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2019 Gardening Thread

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Replies to: 2019 Gardening Thread

  • momofsenior1momofsenior1 6989 replies49 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    H thought the hedge looked better than expected so not fit :). I will report back on how it fills in. Rest of the yard looks great and we are waiting on our lilies to start blooming. Everything is so late this year because of the weather but there are lots of buds.

    Does anyone know of a good, free app for identifying flowers and plants? 95% of what is here was planted by the previous owners and I don’t know what it is.
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  • greenwitchgreenwitch 8725 replies41 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Make a fli-cker account and we can help you!
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  • momofsenior1momofsenior1 6989 replies49 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    I have a flicker account but have trouble uploading photos but I'll try again later! Good suggestion!

    So far my favorite plants in the yard are the two giant weigela bushes out front. They are just gorgeous and thankfully didn't take a hit over the winter like my three rhododendruns. They are alive but never bloomed this season and had to have a lot of dead branches/leaves pruned off. We live just north of Chicago and I think a lot of plants took a big hit from the polar vortex cold we had this past winter. At least that's what the neighbors and landscapers are telling us.

    My other favorite is this really cool vine we have in the back yard - a neighbor told me it is called a trumpet creeper. It makes beautiful dark orange flowers that attract hummingbirds. It's late to bloom this year but it looks very, very healthy and seems to have spread along the fence even more than last year.

    For those who follow the home improvement thread, you know that we bought this 115 year old fixer and last year we worked on getting the first of the inside projects done. We basically ignored the garden other than mowing and it was a hot mess.

    This year is phase II, the exterior, much of that is getting the garden to rights with the help of the landscaping professionals. It's the first time we've ever had a lawn service but we really needed the help and having someone doing the weekly maintenance gives us more time to do the fun stuff!

    We moved from a much more rural area with a huge wooded lot, where only shade loving plants grew, we had to fight off the deer and wildlife, and it was always such a chore to just deal with the maintenance that we did minimal work in terms of adding annuals and pots. (The first year in that house I planted dozen of tulip bulbs (my favorite flower) and the deer got all but one.) I was the mower, hedger, weeder, and mulcher and frankly it was getting to be way too much.

    Now that I have someone else doing the mowing, hedging, and weeding, it's been super fun to plant and care for the veggie garden, adding perennials, annuals, hanging baskets, and even the mulching felt OK this year. I also refinished an old rusting metal table and chairs. I sanded them down and spray painted it a robin egg's blue. It looks so pretty now! We also got rid of an old rotting bench and replaced it with two resin, navy colored, Adirondack style chairs. They are in front of our detached garage flanked by a new double peony and purple/blue hydrangea. Behind them are ferns and lilies and I hung baskets from hooks. That's what we look out over from our sunporch so it really has made for a nicer view for us. (We have apartment buildings opposite the alley so not the nicest view otherwise).

    Mostly though we've been adding more to our back yard. The entire yard was composed of one old elm tree (that we adopted the dutch elm treatment contract from the old owner as it would be a huge loss to lose that tree), and then hundreds of hostas along the perimeter, lilies and ferns. Looked pretty good in the summer but it was basically all lawn for the colder months. We added a number of arborvitae, a northern magnolia tree, forsythia, lilac,
    and burning bush shrubs. Hopefully that will give us a bit more visual interest over the winter but we know we need to add more evergreens.

    We are still debating putting in a new paver patio next year. It's pretty buggy here and we have a lovely little sunporch where we tend to eat dinner half the year. The current patio is just poured concrete but I bought a bright yellow and white outdoor carpet which hides the ugly so it doesn't look too terrible. I'm just not sure it's worth the money if we're not really going to use it.

    It just dawned on me that I hope it's OK to talk about the overall garden and not just veggie gardens on this thread!

    I'll be back with a link if I can get photos up on flckr.
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  • emilybeeemilybee 13142 replies35 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    @momofsenior1,

    I don’t do veggie gardening at all. I found it’s just easier to go to the farm stand.

    We just put in a bluestone patio and walkway off and around our deck. The slabs are all laid now and all that is left is bringing in garden topsoil and mulch for the new beds surrounding it. I have no idea yet what I will be planting in these new areas - and might wait until next spring. In the meantime, I might just put pretty pots with flowers in them or do annuals - which I’m not fond of but it would only be for this summer. I’ll have to see how enthusiastic I am when it’s all finished.
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  • momofsenior1momofsenior1 6989 replies49 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Sounds like it will be lovely @emilybee! If we do go ahead with the patio, we're looking at combination of brick and bluestone to tie into the house's materials.
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  • emilybeeemilybee 13142 replies35 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited June 20
    @momofsenior1,

    The patio is Phase 7 or so ( there have been so many I’ve lost count) and the last. We started 15 years ago, after being in house about 10 years and doing only very minor things - like paint, a cosmetic only kitchen redo, etc. We’ve done everything from roof to basement and in between both inside and out.

    edited June 20
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  • momofsenior1momofsenior1 6989 replies49 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    OMG @emilybee! We're just on phase 2. I hope there won't be a phase 7 but we have at least up to phase 5 planned ; )
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  • emilybeeemilybee 13142 replies35 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    @momofsenior1,

    Good luck!

    We had to wait a few years between some of the phases and some were more expensive than others, so we needed the Money Fairy to replenish the tree. ;)
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  • abasketabasket 19186 replies854 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    @momofsenior1 your home sounds like a lot of work but also a DREAM! I am an old house fan. I can picture the beautiful yard you described - and the refurbish of the metal patio set! I'll take a look at your photos later!
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  • Bromfield2Bromfield2 3558 replies35 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    @momofsenior1 We've got privet hedge (Ligustrum ovalifolium) at our vacation place (it grows all over the area) and all of the landscapers do very heavy trimming. The first time, the landscapers did the heavy trimming, I was doubtful that it would come back, but it did, and looks great.
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  • lookingforwardlookingforward 33526 replies366 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited June 20
    Our issue starts with squirrels. One fall, I covered the tulip bulbs with chicken wire.

    I've got a great fake strawberry plant, (a garland I coiled and stuck in a pot.) It's so realistic that everyone admires it, doesn't recognize it's fake until you tell them. Nor do the birds. Every so often, they'll detatch a berry and I find it on the ground. Lol.

    It's my green beans that are slow this year. I planted 6 seeds a month ago and three are now a few inches high. The rest apparently goners. I've got four more in starter pots.

    I'm on, lol, phase eternal with the backyard, courtesy of a 100 year old Norway maple that mostly covers the small-ish backyard and has awful roots so close to the surfce.

    I sincerely thought of a good fake turf (better than the putting green stuff.) I know that's not true yard building and maintenance. But I'm for the view overall, not necessarily the purity of materials used.
    edited June 20
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  • HouseChatteHouseChatte 644 replies1 threadsRegistered User Member
    My gardening is combined strictly to pots. Between acidic soil, ravenous deer, and our diligently digging and marking dogs, it just seems easier to me. One year I had almost ten large pots of annuals filling the dooryard by our porch, it was lovely. A couple of difficult and busy years have sidelined me, though I did treat myself to highly fragrant tree roses. Watching it rain on them now -- AGAIN -- and wondering if I'll even see them this year.
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  • momofsenior1momofsenior1 6989 replies49 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    @lookingforward One of the houses we seriously considered had fake turf in the backyard and the entire front yard was ground cover, no grass anywhere. My H hated it but I thought it would be very practical! Not sure if the dog would have been a fan either but it sure looked pretty!
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  • greenwitchgreenwitch 8725 replies41 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    We have a very small and shady yard now and no grass at all. I love it! There's slate almost everywhere and it's a challenge because the shallow roots of a giant magnolia tree are churning it up but I don't miss grass. It was always more of a challenge than I thought it would be.
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  • MoonKnightMoonKnight 377 replies9 threadsRegistered User Member
    I'm not sure if this counts but I have a cactus that I'm growing. I want to put it in the garden but it's still just a baby. I have it in a pot inside the house right now but I'd have to wait like 20 years before I could plant it outside. I also have sunflowers I'm growing.
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  • abasketabasket 19186 replies854 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    If I count how many pots of flowers and hanging baskets I have..... :)
    Cut all my garlic scapes this week - some are in the refrigerator where they will last a while and I have a bunch in a tall vase with water on the counter - it's like art!

    Picked lettuce and kale twice this week. The heat is here now so I suspect the lettuce will bolt soon....

    Everything is looking decent. Tomatoes and peppers have flowers. Cucumbers too and are climbing up my homemade circular trellis. I did also plant some cauliflower and brussel sprouts - have not had luck in the past - jury is still out this year!

    Also my zinnia seeds are taking off - that makes me really happy - my favorite annual for picking!
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  • authorauthor 332 replies29 threadsRegistered User Member
    I use the app Flower Checker or PlantSnap to ID plants that are new volunteers to my homestead.
    I picked 40 golden Azoychka tomatoes today.
    Our Mango trees are dropping fruit daily now. One of my dogs is eating them seed and all; so I have to make a run out under the tree all the time before she gets let out.
    I have a laundry basket full, I put in the garden wagon, to haul over to share with my neighbors.
    Do you have any recipes to share?
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  • abasketabasket 19186 replies854 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Oh man, wish I could snag some mangos!
    I love mango salsa! And mango smoothies!

    Another vote for Plant Snap app for identifying plants.
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  • lookingforwardlookingforward 33526 replies366 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Lots of blooms here. More than usual for June. A couple of microscopic eggplant buds (the fruit, post flowering,) seem to have disappeared, but that often happens early in the bush life. All the compost seems to be working. Usually, I get a few starter zucc blossoms. This year, they're prolific. All in containers.
    In contrast, the cilantro is only 1.5" high and was planted in late May.

    My fav thing with fresh mangoes is a coulis, with chopped, thin sliced red onion.
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  • MoonKnightMoonKnight 377 replies9 threadsRegistered User Member
    This is kind of crazy but I'd want to grow a banana tree in my yard. I don't live in a tropical region however. Is it possible to grow one outside of the tropical region? I've heard of other trees that were moved out of their natural habitat and were perfectly fine. Is the banana tree the same?
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