Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Trees Atlanta

I got the word this past weekend that our yard will get a FREE red oak tree from Trees Atlanta. They are doing a neighborhood tree planting in our area and I couldn't pass up a beautiful shade tree. I will update with pics once the tree goes in next Saturday. Very excited!

In other news, Jonny and I removed more ivy from the side of our front yard. We uncovered about 10 empty liquor bottles and a steel barrel! I have not decided whether or not to keep it as a planter base or not.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Bulb Planting Season!!

On Saturday I planted over 100 new blubs in the front yard. I bought a bunch of bulbs online at Brent and Becky's Bulbs a while back and then waited for them to be shipped. They ship them out according to your zone so us Southerners get them later in the fall than other parts of the US.

I decided while I was working on the bed around our dogwood I might as well edge it with some scrap timber my dad brought up for Jonny and I to put to use. It had been sitting in our carport for months now and I am really happy to have somewhere to put it. I plan to seal the wood tomorrow with normal deck sealer. I'm pretty happy with how it all came out. Now I'm excited for spring when I get to see the amazing flowers all around the yard.

I might be biased, but I truly think bulbs have the most beautiful and unique flowers of all plants. They even rival orchids in my opinion!

Monday, November 12, 2012

DIY Bird Baths

I am a cheap person. There I said it. If I can make something myself for little to no money, I will figure out how to make it. I have been eying bird baths over the last month or two (my dream is to get my yard certified by the Audubon Society). I bought some deep planter bottoms that I thought would work well as the basin for a couple of bird baths. I think I got them on Amazon for $5 a piece. I just spray painted them silver and then used the left over metal fencing we had laying around to make the stand. And there you have it, a trellis bird bath that will be wrapped in jasmine vines come spring. Here are step by step photos. One thing to note, I did not tie down the basins to the stands so that I could easily wash them out every week. This project took me about 15 minutes to put everything together. The hardest part was getting them level on the hill I have them on!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Tropical Plants in Non-Tropical Zones

After the freezing temps last night my pineapple plants were not too happy with me. I put off cleaning them up to take inside for a week now and last night was the final push to get these guys in before the weather kills them. I just hope I didn't miss too many bugs when cleaning the pots up. Pineapples can hide a TON of things. Unfortunately, my house is north/south facing so grow lights are a must. I have this one on a timer so I don't have to remember to turn it on and off. Hooray for technology!

On a side note, in celebration of the cold weather, tonight is chili night. I have actually convinced Jonny to let me use imitation ground beef this time. We will see how it goes.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Cost of Plants

Sometimes I am amazed at the cost of different plants. I understand the requirements necessary to produce healthy plants are large, especially if the plant is rare, but sometimes I see a price at a store and it makes me gasp.

My parents had a few sago palm trees (Cycas revoluta) in their yard that were reproducing like rabbits. Instead of just throwing out the young offspring, they potted them and gave three to me. These guys seem to LOVE Atlanta because they have taken off this year. I just assumed that since these seem to replicate so easily, lord knows my parents didn't do anything special to their trees, the price for a small sago palm would be on the lower end of the spectrum. Well to my surprise one day while shopping at a big box improvement store, I found a small sago palm for $134!!! I couldn't believe it and immediately took a picture to send to my parents. If they only knew they could be making so much money off these things!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Plight of the Shady Garden

Most of my front yard gets little sun throughout the day. Because of this, I have been on a quest for lovely shade loving plants. One I have recently come across is Kerria Japonica. This bush gets pretty big (6'x6') and it has darling yellow flowers. I have ordered one to fill in under our very large magnolia out front. I think the yellow branchy bush behind ferns will look great. I also have a few shade loving bulbs down there that will add some contrasting color.

Picture sourced from here.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

My Forray Into Garlic Growing

Seeing that the growing season for veggies has begun to wind down, I decided to fill the empty spaces in my beds with a unique variety of garlic. I bought the Basque Turban variety online from Filaree Garlic Farm. I looked up the proper planting procedures and planted the two bulbs worth of cloves.

Make sure you give the cloves plenty of room to grow and also plant the wider base of the clove towards the ground. These are bulbs after all and will not do well growing towards the ground. You also need to keep the protective "skin" on each of the cloves when you are planting them. I read on some sites that you should soak them in a vinegar bath but I didn't bother to do that. We will see if that was a dire mistake.

When you are done planting the cloves, cover them with loose dirt and a straw mulch (I used the extra pine needles I have all over my yard) and water, water, water.

I cannot wait for garlic scapes and fresh garlic!