Summer Has Begun!

I’m like a kid who just got let out of school for the summer.  My major work commitment is OVER!  Now I will have evenings and weekends to start projects, finish projects, work on the house and yard, do fun things, and generally just chill out. 

Whoo to the hoo!!!!!!
I have gotten little bits of things done here and there over the last few weeks and weekends.  I’ll give you a quick tour in today’s post, since I haven’t really posted in several weeks.
First, even though a nursery trip (to a big nursery, not the local Big Box Garden Center department) is scheduled for next weekend, I just couldn’t wait any longer to buy some annuals.  I chose to do only the front porch to try and keep myself and my schedule in check.  
Remember how it used to look?
I stacked some terra cotta pots and purchased draecana (apparently my “dray-kanna” pronunciation is all wrong.  It’s pronounced “druh-seen-uh”!),  coleus, white impatiens, and some trailing stuff I don’t remember the name of.  I also tried to balance out the colors a little bit with the front door.
Then I just played with them til I liked the layout.  Here’s our new front porch area!
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The gray cooler peeking out on the right  is our milk box, if you’re wondering why I’m not showing it 🙂
I still need to find a cute (cheap) bench or something for this area under the window…. FUTURE PROJECT!
While at the store, I found five new perennials for our back garden area.  They are: a white coneflower, a pink coneflower, artemesia, lamb’s ears, and penstemon.  I got them planted and our back garden now looks like this:
We’re not quite sure what to think about our newly planted tree there.  He seems to be a little stunted or something.  The funny thing is when you scratch the branches on the no-leaf side, they are green inside.  ???
By the way, remember the edging we planned to move in the backyard?  Well we did pull up one side’s edging and move it (you already knew that) and we got grass seed planted in that area as well.  It’s now growing!  There are some weeds in there too, but we’re only pulling the big ones to try not to disturb the new grass.  Here’s a before (when we moved in and half our yard was bark mulch and stickery weeds) and after (now our yard is half dirt, thin grass, and remnants of the stickery weeds!):
I got some stepping stones and planted my inside-seeded alyssum plants between them.  I also scattered the remaining alyssum seeds between the pavers and the raised bed.
The veggies are all doing great, including the tomatoes which froze and needed to have most of their top halves trimmed off.  I’ve gotten several cherry tomatoes off them already! Yum.
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I divided some daylilies from the front yard and got five new clumps all from about 1/3 of a plant.  They’re still pretty droopy though.  Depending on how they do, I might just give them a haircut and let them grow new leaves later on in the summer.  I’m using grass clippings to mulch the plants and keep their dirt a little more moist until they get a little bigger.
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I transplanted a clump of irises (and separated them into three new clumps) and  now they’ve bloomed!  Weird colors though.  I was expecting the traditional purplish color.
Some red “border” lilies which I purchased from a mail-order nursery have finally popped up.  They’re looking pretty cute, though I thought some were dead and I dug down to them to try to find out what was going on, so not sure if they’ll all make it or not.  We’ll see. 
And just for a little bit of interesting weirdness….. the dirt pile (remember how Hubs ordered too much fill dirt when we planted our trees?) which resides in the back corner of the yard has turned into one HUGE ant hill.  I need to do some research on what (if anything) to do about that.   
I honestly don’t know the implications of having a massive ant colony in the garden.  They seem to be smallish black ants or very dark brown/red ants and they were crawling all over my feet yesterday but none bit me, so they seem to be harmless.

Currently, I throw the clay dirt I dig out of the planting holes on one side of this pile.  Then I use good fill dirt to plant the plants.  I’m hoping maybe these ants will burrow through the clay and loosen it up a little bit, maybe adding some organic ant poop to the mix?  Any ant experts out there?

So that’s what I’ve accomplished in the last month or so!  I’ll plant more plants as the summer goes on, and of course I still have a ton of empty pots waiting for annuals.  I’m using the soaker hose now (for flexibility) until the plants get more established and I can put a dripper system in place.  So now it’s mostly weeding…watching the plants grow….wondering what to do about the ants…..hopefully fixing the deck soon…

And most everything else will be inside!  Oooh I’m so excited to have time again for my projects!

I’m linked up to Thrifty Decor Chick’s Before and After Party 🙂  Go check out all the great stuff!

One comment

  1. ooh, what a cute front porch. love the plants and veggies you've got going on there and out back!! i am very much into \”peeping\” into ppls yards right now as i am trying to work out my garden plan.thank you so much for stopping by the cape on the corner and for your input on my little hall table. I HAVE thought about painting those side tables, but they aren't mine! i am not sure what sort of ones to get instead, and she isn't using these, but you are right, they kinda don't mesh with the rest. harumph. i will have to see what's out there!


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