Garden Update

I’ve been busy these past few days–part of which involved buying and planting more plants. And more amendments, some of which like sand and compost are HEAVY. And I left the wheelbarrow in Maine and don’t want to buy another one as the planting here is almost done now.

First, here’s a beautiful street island covered by the Asiatic Jasmine ground cover I’ve planted here. Those trees are live oaks, and you can see this ground cover thrives in their shade. And my AJ is spreading now in good form. It seems to be happy.

The plants I added to this sunny bed are all perennials or shrubs that thrive here–and they all bloom–so my garden will draw in pollinators. And for the past few days, I’ve seen a butterfly on the butterfly bush I planted last week.

Yes, I was very inspired by watching the live documentary in which DIL Tami Enright, director of The Bee Cause Project, participated this past week. I learned a lot, actually. And I decided I wanted everything I planted here to bloom and not just be plants that “hold down” places in the beds that surround the house.

I added Russian Sage, a Mexican sage (new to me), some pink dianthus nestled along the pine straw border, and a perennial lantana that is such a pretty color. (There are two forms of lantana here: annual and perennial. The annual plants I’ve seen here are either white or a vivid yellow. I have enough white and there is already yellow with the Stella D’Ora day-lilies. Besides, I lucked into finding this lantana which is exactly what I wanted. I trimmed it back a bit after I took this picture to encourage it to be less “leggy.”)

Last week, I planted in this long sunny bed a white Encore Azalea, Autumn Joy, that is some kind of Rhododendron Hybrid that will bloom spring through fall. How cool is that? It comes in other colors too.

At the far end of the bed is a “Flip-It” Chaste Tree/shrub that will get tall, die back in winter, and come back in the following spring. One keeps it as tall or short as one wants by trimming, depending on where it lives.

It is called a Chaste Tree as it has herbal properties that some claim can cause a loss of libido. It’s called Flip It because the underside of the leaves are the most beautiful soft lavender.

This vitex plant blooms with long purple spikes, so thrives in dry conditions. I didn’t add any compost to its planting hole, but did add a lot of sand for drainage and some fertilizer to give it a good start. This plant hates having wet roots–so time will tell if it can manage the clay here, augmented by sand for drainage.

And on the far side of the house–the shade side–I planted a fragrant white “Frost Proof Gardenia” that will bloom spring and summer. I wanted a plant that would get big enough to form a kind of visual barrier to the equipment on that side of the house.

Here’s the long view. It’s hard to know yet how much these holly bushes will fill in at this corner. This gardenia will get about 2 feet tall and 3 feet wide. I’ll have to figure out something attractive on both sides of the house for the hoses. (A gas line runs along this bed to that piece of equipment, so I’m not comfortable doing more digging in this area.)

Digging all those holes–was made much easier by the purchase of this very heavy Maddox. I left a totally good Maddox in Maine. I had no idea I’d be digging holes in clay in SC!!! Or, trying to.

The roses do seem to be thriving. They have a lot of new growth and are starting to spread sideways. I’ve lightly trimmed the tops off and on so they will spread sideways. They are about to put out a new flush of flowers.

The grass is doing well mostly and is a healthy deep green color. There are some bald spots where the grass is just sitting down on clay. I’ve added some manure compost to some of those spots in the hope it will give them something to feed on in the sterile clay. There are pieces of the grass in those spots; it just needs a bit of help with the clay. And, apparently, lots of water.

Centipede grass is tricky, as I’ve said. But I’m hoping I’m learning to understand it better. It does not like competition, for one thing, so I’ve spent many hours after a heavy rain hand-pulling weeds in the early morning or late afternoon. I don’t mind that work; it gets me outside in the sun. I’ve filled several big grocery plastic bags with weeds–and the grass is showing the results now. Clearly, this grass LOVES water.

I’m taking a rest day today, for the most part. I’ll sew placemats after my dinner. The finished placemat pile is growing–I think I have six more to make. Each has its own napkin and most napkins are solids. The napkin to the side of the pile in an extra and is smaller–maybe it would be nice in a bread basket?

Dinner in a bit is lamb rack, baked sweet potato, roasted zucchini, some cut fresh veggies from yesterday, fruit for dessert (cantaloupe, raspberries, blackberries with a hint of maple syrup and mint from the garden), and an espresso with raw honey and raw cream–and time on the porch to read.

Have a great weekend! And thanks for reading this far, if you did!

Author: louisaenright

I am passionate about whole, nutrient-dense foods, developing local markets, and strengthening communities.

One thought on “Garden Update”

  1. YOU have been a very busy bee!!! Your place will look stunning in no time. Great job landscaping Louisa!

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