Friday, April 29, 2011

Long Week

I haven't posted this week. We have had some terrible weather and not much outdoor work going on.

If you can donate time, assistance, blood, or money, the folks in Alabama could certainly use it right now.

Tornado Relief/Assistance and Resources

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Unfencing Project: Before and After

In the last year, quite a bit of work has been done to clear off the old fence line and brush behind the house.

When I moved in, there wasn't much of a back yard. An old fence had become grown over with blackberries, honey suckle, brambles, trumpet vine, poison ivy, etc. There was also a low spot that held water during the wet parts of the year and had been a wallowing spot for the pigs that used to live back there when my parents raised pork.

Last year we started cleaning it off. It was a monumental task. Lonnie started with a Joe blade, but the amount of clearing to do was daunting. Dad managed to borrow a trac-hoe, cleared out most of the brush and dug out the pond a bit.

Here are some photos for your enjoyment. Click on them to be taken to the larger version.

Unfencing project Making progress Spring 2010 before Backyard after

The first of these three was taken in the Fall of 2009, the next two were taken Spring 2010, and the last was just taken last week. I can't believe how much different it looks. You can't imagine how thick the brush was back there!

Fall 2010 after clearing Fall 2010 after clearing Fall 2010 after clearing Fall 2010 after clearing

Here are a few shots of it last fall after we seeded it with rye grass and fescue.

Pond area after Pond area after

This is the pond area this Spring! We can actually enjoy this now.

Fall 2008 before Spring 2010 before Spring 2011 after

2008, last year, last week.

I hope these photos make sense. I can't believe how much work has been done and how different it looks after just one year. It is still a work in progress, but I really enjoy spending time in my yard now.

Lonnie and Izzy

Bonus picture! Lonnie, and our lab Isabelle.

My roses

I've never been a big fan of roses. As a gardener I'd always been a plant-once-and-done type of girl, but as I get older I find that I'm more willing to nurture things that need a little more care. Up until five years ago, I'd never lived somewhere long enough to get roses established and really watch them flourish. I have also discovered that there are two camps of gardeners as far as roses are concerned. There are those who love them and those who hate them. I used to be in the "hate" camp.

When I first moved into my house there were two plants, other than the sawtooth oaks and apple trees, that had been planted in the yard on purpose. One was a miniature rose that didn't live long and the other was an unnamed variety of red rose that has survived being mowed down, eaten and generally mistreated. See the first sentence of this post if you're wondering why.

Enter the rose.

The aforementioned red rose that was planted in the middle of the yard by the previous owner? Turned out to be TWO rose bushes planted in the same hole. I have no idea how that happened, but I decided to dig it up last year and move it to a spot where it can get a little more care. The other one went home with my bff, Daphne. I haven't asked her how it's doing yet, but she loves roses, so I have to assume it's thriving.

Since the move, it has put on tons of new leaf growth, and I think I even saw a bud or two the other day. I didn't cut it back before moving it because I thought the added stress would just be too much. I guess I was right because it looks great!

Other roses in my garden:

Eden Climber
Eden Climber (aka Pierre de Ronsard)

New Day
New Day


Angel Face
Angel Face

Double Knock-out
Double Knock-out

    My Eden Climber was the only thing that did well last year during the horrible drought and heatwave we had. We had more than 2 weeks above 100 with no rain. It was an awful year and I lost a lot of perennials because of it. Eden was watered and fertilized regularly and I believe I will be rewarded this year. I have her climbing on an arbor with two different clematis, and the color and texture contrast of the flowers will be spectacular!

    I guess I can say without reserve that I'm now officially hooked on growing roses.

    If you don't have a good nursery nearby, find one here:

    Rose Roses

    If you would like to see more blooms, head over and see Carol at May Dreams Gardens for Garden Bloggers Bloom Day.
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