did I mention that I love gardening? It's what I've been obsessed with in every waking sunny moment lately. In hind site (the 20/20 kind) I'd have taken before pictures. I wasn't going to do all of this yard work though so really, I didn't know I'd need before pictures. You know how I mentioned that I needed to plant my pot ghetto of 2 years now? This is where most of it has gone in, the front flower bed. We bought a spec home which means the builder put it in hoping someone would buy it rather than someone picking the lot and then making all the choices. They do this a lot at the end of a subdivision, our house was the last built in this part of the subdivision. As such it came with a boat load of stuff that we technically would have paid a lot more for and probably wouldn't have gotten (crown molding, canister lights, 42" cabinets, silestone counter tops, get the idea?) this included something like 30 shrubs added into the front flower bed. Our home was much more landscaped than any of the other houses, including the well established ones. And by well established I mean 5 yrs old, it's a new subdivision.

I can't say that I would have chosen the shrubbery that they did for the house. The 2 columns that border the front door had 2 bushes in front of them. I moved them within a month of moving in and it was by far the smartest choice I ever made. I put them on the 2 exposed sides of the a/c on the other side of the house, the side with no greenery what so ever. Turns out those 2 small bushes are wax myrtles, they will grow to be 15-20 ft trees someday and are presently at least 10 feet high. We wouldn't be able to get to our front door had I left them there. Apparently there is a dwarf form of this plant but I don't seem to have that one. They are super duper durable though and I can totally ignore them and that is an important trait to me. In front of the a/c unit is the perfect place for them, unattractive though they are.

This is Black Baccara, a hybrid tea

This is Teasing Georgia, a David Austin. Even though the colors are not the same can you see the difference in form?

I spent some of last weekend conquering the most important part of my pot ghetto, the rose bushes. Most important of those being the hubby's Black Baccara. It's a hybrid tea and the only hybrid tea I tolerate in my gardens. I am a David Austin fan myself. Austin roses look like a box of tissues that has just busted open. They have an antique look to them and smell DIVINE. Teas are ok, they are what you buy when you buy cut roses. They are what my mother in law grows in her So Cal garden so that is what the hubby is accustomed to. She loves Austins too but her climate is too moist so the buds ball (don't open), brown, and die. I have a no-spray garden, I don't spray for bugs or fungus, and a lot of hybrid teas are disease prone. This is why we both grow what we do, see? There's a method to our gardening madness. The hubby fell in love with a picture I showed him of Black Baccara though so when I found one for sale I bought it. It stayed in my pot ghetto for 1 year so I could figure out what amount of sun it liked (none) and if it would be bug or fungus resistant. It survived so this year it was allowed a spot in ground. Good news, Austins like sun and since this tea doesn't it didn't take up any prime Austin real estate. Did I mention this tea also has no scent whatsoever? Yeah, makes no sense to me either.

This is Heritage, she's an Austin also and her scent can be smelled at least 10 ft away if the wind is blowing right. She has a smaller petal count than Teasing Georgia but she's so lovely it doesn't matter to me. I love these roses. My mother in law bought me an Austin for Mother's Day last year that has my daughter's (and the hubby's grandmother's of course) name. She has yet to produce any blooms of comment but they say it takes 3 years before you can expect anything from a newly planted rose. Plus, as I understand, that particular rose is known as the Diva and will only perform when she damn well pleases. Go figure.

And Blackie again, with her lovely green background

You see that lovely green background to Blackie? That's a Japanese boxwood, they put 5 or 6 of them up in our walk way on the right side facing the street. I have to say I liked these because of their particular shade of green, the new growth being a color I really like. They had gotten a bit big though, I have never trimmed them before but it wasn't annoying to me. Until I put the rose bushes in amongst them. They kinda got in the viewing space and I wanted them to more of a backdrop to the roses. And so in came the hedge trimmers...

Did you also notice the big fat fluffy bushes that are the furthest back? I am no longer a fan of those beasts. I have, at least 3 times, hacked those suckers back because they grow so big they scratch the cars as we drive them into the garage. Those are damn big bushes when we let them grow at will. So while I had those trimmers out I figured I'd take a few feet off of them while I was at it. If you look at the pile of cuttings in the drive way you can see that there's the greener Japanese boxwood on the bottom and the fluffy lighter green mass on top. Just look how much I cut off and they are still big. Someday I might just go nutters and fully hack those suckers back. I doubt I'd could even make a dent in those things.

I know you are looking at that picture and saying, geez Michelle you think you could add some oh, I dunno, color to that flower bed? The answer is yes but it has qualifiers, nothing is simple in the method to my madness right? So I must go through that story (pictures included, I took them, WOW) in the next post. Promise!

Oh and for those of you who just don't give a rats ass about greenery here's a pic of someone else who doesn't either:

Hope ya'll enjoyed your weekend too!

1 comment:

Violet said...

I'm not a big fan of roses ('round here, they get too leggy to be pretty IMO) but the Heritage is GORGEOUS! Such a pretty color, and the petal arrangement is sweet and so old-fashioned looking.

My gardening amounts to raking up leaves so the yard doesn't look messy...I admire pretty gardens/yards but have no desire to dig in the dirt myself. Thanks for sharing. :)