Plants, bushes and more plants


I’m sitting here thinking it’s too late to head up to the homestead tonight so I’m roaming around the computer.  My friend Karen Z sends a message and asks if I would like some plants.  I say sure and make plans to stop by her house on the way up tomorrow morning.

Karen has a beautiful garden.  It’s been on the Park Hill Garden Tour a couple of times.  I made a book for her.  Here’s the link to it if you’d like to check it out.  Her garden gives me inspiration.  Last year the shade plants I put in the front (that unfortunately did not make it through the -30 we had in November – except for the Bleeding Heart) came from her garden.

Wow, she has a lot.  I load up the back of my car (actually I pile it in).  Four rose bushes (2 ground cover, one floribunda and one shrub) , a hibiscus (white with deep pink center), three spireas (not sure what color but maybe the same as the blue mist or black knight), two hydrangea, one Lil Miss Kim Lilac and a bunch of mostly sun perennials.  I wasn’t sure what I would do this week but now I have planting plans.

The sky is beautiful again as I drive up.  Bright blue with white clouds.  It’s around noon when I pull up.  I unload all the plants near the water pump in the back and give them a good watering.  It’s hot today so I don’t plan on starting digging now.  I have extra days this week so I will hit the planting in the morning when it’s cool.

I have Season 5 of Downton Abbey that I need to watch and since it’s so hot I pop a DVD in my computer and take it upstairs to my comfy chair.  I turn on the overhead fan and it is irritatingly noisy.  There is a piece of something caught underneath the plate the fans rotate on.  I saw it a couple of weeks ago and when I tried to get it out it slipped underneath out of reach. I turn it on high and finally the paper or whatever moves around again.  I go get some tweezers and finally get it out.  It is probably the label that came on the fan years ago.  It’s some sort of cellophane and yellow and faded.  Seeing that there are still tags on the windows I’m not surprised.  How could someone put in new windows and leave the paper tags on for years and years?  Ok, now I can stand the fan.

Hey, it’s football time.  Also, volleyball time.  Denise’s neighbor’s daughter plays volleyball and that is at 6:00 and the football game starts 20 minutes after volleyball is finished.  Wow, the visiting team only has six girls on their team so there is no jayvee game, just varsity.  All the home town girls are sitting in a row and there are about 18 of them.  The visiting team has to play the whole time.  Denise and I are rooting for the visiting team whenever they make a good play because they are behind 13-0 in the first game.  We are confused though.  Why are they playing past 21?  Again, the rules are different here.  Is this normal for all high school or just because they are small schools?  Each side makes a point whether they serve or not, and they play to 25.  Probably the same thing as football.  Too small to have good kickers so probably hard to have good servers, which normally is an advantage so it makes the playing field more even.  Not sure what I think about this.

Volley ball is over and we head over to the football field.  Home town loses tonight.


Touchdown, Falcons. Hmmm, looks pretty close to a facemask penalty.

It’s morning and I’m sitting on the deck with a cup of coffee.  It’s beautiful weather, blue sky and white puffy clouds.  But there’s no rest for the wicked so I get up and get going.  I keep thinking about the small area out front.  It wouldn’t take much to dig that up and put something in there.  I just haven’t been able to decide exactly what I want to do with it.  I get a bright idea.  I have four roses and the hibiscus so I decide to make a rose garden in the corner where the front entrance was added on.  There is a nice corner there where the front entrance is and goes over to the side wall (where there is another corner where the kitchen was added on).

If I’m going to do a rose garden there I need some mulch.  I’m not really a fan of mulch but up here there are so many weeds there is no other choice except raised gardens like I did the veggie garden.  I’m going to try some to see if it keeps the weeds down.  I know it will help keep the plants damp since I’m not up here every day to water the new plants in.

I head off to the Sam’s in Evans and I will stop by Poulsen’s to see if they have bags of mulch.  My GPS is taking me a crazy route.  I finally get to 37th street in Evans and right in front of me is a cute little nursery.  Hey, I bet they have mulch.  They have quite a bit of stuff.  They have pavers, rocks, gravel and sand by the load if you want it. I ask if they have bags of mulch.  They do but before I get some I wander around the nursery.  They have quite a bit of stuff, it looks good, and the prices are very reasonable.  I think four bags of mulch will be enough.  It’s always nice to find a new nursery.

After I pick up the mulch I find Sam’s Club.  I go in and have lunch at all the demonstration stands (ok, this is a joke amongst friends – it’s crazy how much food they demonstrate there all the time).  I pick up some new rags.  I can’t find the ones I want but find some that will do.  I head off to the cool King Soopers to pick up some ribs, watermelon and corn for a holiday feast at Denise and John’s.  I can taste the smoked ribs already.

I get home and it’s very hot today so time to hide inside again.

It’s the next morning and I better get to planting while it’s cool outside.  It’s about 6:00 so that will give me a good four hours of cool.  I think it will be quick and easy to plant the spireas first.  I have the perfect amount to put along the fence on the driveway.  Karen gave me a spirea last year and right now it’s gorgeous and in full bloom and the bees are loving it.  The ground is not hard here so it doesn’t take me too long to dig up the soil, add some compost, and plant them.  I have some old bark I will put around them for mulch.

Next I tackle the rose garden.  I pull and clear out all the weeds and those *#($&*# grass burrs.  Those little sticky things stick to everything and you can’t pick them off because they stick to whatever touches them.  I have to take my hori hori knife and knock them off into the weed pile.  It takes longer to get rid of those than it does to clear the space.  I thought I had gotten rid of them but it seems like even when you can’t see them you still find them everywhere.  It’s sort of easy digging here.  There are lots of rocks in the ground here.  There is some cement from the house and add ons but just lots of small rocks.  I add quite a bit of compost here.  The soil really needs something  It’s very dry and hard.  It takes a while but I get the four roses and hibiscus planted.  I think they will do well here.  They face east and will get about 6 to 8 hours of sun.  They are also by the wall so will get some heat from the wall.  That will help in the winter.

Uggg, that took quite a while.  It’s almost noon but there is cloud cover today so not as hot as it could be.  This gives me time to spread the mulch.  I have enough so I do the spirea as well.  Another thing I don’t like about mulch is sometimes bugs will breed in it.  I hope not.  Time will tell.  There are enough bugs around the front of the house as it is.

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HAH, looking at that picture I really need to paint the front yard fence.  Needs a good whitewash.  AND, the way they patched the wall is interesting. Looks like they took cement and just slapped it on the wall.  Another reminder the outside of the house needs painted.  Always something to add to the list.

I get the bushes planted and then drag the hose out front to water them in and give them a good soaking.  Ok, the rest is up to nature!!  Please grow little plants.  OK, I’ve been at it 8 hours out here so time to take the rest of the day off and relax.  There is a shady spot out back.  I need to go test it out and see if it would be a good place for a bench.  I sit in the shade and it feels really nice back here.  I think this would be a great place for sitting and reading or relaxing.  I don’t have any big trees but there is one in the yard across the alley.  It’s so big it stretches across and hangs over my yard and gives shade.

It’s morning and I’m sitting on the deck again.  Another beautiful day.  Today is feast day.  Denise will have the ribs smoking soon.  I will go over around 2:00 but in the meantime I still have lots of plants to deal with.  I have 2 hydrangea, a Lil Miss Kim Lilac and about 9 or 10 perennials to plant.  I start out front in the garden that looked good last year but this year nothing much came up.  The Canna I planted is gorgeous.  Big deep bright rose colored blooms.  There are some Black Eyed Susans and the alyssum I planted in the Spring is still really nice.  I pull out more bindweed (a weekly chore) and start digging.  I have a phlox that says part shade to sun so I plant it on the more shady side.  I have some things that are full sun so I plant those on the sunny side.  It’s not easy digging.  Last year it was easy digging here but the ground is almost rock solid today.  I put plenty of compost in this one too.  I get all the perennials planted and decide it’s time to plant the rest of the bushes.

The hydrangea are a nice size so I’m looking for the right spot to put them.  Facing east where they can get some morning sun but shade pretty quickly.  Uggg, I try three different places and they are all rock solid.  Same with the Lilac.  I will have to soak wherever I want to put them before digging.  I don’t have time for that now so I soak them and put them in the shade.  Hopefully they will be ok and I can plant them next week.

I think I’ll quickly harvest the garden and there is again another ton of tomatoes (Early Girl and Green Zebra and Sweet 100’s), peppers, and squash.  I pick them and take them in a give them a good wash.  It’s time to pack up and head over to Denise and John’s.

I head over and we wander around and check out the chickens.  They are laying a lot now.  They are laying a lot in the barn and some in the coop.  They are clucking up a storm and strutting around.  They are fun to watch.

Lunch is excellent.  Denise rubbed the ribs and sauced them.  The corn is Olathe and always good.  The watermelon is Rocky Ford and excellent too.  Denise made home made ice cream to top it off.  It’s nice to sit and relax with good friends and have a great meal.

I’m content as I head on back down home for another work week.

















About pbodwell

Master Gardener; Nat'l Award Winning Photographer; Garden Writer; Artist - art books, print maker, hot glass, wire jewelry designer; sometime quilter; new homesteader; bee keeper; very crafty; Baseball fan, enthusiast, and researcher; all things vintage
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