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Author Topic: The 2015 season of "Todd's Annual Yard Adventure . . ."  (Read 7926 times)
Oldcarsarecool
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« Reply #30 on: April 15, 2015, 01:25:47 AM »

continued .  .  .
Part 2 of 2





The inaugural UGA Horticulture Club Plant Sale for 2015 just happened to be today.  This was actually the first of several plant sales this spring, (sales will probably be held over the next three weekends).  This means I don't have to go too crazy all at one time which would be preferable considering I'm not too good at this "design" concept anyways.  I decided to get my feet wet with one of the concave areas of my new island. 





I don't want to plant something huge that would unintentionally shade the mystery bulbs.  It looks like there is enough room in each curve to plant 4 - 6 medium sized plants. 





The five Goldmound Spirea shrubs I brought home should reach a full height of 2 - 3 feet and produce pink flowers in the spring. 





Now the fun begins  -  WEEDING !  I don't really have what you would call a "lawn."  "Weed patch" is much more accurate.  And weeds don't like to go willingly or quietly.  But after a while, I got the area prepared.





Five small holes and some Garden Soil later, my design was in business.





I was also pleasantly surprised to find some actual "dirt."  In the past, I've found copious amounts of Georgia red clay.  My neighbor believes one of the previous owners had some dirt brought in many years ago. 





So how do I highlight this cluster of new plants ?





Black mulch looks like it will make a great contrast with the brownish color of the pine straw.





I like it !  The best part is that if I keep the design going the way it is, I potentially have a large number of concave areas available to plant more clusters of individual plants. 





This could get really interesting .  .  .
« Last Edit: April 21, 2015, 01:54:04 AM by Oldcarsarecool » Logged

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« Reply #31 on: April 19, 2015, 10:23:27 PM »

The peak of color . . .
April 10 - 11, 2015
Part 1 of 2





The Sweet Gum tree is now fully awake after having begun the process about 4 weeks ago.  I find myself commenting on just how fast this tree wakes up each spring.  But if I pay attention to the actual dates, it appears to take 5 - 6 weeks on average for this process to complete.  That's not exactly "fast."  It is, however, further reinforcement to the commentary I often make about how time seems to pass quicker as I age.  





The Crocus bulbs and Tulips have already bloomed and transitioned to green.





That leaves the Alliums on deck. And a closer look reveals that something is happening. I guess I'll find out in another week or two what these flowers look like. And yes, I know I've got some weeding to do.





But the big story today is the amount of color in the yard.  The Chinese Snowball is looking great !  I'm looking forward to a few seasons from now when this shrub grows.





I call this mid-April time period the "peak" of color.  A lot of things are blooming simultaneously.





The Bridal Wreath Spirea has been one of the biggest surprises of my planting adventures. The description on the tag from two years ago indicated that it would produce white blooms in the spring. I don't do well envisioning what something is supposed to look like, but thought it sounded like a good idea for the mailbox.





This was one of the best decisions I made for my yard.  I really like this shrub, and plan on picking up several more which will be a story for the future .  .  .


« Last Edit: April 19, 2015, 11:13:17 PM by Oldcarsarecool » Logged

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« Reply #32 on: April 19, 2015, 10:24:12 PM »

continued . . .
Part 2 of 2





The red/white combo Azalea next to the street has reached its peak.





I cut it way back last spring with the hope of encouraging new growth at the base of however many individual plants there happens to be.





The abundance of flowers all over the plants is a good sign. I'll cut it back again after the blooming season ends this year.





The color explosion continues back the driveway.  





The darker red Azalea next to the combo always blooms last.  It's usually getting started as all the others are peaking.





But all is "red" further down the line.








I left them alone last fall, which is what you're supposed to do, and unlike what I did the year prior.  








The Delaware Valley White Azalea I bought last year, (second from the right), didn't bloom.  Not sure why, but at least it's green and surviving.





I've got lots of color, which is great.  The Pampas Grass plants I moved out front should grow considerably in the future and add a nice contrast.





The Dogwood looks great !





Shooting it against the green pine trees makes for a good contrast.  





I've got big plans for this weekend that involve a bunch of weeding and a trip to the second UGA Horticulture Club Plant Sale .  .  .
« Last Edit: April 20, 2015, 12:34:16 AM by Oldcarsarecool » Logged

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« Reply #33 on: April 19, 2015, 11:46:11 PM »

Well, if it worked one time . . .
April 11 - 12, 2015
Part 1 of 4





Last weekend's project was the start of some actual "design" work in the front yard.  I decided to add some plants to areas of my "random curved shape" to see how it would look.  I came home from the first of many UGA Hort. Club Plant Sales with five Goldmound Spirea shrubs that now look right at home.





The key to this design was choosing plants of appropriate size.  The concave areas along the shape became great places to plant clusters of other plants.  But I didn't want to plant anything too big that would shadow everything in the center of the shape.





Last weekend's experiment worked well, and I've got several concave spaces available.  





This weekend, I am going to expand on the above idea by planting three more clusters of plants in other concave areas of the shape.  Making this happen involves more weeding, which appears to be turning into a bottomless pit project.  





I also penciled in a trip to this weekend's UGA Hort. Club Plant Sale.





These sales are always quite popular around here and very well attended.  I find being able to talk to Horticulture professors and graduate students about ideas more beneficial than anything else.  





I wandered around for a good hour before making a decision.





The reddish plants on the left in the photo above are Husker Red Beardtongues.  The smaller green plants on the right are Coronation Gold Yarrows.  I was also able to feed my addiction to ornamental grasses with some Pink Muhly Grass.  All of these plants will grow to around 3 feet tall, which will look great for the amount of space available in each concave area.  





I really like how the black mulch I used last weekend contrasts with the brown pine straw.  Needing more mulch also appears to be a never-ending adventure.  But luckily, Lowe's is a mere 2 miles from my house.





Time to get to work .  .  .
« Last Edit: April 21, 2015, 01:57:51 AM by Oldcarsarecool » Logged

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« Reply #34 on: April 20, 2015, 12:27:49 AM »

continued . . .
Part 2 of 4





You can see what I have in mind from the photo below.  I tried to clear as many weeds as possible from three concave areas.  





Each plant is going to grow to a full height of around 3 feet.  However, the Pink Muhly Grass is supposed to be wider than the Beardtongue and Yarrow, (3 feet wide vs. 2 feet wide, respectively).  The concave space at the bottom of the photo above seemed to be wider than the others, and more appropriate for the Pink Muhly Grass.





The Husker Red Beardtongues will go in the next area.





The Coronation Gold Yarrows will go in the area near the street.





The photos below give you an idea of what I'm aiming for.








The idea is pretty straight forward.  Dig a hole about twice as wide as the pot, add some garden soil, put the plant in the ground, repeat.





In this case, repeat 16 times.





My shovel, however, didn't get the "repeat" part of the memo.





With 3 holes left to dig, I put the shovel in the ground only to hear a crack !  In all honesty, this was an old shovel.  I'm not sure where it initially came from.  I'm thinking either wife # 1's dad had it, (possibly from the 1970s/80s ?), or my mom had it way back when, (possibly the 1960s ?).  Today was the day it gave up.





The last 3 holes were a little challenging, considering the only other shovels I have are snow shovels, (which nobody else in the neighborhood has, for some strange reason), and a small flat-edged transfer shovel.  It worked well enough to finish the job.





So far, so good.  All I need now is mulch .  .  .


« Last Edit: April 21, 2015, 01:59:01 AM by Oldcarsarecool » Logged

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« Reply #35 on: April 20, 2015, 12:42:27 AM »

continued . . .
Part 3 of 4





Time to break out the bags of black mulch.





My goal was to highlight each group of plants within a concave area with the contrasting black mulch.








I'm happy with the results !








You can see that adding curved areas in the manner seen above creates more concave spots where more clusters of plants can be added later.  And I suspect there will be more additions to the family in the near future .  .  .


« Last Edit: April 21, 2015, 02:00:17 AM by Oldcarsarecool » Logged

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« Reply #36 on: April 20, 2015, 01:21:24 AM »

continued . . .
Part 4 of 4





I also decided to tackle one other project that has been in the back of my mind for a while.  I mentioned above how I am hoping that the Pampas Grass plants I originally planted in the shade of the back yard will recover now that I've moved then into the sun out front.  In those days, I was pretty oblivious to the idea that planting stuff that calls for full sun in the shade won't work.  Almost everything I originally planted in the back yard when I began this gardening adventure 3 years ago eventually had to be moved.  One item remains.





The Silver European Fan Palm tree I planted one day shy of exactly 2 years ago has survived, but never really "grown."  This is because palm trees don't like the shade, a concept that for whatever reason was completely lost on me.  I've wanted to move it out front for a while, but never knew where until now.  But before anything can happen, I need a new shovel !  Lowe's was happy to oblige.  





This palm tree has the potential to grow to around 20 feet tall.  I'll believe that when I see it.  But just in case, it's probably not a good idea put it in a concave space near the other clusters of plants.  In order to have it in full sun, I settled on the convex area next to the Star Magnolia.





I tried to give it enough room just in case it decides to surprise me, which would be wonderful.  Unexpected, but wonderful.





I had to make another trip to Lowe's for more black mulch, surprise, surprise.  





And this is the result of my efforts.








The last step in this weekend's project was to cut the grass.





I like it !  And I've got lots of room for expansion.  





I mentioned above how much I really like the Bridal Wreath Spirea at the mailbox, and how I'd like to get a few more of them.  Looking at the photos above, the area in between the maple and pear trees seems like it would be a good fit.  Stay tuned .  .  .
« Last Edit: April 21, 2015, 01:09:58 PM by Oldcarsarecool » Logged

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« Reply #37 on: April 25, 2015, 11:12:37 PM »

As long as I'm tackling projects . . .
April 18, 2015





It's been raining pretty steadily in northern Georgia for the last week.  The new additions to the yard are quite happy as a result.





The more Mother Nature waters, the less I have to, which means the less I have to pay the Athens-Clarke County Water Authority.  I see nothing but "win" with this arrangement.








The Azaleas are winding down for the season.  





The dark red Azalea second in line from the street always blooms last, and therefore keeps its flowers longer than the others.





The heavy rain has also done a good job of removing the petals.  I'm under the impression that this is the time to prune and shape, which I'll get to soon.





One other project has been laying dormant for a while.  I've mentioned the Daffodils by the patio that try and bloom each spring, and how I should move them out front.


March 4, 2015



Several Crocus bulbs sit behind those Daffodils.


March 4, 2015



Today seemed to be a good day to try and dodge the raindrops and get everything moved.  The area where the two rose bushes sit seems like the best destination.





I had to do some weeding first, naturally.  





I started digging up the 5 separate small clusters of Daffodils to find about 30 bulbs total !  They fit nicely on the one corner of the area.





The Crocus bulbs went in the ground next to the other Crocus bulbs I planted last fall.





I'll add mulch later to make things look nice.  This is another project where I won't see the results until next spring.  But at least it's another project that's done .  .  .
« Last Edit: May 08, 2016, 12:23:14 AM by Oldcarsarecool » Logged

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« Reply #38 on: May 01, 2015, 10:50:55 PM »

A week of rain makes stuff grow . . .
Part 1 of 2
April 25, 2015





Athens saw two more days of rain since my last entry one week ago.  My apologies to residents of California who may be reading along.  But this raises the total to 10 of the previous 14 days where rainfall was recorded.  The 22 new tenants in my front yard are grateful for the drink.  I'm grateful that I don't have to pay the Athens-Clarke County Water Authority for providing it.  I see nothing but "Win" here !





This means that everyone is happy and healthy, me included.  And my eyes may be deceiving me.  But I think I see some new growth already.





The reddish stems on the Husker Red Beardtongues seem to be taller by an inch or so.





The Coronation Gold Yarrows are showing the beginnings of blooming.  





These shrubs are supposed to bloom in early summer.  The flat clusters of small flowers should turn gold.  So this looks like they're right on schedule.





I'm really hoping the Silver European Fan Palm tree does well in the sun.  After several years of "existing" in the back yard, I'd love to see it grow.





The Goldmound Spireas are doing well, and are supposed to bloom in pink in June and July .  .  .


« Last Edit: May 08, 2016, 12:14:24 AM by Oldcarsarecool » Logged

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« Reply #39 on: May 01, 2015, 10:52:00 PM »

continued . . .
Part 2 of 2





The Happy Returns Daylilies did exactly that - return, which is good, and I am happy.  





Still waiting on the mystery bulbs with fingers crossed.





It looks like the Tiny Dessert Asiatic Lilies have multiplied.  For whatever reason, it seems like they're quite a bit larger than I remember.  





I'll have to research these plants to see if I'm supposed to divide them at a certain point.





Hopefully, this single rose is the start of something good.  





As nice as the rain has been for the appearance of the yard, it has put a damper on actually working in it.  My next project is on hold as a result.





A coworker asked me if I wanted a small Japanese Maple tree earlier in the week.  Uhm .  .  . Yes !  I'd love one.  It will be going out front in an as yet undetermined location at some point if it ever stops raining .  .  .


« Last Edit: May 08, 2016, 12:17:24 AM by Oldcarsarecool » Logged

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« Reply #40 on: May 04, 2015, 12:52:03 AM »

I've waited THREE YEARS for this day !  !  !
May 1, 2015





Back in March 2012, my friend Heather acquired a bunch of unknown bulbs and gave me a cluster of them.  I had no idea what to do with them at that time, and planted them in the back yard by the patio until I could figure something out.


March 12, 2012



I asked questions.  The advice given to me was to "divide them."  Ok.  Once I figured out how to do this, it seemed like there were more plants here than I had originally.


February 8, 2013



They grew fine, but never produced flowers  -  none in 2013, and none again in 2014.  It took me a surprisingly long amount of time to realize that flowers need sunlight, which is scarce in the back yard.  This obvious yet elusive revelation lead me to moving all of them out front into the center of the yard in May 2014.  That "dividing" thing came into play again.  It sure seemed like I had a lot more bulbs after the move than when I started.


August 24, 2014



And look what I found this weekend .  .  .





FLOWERS !





After three years of waiting, the mystery bulbs finally began to bloom.





And also after three years of waiting, the mystery bulbs finally have a name.





Thanks to my neighbor, who knew right away what they were, I now know that I have a whole bunch of Yellow Flag Irises.





He also tells me that they multiply profusely when divided, which explains why I have as many as I do.  To this point in my care, they've been divided twice.  





Seeing this made my weekend .  .  .
« Last Edit: May 07, 2016, 11:30:13 PM by Oldcarsarecool » Logged

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« Reply #41 on: May 20, 2015, 12:49:13 AM »

Maybe I'm onto something here .  .  .
May 1 - 3, 2015
Part 1 of 3





At the beginning of this season, I decided to try my hand at actual landscape design and created a random curved shape in the center of the front yard.  My front yard is nothing but weeds, meaning I had nothing to lose and gave it a shot.  From this emerged a series of concave and convex areas along the shape that seemed to beg for clusters of greenery to be planted within.  I obliged.





Then a question arose:  I wonder how far I can carry this idea ?





You can see from the photo above what I'm thinking.  I was originally wondering if the Japanese Maple tree I acquired a week ago would work in that location.  After clearing the area and setting the pot in place, something about it just didn't look right.  My neighbor agreed, and suggested I use the Japanese Maple as a feature tree.  Rather than put it out front, he suggested putting it back near my garage, thus drawing your eyes in that direction and highlighting everything in front of it.  I think I understand.

But now, I have this cleared area out front that is ready and waiting for something.  Lowe's has me covered.





These Super Blue Lavender plants grow to around 18" tall, and will look great in that small space.





And I think I've got another idea !





The black mulch I used previously contrasts well with the brown pine straw.  Red mulch will contrast really well with both of those colors.





I like it !  


« Last Edit: May 07, 2016, 11:26:05 PM by Oldcarsarecool » Logged

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« Reply #42 on: May 20, 2015, 01:08:08 AM »

continued .  .  .
Part 2 of 3





I kept clearing on that side of the curved shape.  





I decided to flank the Pink Muhly Grass with more ornamental grass.  





Pony Tails Mexican Feather Grass seems to have that soft feel and fine texture similar to what I admired in Madison and Jekyll Island over the Christmas Holiday.  





If all goes well, I should have a bunch of 2 - 3 feet tall soft and fine textured ornamental grass plants in the future.





I finished the project off with more contrasting red mulch.








I see a lot of potential here.  The area in between the maple and pear trees seen below is already on my radar.





But the other end of the shape seems like it would cooperate with this idea as well .  .  .


« Last Edit: May 07, 2016, 11:21:30 PM by Oldcarsarecool » Logged

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« Reply #43 on: May 20, 2015, 01:56:03 AM »

continued .  .  .
Part 3 of 3





Future expansion plans aside, the question now becomes what to do with the Japanese Maple tree.  





My neighbor has never failed to provide good gardening advice.  His suggestion of a "feature tree" was directed toward a location near the garage that happens to be occupied by a Leyland Cypress currently being used by the local deer community as a scratching post, hence the dead portion.





"Fifty feet tall" was the spec. given on the tag.  Some online sources mention that under ideal growing conditions, a Leyland Cypress can reach the height of a 9-story building.  This apparently applies to anywhere except my front yard.  I just can't win with these shrubs.  They behave like Darrell Hammond's "Sean Connery" interacting with Will Ferrell's "Alex Trebek" on an episode of SNL's Celebrity Jeopardy.


<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kX8Qqu_WBIc" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kX8Qqu_WBIc</a>


In another bit of "I don't have anything to lose," I decided to move the sickly Cypress to the back yard in the spot formerly occupied by the Silver European Fan Palm tree, which now sits out front in the sun.  





The Japanese Maple tree went in the ground where the Leyland Cypress stood.





Time will tell if this was a good decision.  But like I said earlier, my neighbor never fails to give gardening advice that isn't really good.





Mowing the lawn finished the adventure.











I like it !  Plus I've got room for expansion.





I showed these pics to a coworker who pointed something out to me.  Despite originally being a Yankee from Pennsylvania where everything is "Nittany Lion," the black and red color scheme now officially makes me a "Georgia Bulldog" .  .  .


« Last Edit: May 07, 2016, 11:16:15 PM by Oldcarsarecool » Logged

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« Reply #44 on: May 30, 2015, 11:40:19 PM »

April showers bring May flowers .  .  .
May 13 & 24, 2015
Part 1 of 2





Yeah, it's a cliché.  But I'm not going to complain if Mother Nature wants to do the watering instead of Athens-Clarke County.  She's done a wonderful job so far this spring.  Everything I had in place before this season began has responded, lending a good bit of truth to the old saying.  This year's adventure began with Crocus bulbs and Tulips.  The Azaleas did their thing (because I left them alone last fall !).  The Chinese Snowball and Bridal Wreath Spirea both turned beautiful white.  The Creeping Phlox that I was prepared to write off surprised me with a bunch of flowers.  And the Yellow Flag Iris "Mystery" bulbs appeared for the first time while in my care.


May 1, 2015



Now I see where items I just planted a few weeks ago are beginning to bloom.  The Husker Red Beardtongues produced white flowers right on schedule.


May 13, 2015



The angle on the above photo doesn't do the best job of highlighting the flowers thanks to the bright sun.  But the contrast can be seen a little better in the two photos below.


May 13, 2015



May 13, 2015



The Coronation Gold Yarrows are starting to bloom yellow.  They've grown noticeably since planted last month.


May 13, 2015



May 24, 2015



It's hard to see in the photos below.  But the Goldmound Spireas are sporting a few pink flowers.


May 13, 2015



There weren't a lot of flowers.  And what bloomed didn't last very long.  But that's ok.  I'm looking forward to great things next spring .  .  .


May 24, 2015
« Last Edit: May 07, 2016, 11:09:43 PM by Oldcarsarecool » Logged

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