Tuesday, May 17, 2011

alpine & succulent garden project

I generally don't like to post photos of incomplete projects, but here is what made me two weekends ago on a long overdue, gorgeous warm spring day in Buffalo. 

It's fitting that I planted this little alpine/succulent garden on Mother's Day, because it was the gift certificate to Menne Nursery received from my Mom for my birthday last weekend that inspired and made it possible. 

Please ignore the dead hosta stem at dead center. Oops.

There is a narrow strip of garden bed in between our driveway (to the right in the photo above) and the neighbor's walkway (to the left) that is our property and was, and still is, graced with several hostas planted by the previous owners (friends of ours). I'm generally not a huge fan of hostas, and some of them are so voluminous that they spread out into the driveway, get run over by the cars and then look crummy. I suggested moving them to a shady spot on our property, but Evan vetoed them. He rarely has a strong opinion about these things so when he does, I try to accommodate. And again, I'm generally not a fan of them either so there wasn't much debate needed.

So I dug out two of them to make way for my alpine garden. There are at least 5 more, which I plan to dig up and give away, and replace with something full sun/drought tolerant and "compact", diameter wise.

These small rocks you see run the whole length of the bed - they were used as "mulch" for the hostas. It looks nice, and doesn't require replenishing like other biodegradable mulches, but I have learned the hard way why many landscapers and diehard gardeners abhor using rock for mulch. Its a serious pain in the rear if you ever want to change anything around because it's impossible to move it all out of the way without mixing a fair amount of it into the soil. Fortunately, I think that the plants I have chosen to replace the hostas wont mind, and the rocks may in fact help to improve the soil for these drainage loving, drought tolerant cuties.

 Golden Japanese stonecrop (Sedum makinoi 'Ogon')

I actually plan to re-mulch around the plants with the rock (hence the incomplete post comment above).

 Bottom: Laurentia fluviatilis (Blue Star Creeper

 Variegated Lemon Thyme

 Sedum (unsure what kind)

Sedum "japonica senanense"

Veronica (after I planted this, I realized that there are wild patches of what appear 
to be a type of Veronica all over my property).

Bottom: Penstamon (hirsutus 'pygmaeus')

An update since I started this post a couple of weeks ago - there's been a lot of settling of the soil, so I have to add more before adding the rock. I am glad I didn't have the chance to put the rock down right away. 

I cant wait to watch this little garden fill in. 

Also, the hostas that I dug up and plopped temporarily into large pots until friends come to claim them are growing like mad! I think if I sat for an hour staring at them, I'd actually see them grow.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

close call

When I left the house this morning, she looked effortlessly beautiful, as usual. Perfect posture. Alert. Making me proud.

I came home from work to find her keeled over, disheveled and limp.

I thought I had lost her.

I picked her up as gently as I could, rushed her into the house, and got her some water. 

She's doing much better now. 

Thursday, May 5, 2011

new pals

Tell me, is there anything more sweet to behold than a toddler loaded with personality during bath time, and a Boston Terrier (also loaded with personality) experiencing the toddler-in-the-tub phenomenon for the first time? 

I think not.