Thursday, June 3, 2010

spring has sprung





It seems like it was only a couple a weeks ago when I was fretting over an early spring yard. The only signs of life were the hellebores. I wondered if anything was going to come back. Now I can’t even find the hellebores. This past weekend, while Pat was planting new stuff in pots and rearranging the nursery, I was digging out overcrowded plants. Our neighbor is now the proud owner of a dozen 3 foot tall ligularia plants. As a rule, Pat and I do not dead head our perennials. I am basically lazy and it seems like so much work. I do cut down old daylily and hosta stalks, but that is about it. We prefer to let the birds get the seeds and any self-seeding is a bonus. When we had a lot of empty between plants this seemed like a good idea. Everybody was a winner. We got extra plants, I got to take cool winter pictures and the birds got some extra food. Last year we still had some empty, this year, not so much. In the past if a small plant was threatened by encroachment it was easier to move the plant than worry about the encroachment. This year our big hostas bumped up against ferns and ligularia run rampant. Or was it the other way around, since hosta don’t move real fast and rampant expansionism are not usually associated with them? I’m not moving these guys. They are just too big. How does one person move a hosta that is 3 ft. tall and 5-6 ft. wide? Besides, I have a garden box to build and more plants to get. The ferns and ligularia had to go. Now I know you probably heard their cries as I was digging them up, but I assure you, they all have good homes; some are even in our yard.
You can see how the ligularia is crowding out Big Blue

Now Big Blue has some breathing room.

We finally decided upon a 4 ft. by 8 ft. garden box 18 in. tall. It will complement the tomatoes and peppers we grow in pots. We put a grid pattern over the garden box to give us an idea where to place the plants. We are interspersing flowers among the vegetables. About the time we need to either contact the UFW or rent a combine (I really am a city kid), we’ll make a decision about adding another box. I think we can turn this thing into a cold frame with a little work. I want to thank NikkiJabbour at year round veggie gardener for her advice. We made the box out of manufactured wood made from recycled plastic and wood products. Her blog is a great read, so if you haven’t visited, give it a try. Bangchik at my little vegetable garden has a great blog for flower and vegetable gardening ideas, so visit if you haven’t. It seems that the people I read also read the people I read. It’s kind of eerie, but just in case, I recommend these two blogs. Well I have to get a pair of bib overalls. I can hear it now. Green Acres is the place to be….


Our gardening season is already a success. Look at the pumpkin plants growing from the pumpkin we let go to seed over the winter. We have moved plants around because who knew it would get so big. I thought that semis filled with pumpkins left them on farmers fields after aliens made mazes and designs on their fields. The day lilies stay until they finish blooming.

13 comments:

LC said...

I always seem to forget how amazing hostas are when in full form in late spring or early summer... your plants look great ! Larry

Shyrlene said...

Jim - can you believe it wasn't that long ago that we 'Zone 4 & 5' folks were grousing about snow (early April as I recall!); now planting beds are bursting at the seems! (I just LOVE this time of year!)

Everytime I see your Hostas I am just in awe.... -Shyrlene

Christine B. said...

Things are really looking good, Jim. My hostas are only now just starting to emerge. I know...pathetic. On the flipside, the Ligularias are up and running. No reseeding here as of yet.

Your neighbors are lucky to be the recipients of your bounty. Wish my neighbors would take more plants off my hands. They think all plants are hard to grow. I think they spend more time tending their lawn than I do tending my garden.

Christine in Alaska

Urban Dirt Girl said...

Wow Jim, you and Pat are keeping busy! Your hostas look beautiful. Good luck with your veggie bed. I was always a flower girl until I discovered how much fun it was to grow your own food. Keep us posted! M

Floridagirl said...

Wow! That is hosta paradise! Beautiful garden! I can't believe you guys have only been at this 8 years!

Kyna said...

I've always wanted to try growing pumpkins, but I didn't think I had the room to spare...plus I'm terrible at growing vegetables, so i think they probably wouldn't work anyway. I'm too negative about veggie gardening, maybe the plants sense that? lol

Meredith said...

Big Blue definitely needs his space! I'm glad you gave him plenty of room. When planting my cabbages in late winter, I remember thinking two feet apart was way too much; now they're touching. It's good to use our imaginations and project how much room our plant friends will need.

Your hosta garden looks just as pretty as the one at the Botanical Gardens here -- which is a display garden for the American Hosta Society. I'd say whatever you are doing is *working*, Jim. :)

Meredehuit ♥ said...

I have never seen a garden with so many Hostas planted together. They are simply beautiful. I have a few Hostas planted in my gardens, but it seems you have a garden of Hostas! I enjoyed my visit. Thank you for sharing!

Hocking Hills Gardener said...

Just look at those hostas go and the pumpkin vines too. Your planter combination's are really pretty.Pat did a great job.Great planter box Jim I would so love to have a couple raised beds. Hope the bad storms are missing your area.

PatioPatch said...

What a fabulous collection of Hostas ...but I wonder how they all manage to look so lush and healthy. Do you not have slugs in your part of the hemisphere?

gippslandgardener said...

Wow! So much greenery Jim! Every time I see your lovely garden I think I should focus a bit more on foliage than flowers and then I promptly forget until I visit again! Maybe it will sink in eventually :)

Elizabeth Barrow said...

Your hostas are so lovely. They don't grow well for us here in hot, humid zone 9A, but they remind me of when I lived in KC and could enjoy them. Thanks for the great pictures!

Peeoknee said...

Love the raised bed. Never thought about the square-foot gardening in them. I have one that I turn mine into a little hoop-house in the winter for winter sowing. Easy as chips!!
And your Hostas, well thats another story all together. They are so happy and beautiful...