Garden Makeover in the Rain

Rainy days are good for a garden makeover, except for the mess that is inevitable. Today was such a day. Gardens4u got this project going early this morning before the rain started, but a drizzle started a few hours in, followed by a torrential downpour. Downpours to me mean lunch time, sitting in my van. Luckily, the rain subsided enough for me to continue until the job was complete. Well, except for the cleanup. Trying to sweep up my mess on the wet stone was not very effective. Nothing a hose down won’t fix though, a job I left for the homeowner when the rain stopped, long after I left.

These are the “before” pictures. The tree is a dead maple that was removed with the stump ground down before I started the makeover.

The burning bush (far right in third pic), lilac (center in center pic) and hydrangea (right corner in center pic) were salvaged, with the lilac getting a good pruning to whip it into shape. Everything else was removed. New shrubs and perennials were strategically planted and composted manure, my new favourite soil amendment, was added.

Here are the “after” pictures…

New plantings in this garden makeover include a pink magnolia (center of bed), a “Wine & Roses” weigela, several ornamental grasses, coneflowers, pink and purple sages and lavender, as well as several varieties of sedum and stonecrop to spill over the edges of this sunny garden. Once the new plants are established and well watered, I will add mulch to complete the job.

A second bed, between the sidewalk and the garage, is next up on my garden makeover list. Stay tuned for more before and after pictures.

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Flowering shrubs scream “Spring is Here”

It’s a good thing the flowering shrubs know it’s spring. Mother Nature on the other hand, has forgotten that the weather is supposed to warm up. The sunny yellow blooms of my neighbour’s forsythia are a beautiful sight from my bedroom window…

and my own magnolia is also screaming “spring is here!” with its fragrant blooms…

with the blossoms of plum trees not far behind…

My roses (at least the ones in my front yard that are protected from the north winds) are also showing signs of spring…

flowering shrubs
climbing rose
flowering shrubs
shrub rose

Now, if the cold and wet weather would clear up, spring would be awesome!

The reason you should not prune some shrubs in the fall

In a recent post I listed many shrubs categorized by when you should prune them.  The reason you should not prune many shrubs in the fall is because you will remove most of the buds that will turn into flowers the following spring.  Examples of these buds are shown here in magnolia, rhododendron and forsythia shrubs…

 

If you must prune these shrubs to control their size, wait until after they bloom in the spring to do so…

please be sure to visit my slightly more humorous blog YOUR DAILY CHUCKLE  It is guaranteed to make you LOL.

Is Winter Coming? Tell that to the Roses and Magnolia in my Gardens!

Is winter coming?  You would never know it looking at my perennial gardens, especially the roses.  Although my calendar says we are approaching mid November and we have been experiencing a bit of cold weather including snow flurries, I am still enjoying plenty of blooms!

My magnolia tree (top left) thinks it is spring; it usually produces these buds first thing in spring before the leaves arrive on the tree.  You can see in the picture that the buds are swollen even though the leaves are dead and ready to fall off, a sign of fall and not spring.  That magnolia tree actually bloomed three times this summer with all of the temperature fluctuations we experienced.

My many roses, including the shrub, climbing, miniature and bush roses are still producing buds and some look like they are in full bloom.

With the warmer temperatures this past week, especially last Tuesday, (see my previous article  Weather ) I had hoped that the rose buds would develop further into gorgeous flowers, but it did not happen.

Although these blooms have brightened up the landscape this past month, it is time to snip off the buds on the roses so their strength will go to the roots for the cold winter!