Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Further Rain

I've been making progress on trying to bring my garden up slightly closer to the "Aiken Standard".
Last week I dropped in to Habitat for Humanity, and they were putting out a little garden wicker set - loveseat, chair and table. They'd been painted, (and two different colours, worse luck) but for $45 they were fine. I'd been prepared to pay more for a grotty modern "bistro" set for the deck and these are so much better! They had no cushions, of course, but I can make cushions! (and in fact I have.) They make a great spot to set out my pelargoniums and also my tiny blooming calla lily. And for sitting out and inhaling the honeysuckle fragrance in the evenings too.

 In other news, I put out a freebie request on Kijiji for used carpet for weed suppression - and got a response! So on Friday we borrowed the truck, and after work Fred and I went and picked it up - it was a wonderfully grotty one, in two pieces, one huge and the other smaller. On Saturday I put the smaller one on top of the former beds at the north end of the vegetable plot. I plan to espalier some fruit trees there - cherries, plums and apples, I think. Then I cut strips of the big one and put them in between the raised beds in the vegetable garden. The left-over pieces I put along the south side of the greenhouse. It's the whole length of the greenhouse (15 feet) plus the space between the greenhouse and the garden, and a bit less wide, maybe 10-11 feet.  I'm thinking fruit there, too, but smaller ones:  cranberries and strawberries. Maybe blueberries too!
The strips between the beds are likely to remain there - even after I get the bed sides put up - but once the fruit beds are planted I'll be able to use those bits of carpet elsewhere. I can't wait for the roadside waste collection in October - I'm scouting for more carpet!! This weed suppression method is GREAT.
In my travels I have been keeping an eye open for hydrangeas and taking sneaky slips when I do. I have three in the greenhouse, and am trying to root them. Fingers crossed. I went to Cool Breeze nursery on Friday, they had plenty of hydrangeas but I didn't sneak any slips of theirs. Didn't buy any either - $40 each! Perhaps there will be an end-of-season sale. I did get a buddleja, with three or four flowering buds on it. Anne says they're a weed in Vancouver, but I'm afraid that here in Zone 5b they'll need winter cover to survive. I always thought that they were shrubs, but Cool Breeze was selling them as perennials - and the cheapest ones, at that.
Hydrangea Paniculata Grandiflora

I saw some bright-ish red hydrangeas in a greenhouse in Winsloe, but the shop wasn't open so I don't know if I could afford one or not. Yet.
I DO have two hydrangeas of my own, an Annabelle from Mum's garden, which is struggling to survive, having moved itself UNDER a fir tree in the west of the house, and a Pee Gee which went in a couple of years ago and is doing quite well, just to the west of the spruce hedge, behind the Ring-around-the-rosey bed. It's putting on blossom like a good 'un. I'll try propagating from them in the spring. I'm prepared to baby along the current slips in the house over the winter, if I'm lucky enough to root them. After all, some people's garden hydrangeas started off as house plants! (I will keep an eye out at Easter-time for house plants too, though I suppose they aren't hardy here.) I scratched away some soil under the fir tree and put in some fertilizer - in FRONT of the Annabelle hydrangea. Maybe she'll pull herself out of there, and into the better soil. And I've limbed up the tree to give her some head-room. Come on, Annabelle.

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