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Marsanne Petty
I enjoy writing, reading, photography, history, investigating old structures and trying not to get arrested by entering said structures. I write for Skirt and for Ehow. I can be contacted at mapetty@gmail.com.

Melody Lee
I like to garden and wow people with my artistic interpretations of how flowers should be arranged. I also write for Ehow and Garden Guides. I can be contacted at annlees@gmail.com.

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Friday, February 26, 2010

Five Things

Dave at The Home Garden asked us to talk about 5 garden projects we want to do this year. The assignment is due today, and I am almost late as usual. The next assignment is to write about garden chores we have been putting off. Guess I’ll have to list blogging as one of those.

Let’s start with an easy project – the new Japanese Maples. I snagged these two Tamukeyama (Coral Bark) maples at the end of the season last year for $10 a piece. Yep, you read that right. They were in the sun, stressed, and one had been dumped out of the pot and lost half the soil, so the manager let me have them cheap.
I planted them in partial sun with a dwarf gardenia that never grows and hardly ever blooms. I started planting a ring of ‘Citronelle’ Coral Bells and ‘Red October’ Hostas, but I ran out of plants. I think that is what they are, since I didn’t label them and my plant labels are all jumbled together. (Note: add organizing labels to things I have been putting off)
I want to finish the ring of Coral Bells and Hostas and edge the bed with some river rock to match the nearby bed of ferns. That should be easy.

We have been growing a few veggies in pots, but I decided I wanted a raised bed this year. We were going to buy the lumber to build one, but the power company offered us the old pole they replaced in our yard and another one. Of course, we said yes, and Michael used the chain saw to cut short pieces for the ends. (The pole in our yard was at least 26 years old and the other one looked older, so I don’t think there is any danger of creosote poisoning)
We bought a trailer load of potting soil mixed with mushroom compost and filled up the veggie bed. We even have enough for a strawberry bed – that’s the third project. Again, we have been growing strawberries in pots but there are so many now, I think we need a bed. Too bad we can’t get some more poles – guess, we will have to buy the lumber this time.

This is the Japanese Garden, an ongoing project. Of course, I want to plant more Japanese Maples, but the main project is the bed on either side of the screen at the back of the garden. I can’t decide what to plant there – each bed is about 8 feet long and 3 feet wide.
I bet you are wondering why there is a bed there. Because a pile of plywood lay there and killed the grass. Since the grass was dead anyway, I decided to plant something I wanted there. But I can’t decide what I want. Any suggestions?

We started this project last summer. There were huge azaleas growing around this tree and a tree at the other end of this bed. They blocked the view of the Japanese Garden, which is to the right of this shot. So, they had to go. You can see them piled up behind the tree.
Wow, what a difference it made! I felt like I had gotten rid of a black hole. Let’s face it, azaleas are pretty when they are blooming, but they are just big blobs the rest of the year.
I had started a Yellow Garden in front of the azaleas to lighten them up but it didn’t really work. Now I have extended the bed around the trees where the azaleas were and I am slowly adding more plants. I want to add some low growing shrubs with yellow or gold foliage for structure, because almost everything in the bed is a perennial right now.

So there you have 5 – I didn’t even tell you about adding more grasses and perennials to the Grass Garden along the fence, or making a Chocolate and Caramel Garden, or planting trees and shrubs that stand wet feet in the back yard, or …. Well, you know how it is. So what are you planning to do this year? Tells us your plans and leave a link for Dave at The Home Garden.


  1. You have your hands full! I don't know how much sun you get in the new spot but Japanese Painted ferns are a good way to go for shady spots. Azaleas do seem to be one of those single season plants!

  2. I enjoyed reading about your gardening. I live in a house where the back yard is all shade, wet in the spring, extremely dry in the summer. I'm considering a raised bed so that my plants don't rot in the winter and spring. Hope it works. YOu've inspired me to try.

    Thanks for visiting junkblossoms. We hope you'll come back soon. We love company. Pat

  3. Oh I adore the Japanese Acers, but do not think they stand a chance where we live. How lucky to get the pole like that. It makes such an attractive raised bed. And free too! Always a plus.

  4. Gosh, mushroom compost is one of those things I keep reading about but have never ever seen in real life. I'll bet it's glorious and I'm envious! Hope your maples make it!

  5. I love your Japanese Garden! The Japanese maples (what a bargain!) will look beautiful in them. This winter I've had so many ideas for projects swirling around in my brain that I think the first thing I need to do is to pare down the list or I won't get anything finished this summer:)