Saturday, May 5, 2007

The Eternal Garden TO DO List

Prioritizing my TO DO list for the new garden is easy as along as I continually remind myself that Rome wasn't built in a day.

Realistically, I expect that this year to be The Year of the Dirt. My concentration is on soil (the course I'm taking is so appropriate to new beginnings in gardening, how ideal!!), and I'd like to do this right - it'll be my experiment, my lab for the course. The beds can be developed, and between the plants I have already, the annual vegetables, the loot I will be unable to resist at the greenhouse(s), seeds we may start...we will be busy.

Accomplishments this year will be worked on in this (rough) order:
1. establish rose beds
2. establish beds for the backyard garden
3. window boxes for the front porch
4. final measurements for deck and ponds
5. end of season sale for a small greenhouse

Throughout the season I'm sure I will collect daylilies, most of which will be planted in the front garden. I don't have a firm plan for the front - I've been irresolute over what to plant and how. Most often I think of it as a larger version of my former daylily bed. I had planted all the edibles could find (with plans to expand). In the centre was a tall bearded iris, surrounding it were Vanilla Fluff, Strawberry Swirl, Melon Balls, Raspberry Parfait, and Strawberry Fields Forever. I dare not list the many potentials I've found to add to this theme (Blueberry Frost, Highland Cranberry, Almond Fluff...).
In the literary category I'd like Divine Comedy, Macbeth, Piglet and Roo, Watership Down to be added to Double River Wye and Fairytale. There will be more.
Also: Patricia, Chasing Windmills, Lullaby Baby, Blue Moon Rising, Graceland, Eye of Newt, and Azure Violets.
(Obviously, I don't expect to find these all this year.)

In the front yard garden I also imagine irises and many cultivars of narcissi preluding the daylilies. I've only roughly begun to list the varieties I'm looking for, but this being an ongoing garden project, I'd like the plants to find me as time goes by...if you build it, they will come.

Currently holding beds for many of the plants I moved in the autumn (which need to be moved to new holding beds in the backyard, which will (hopefully) be done this weekend), the rose beds will need new soil prepared for the roses. I look forward to getting dirty.
The two existing stoned-in beds on either sides of the front steps are to become our rose beds. They receive the south sun from morning 'til evening (until the little Maple in the SW corner expands by a few rings), and the added protection from the north by the porch wall seems to beg for roses. They did survive this past winter there, afterall. ;)
George Vancouver, John Davis (both explorers), and Winnipeg Parks (shrub rose), have survived the move. To be added are: Winchester Cathedral (David Austin), Morden Sunrise (Morden), Heritage (David Austin), and Julia Child (Floribunda). Between them I will plant rosemary, lavender, garlic, and thyme.

I would like Golden Showers and New Dawn (both climbers, and both delicate to this climate, but I've had repeat success with other zone 4/5 roses - with diligence and care I can do this again) for the south east fence in the backyard, along with Morden Blush somewhere in the kitchen garden. Compassion (climber) is one I can't live without, but where I will put it, I do not know. William Morris (Heirloom) also, though because he's a certain zone 5 I might try to grow this one in a (large)pot, for safe keeping.
*edit, May 24th, 2007 - Scrap most of what I say here about the roses. The new order is as follows; west bed: George Vancouver, Winchester Cathedral, Morden Sunrise, John Davis; east bed: Winnipeg Parks, J.P. Connell, Morden Fireglow, Morden Blush.

For the back I've fallen in love with Fruhlingsgold. The more I study that rose the more I like it. It's so delicate.
And still, Compassion is on the list. *swoon*

containers, pots, and the window boxes


shade: Hostas, wild ginger, coleus and blood leaf, browallia, I like ferns in pots, grasses too - I'll have to look into the varieties.
sun: herbs and daisies? can I think of anything else? *shrug* Dahlias maybe...I did my window box one year from plants I scooped up during my hours at the greenhouse. I found myself attracted to everything and decided on none, so I brought home some of this and that and a few that and this and the result was spectacular. That will probably be the relaxed route I take this year...experiment with what works under these new-to-me conditions. Definitely lophospermum - I don't know where I'll plant 'em, but I love that plant! - must have.

Next weekend marks the beginning of my greenhouse weekends until July. I'm invigorated by the thought. glee

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