Monday, May 31, 2010

Project French Drain: Completed!

It was a long, dirty, time consuming, hard job-but the french drain is complete! I really owe hubby for this one! Chopping through those roots was tough. He worked on this project every evening after work, and every weekend. This is a view from the gate coming from the side yard.
But this is the view I usually see as it is coming into the back from the driveway. You can see what a narrow yard we have. To re-cap: hubby dug a trench chopping roots as he went. The trench was about 16 inches deep and 10 inches wide. We then put down landscape fabric, laid the pipe, covered it with rocks, then topped it off with mulch. We used no-float, which is not my favorite type of mulch, but every other kind I tried always washed away.
After the drain was in, I took over and finished the area. I added some new plants, and moved a few plants. (The pole you see has a bird feeder at the top.)
The path winds down behind the flagstone patio. Notice anything missing? Flagstone stepping stones! I decided not to use any after all. I like the look and feel of the path with just mulch. I am hoping after we walk on it several weeks, it will look more like the "beaten path" that I always yearned for!
The path ends here. You can see the stepping stones that lead you out the gate.
So we come to the end of the path and look back. Over time, I will add more plants, but it's great for right now. I couldn't be happier with the results. It is such a comfort knowing the next time we have heavy rains, no more flooded areas! Of course, summer has hit here in Texas, so we probably will not have any rain for a while. But when the rain returns...we will be prepared!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Wildflower Excitement!!

I am so excited--I had to share my excitement with you! You all know wildflowers are my passion. When we travel, I carry a field guide with me and try to spot and identify as many wildflowers as I can. My dream would be to have my own meadow and have it full of wildflowers nodding their heads in the breeze. As it is, I have no meadow, so I devote a corner of my little backyard to wildflowers. And they have started to bloom. (you never know what will happen when you scatter seeds in fall!)
The clasping coneflowers are starting"develop."

They don't just bud, then open. They start with a center, then the petals begin to develop until you actually have flowers. So interesting!
When I ordered seeds from the Wildseed Farm, they sent me a free package of mixed seeds, which I just threw out in this bed last fall. I didn't even look closely at what it contained, so I was surprised to see this gaillardia (blanket flower) blooming in this bed! I also see blue cornflowers and I think phlox. Love these kinds of surprises!
But my big exciting moment this week: I was watching this plant grow and grow. Looking at the fern like leaves, I was afraid it was just another cosmos (well, you know how prolific they are!) I scattered seeds for Plains Coreopsis in fall, and was so in hopes that's what it was..and, I was not disappointed! Ohhhh, I was so excited to go out Thursday night and find the buds had opened and it was the cute, cute coreopsis I had been hoping for!
They are tall too, and their heads definitely nod in the breeze. I just love them! Now, this wildflower bed is..well..
wild! It is certainly not a structured showy bed, but it is exactly what I was hoping for. There are still green things coming up too, so I have to be careful not to pull anything up. You never know, you could be pulling up a wildflower beauty!

"May all YOUR weeds be wildflowers!"

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Weekend Gardening Notes

Every year, for Mother's Day weekend, I take my Mother plant shopping. Since I was in DC last weekend, this Saturday was our day to shop and plant. And we loaded up my SUV! Do ya think we have room for anything else? I worked Saturday morning in Mother's garden, and we were both pleased with the results.
I only bought a few things, as I wanted to have room for all the things Mother wanted, but I am happy to say I am now the proud owner of a Knock-out rose! Thank you Tina for encouraging me to get one. I think the blooms are beautiful. The tag says they are double blooms, which I think makes them look more like the old roses I remember when I was a little girl. I have no idea where I will put it, and I am there anyway I can put it in a large container and grow it as a container plant? It sure looks good right at the start of this path, but I'm not sure if it would be safe in the ground here.
When I got home, I decided to take a stroll through my garden to check my blooms. Come walk along with me and let's see what we can find. The Hollyhocks are just now starting to bloom. I love this pretty pink color.
I have 2 of these growing around stones. I bought them last year. They are really a pretty yellow and perfect for a rock garden. But..uh, I cannot remember the name of this plant! Help!
The Gerber Daisies have been so happy this spring. I think they have enjoyed all the rain.
This is a new plant,
"Blanket Flower Torch." I bought this red one, and a yellow one. Both have produced many flowers.
My Nasturtiums are finally blooming. I have enjoyed the pretty, fragrant little flowers. I know they will not last much longer.
This is my favorite of all--Blackfoot Daisy. Isn't it gorgeous! It is in one of my old galvanized buckets. And, it came back from last year! Yes, I did baby it during that cold weather we had, but it was well worth it. That honey smell and those cute flowers just make my day! Love, love them!
The Marigolds are really doing well--so far no spider mites!
And here are the Red Geraniums I have had for so many years. I moved them from the front porch to a bed in back. They don't mind-they will bloom anywhere I put them I think.
I hope you enjoyed the walk with me looking at a few of my blooms. It has been such a pretty spring here at Meadow-
view Thymes, and I find such joy watching all these flowers grow.

I hope you found the time this weekend to enjoy the blooms in your garden.
Note: The french drain is about 2/3 of the way finished! Yea!