Monday, May 13, 2013

More Garden Fun

I think something already nibbled on my newly planted raspberry bushes. All the new growth is missing, and they now look like dead sticks. Not to be deterred, my awesome husband and I used this past Saturday to erect a fence around the berry patch, after I added another blueberry and a blackberry to the plot.

From the left, it's blackberry, two blueberries, and two raspberries. (And in case you ever thought it was a good idea to use the side of your house to hold up a slab of granite, the ugly, discolored wall behind our garden stands as a testament to why not!)

While I was waiting on him to get back with the fence supplies, I planted two blue hydrangeas in front of the house. I might have to see about adjusting the soil pH. Not that I don't like pink flowers, but we had blue hydrangeas on our wedding cake, and my husband and I both love them in blue!

 And, I finally made use of the hanging strawberry planter my friend gave me almost a year ago!

I only used the holes on one side, since my flat had six plants. If they do well, I plan to fill more next year.

Still waiting, so I moved on to the roses. Last year, we planted three, with the bough of a cherry tree erected in the center for them to climb, and to put cute little signs on. We still haven't gotten around to making the signs, and I've been asked if it's a dead tree. Yeah; pretty embarrassing. We had better make those signs! Two of the rose bushes died, leaving only one, so I got two more to keep the lonely yellow rose bush company. I also cleared the ground first this time, and my husband got home in time to help with the weed barrier, planting, and mulching. Our sweet retired neighbor came over to chat while we worked and offered us some of his irises, so we may be planting more flowers soon!

My husband wanted to add the boot, and we're planning to edge it with some decorative rock whenever my husband is up to lugging them over from a defunct garden area. It's hard to tell from the picture, but the area is a rounded triangle shape. The new roses will be soft pink in the front and a beautiful creamsicle orange color on the right. We both remembered planting yellow where the more mature plant is, so hopefully we're remembering correctly. If not, I suppose we'll get a surprise!

I found a Bradford Pear at Aldi for only $10 a couple weeks ago, and it's finally starting to sprout some new growth!

My husband watering the new tree with two of our kids watching. Usually he sprays them, but the weather wasn't warm enough here on Saturday!

I wore out several fingertips on my gardening gloves, and noticed that fruit trees were 50% off while I was buying replacements on Sunday. My husband and I had been talking about peach, plum, and pear trees, but we hadn't found peach under $50 til then. I was in the van, and needed more mulch, too, so I went home and got the truck. God must have wanted us to have this peach tree, because it was the last one on the $16 pallet!

My girls were disappointed that I didn't get a pear tree, too, but we have a sweet neighbor lady who has one, and she shares with us. I can't think of a more fun walk than delivering fresh peaches to all our neighbors!

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

My Future Berry Patch

Due to a fiasco with the city over water drainage, we haven't been able to plant our garden this year. It's really had me bummed out, but if we plow and plant, and then the city brings in heavy equipment to reshape the surface of our yard, the garden, which lies right inside the gate, would be ruined.

I have such fond memories of visiting my grandma's house in St. Louis and playing in the wide open back yard. It was terraced to level out the downward slope to the rear of the property, and a garden grew on the lowest part of the yard. I remember thinking how beautiful it looked. But the best part was the strawberry patch, alongside the back of the house, right outside the door. Grandma used to let us pick and eat as many ripe, sweet, red strawberries as we wanted. The berries growing along the house really stuck with me.

So, with our garden on hiatus and all this beautiful weather, I got a tree and some berry bushes. My husband helped me plant the tree, a Bradford Pear, in the front yard, and then I had to pick a place to put a berry patch. The obvious choice, to me, was a strip of unused ground along the back of the house. But the ground is all hard packed clay and rock, so I had to dig out all that stuff and replace it with rich, dark, fertilized soil from the garden.

Here's the patch of ground I picked (with the future bathroom vanity in the back). My girls were so sad to see the dandelions go!

First I cleared it off so I had and idea of where to dig.

It may look small, but this trench just about did me in! That really is some tough clay. Even though we had a good rain just two days ago, I had to dig down almost two feet before I started seeing water.

It's hard to tell how deep the hole is from a photo. It's about five feet long, two feet wide, and nearly two feet deep.

Then I hauled about four wheel barrel's full of garden soil over and filled it back up. Remember how the clay was so dry, with water far beneath the surface? When I started moving the garden soil, my first shovelful revealed water. It was heavy, but so much easier to dig than the clay!

They don't look like much now, but the guy on the left is a blueberry, and the two on the right are raspberries. Can you see the major difference between the soils? I hadn't even watered yet when I took this picture.

When I was all set to plant them, a friend of mine stopped by, read the container, and told me I need two blueberry plants to produce fruit. So stay tuned for an updated photo, including another blueberry plant of a different variety for pollination, blackberries, and strawberries. And maybe even some blue hydrangeas, too.