Thursday, June 7, 2012

Earlier this Spring...

As I wait for the weekend to do some work on the garage-side flower beds, let's reminisce of this past Spring.


Yeah, not much to remember, actually. We had a nice week of Summer temps (up to 90 in March!) but then it went back to normal.

My Daffodil bulbs were particularly pretty this year and the family tulips made their annual appearance. The wind and rain didn't give us many good days with the tulips, but they were nice while they lasted.

Daffodil Trumpets

10 Tulips

10 Droopy Tulips

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Garden Visitors

While I worked last week I had several garden visitors, most of them welcome.

I spotted this little guy while pruning my Iceburg Rose bush.

Green and Fuzzy Caterpillar

I watched this Butterfly flit around my garden all afternoon hoping that it would land and let me take some pictures. It finally found the Rhododendron but kept rushing away when I got near. However, it kept returning and either realized I wasn't a threat or figured the gain was worth the risk. As he circled the blooms I got about a dozen beautiful shots.
Swallowtail Butterfly
If it had been up to the several Bumblebees buzzing around the garden the Butterfly wouldn't have gotten anything. As I took pictures of the Butterfly this one particular Bumblebee kept flying into it, trying to keep it away. But that Butterfly was persistent. The Bumble finally just picked another flower and left the Butterfly alone.
Busy Busy Bumblebee
This last visitor is a permanent one. I found several of these guys at Marden's, a Maine staple, and picked up a few. I really cheers up the garden in those empty spaces.
Patience, Grasshopper...

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Back in the swing of things...

Well, it's been a while, hasn't it?

I wasn't sure if I was going to even attempt gardening this year. The returning flowers and bushes seemed to be doing just fine on their own. I considered just letting them do their own thing with no intervention from me.

But then I realized that would mean no tomatoes straight from the garden, or the plethora of crookneck squash I always end up with and I would really miss my peas.

That pulled me out of my gardening funk just enough to request a full week off after Memorial Day as opposed to my regular two extra days and I got most of my gardening chores done - chores that I could have been doing gradually all Spring instead of wearing myself out trying to do it all at once. I can only hope I learn from this year and never put off the work this long again.

But enough with that downer BS. Here's some pictures of what I had to start with and how it all turned out last week.

My Left Bed in Early April. Eww.

My Left Bed before any work was done - plants look pretty good, don't they?

Left Bed after weeding and mulching and adding a few new plants

Left Bed from a different angle. I prefer this Brown mulch to the Red mulch I usually get.

My new Hosta - Twilight. And no, I did not buy this because of those terrible books.

No before pics on this - my shade garden is filling in very well. You can't see it in this picture but all of the Astilbe plants are budding this year.

The Iris Bed, recovering well after the chipmunks ate all of the early Spring growth right down to the tubers.

The corner bed - only one Dianthus plant returned so I filled it in with Marigolds and a big Bee.

My new front corner bed - I laid brown paper bags down and covered them with a thick layer of mulch. Hopefully the bags will have broken down by next Spring and I can plant here.

The Right bed in early April. Again - ewww

The Right bed last week before any work was done. The Rhododendron gave me flowers this year. Yay!

The Right bed after weeding, mulching and adding new plants

The South bed in Early April - see all the mole tunnels? Grrr.

The South bed before any work was done - the Wild Rose Bush was escaping the fence and the weeds were awful.

The South bed after weeding and taming the Rose Bush

The South bed from a different angle. I need to fill in those empty gaps

The Strawberries survived the winter.

I really let the vegetable garden go - it was full of weeds, some over a foot tall by the time I finally did anything to it.

I only planted four vegetables this year - squash (2 types), Peas, Tomatoes (3 types) and cucumbers. This is the squash bed, and as you can see, I decided to lay newspaper down as a weed deterrent. This was really easy and I hope it saves me loads of time this summer.

The vegetable garden all done. I used Brown mulch in the top and bottom beds. The middle still had its mulch from last Summer and I didn't need to add any.
So, there you go. I'm back into the gardening swing of things and hopefully I'll be able to finish up the garage-side flower beds in the next few weeks to make the entire yard ship-shape. It's been raining for 5 days now so not much has been done since last Thursday, but I'm very happy with what I was able to get done.