So... it's been 2 full years since my family has done a serious weeding in our flower gardens and they were just about entirely taken over by grass, choke weed, and garden debris that should have been cleared away by a hard working gardener. Didn't happen. I won't give you the reasons (excuses) why we didn't tend to our land as would have been right and fitting; suffice it to say we've made a brave start and will be continuing this project for another 3-5 weeks into the future. Disgraceful.
Even though an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure we didn't even give it a smidgen of prevention so we are now paying the price... hours and hours of working in the garden. This last Saturday we started at 8 AM feeling that if we didn't do something now we might as well till the whole thing under and plant grass. Blah. I thought we would just be weeding and mulching. Edgardo had other ideas and wanted to put down landscaping fabric to cut WAY down on future weeds.
We ended up using about 8 bags of mulch and we added a few new plants to the border as well as potting up a couple new pots this year for the porch. Large woven pot is from Sam's Club and the smaller white ceramic pot is from iKea. Neither one had any holes in the bottom for drainage so I drilled a hole in the large brown woven plastic pot with a standard hole saw drill bit and I used a ceramic tile drill bit to make several small holes in the bottom of the ikea ceramic pot.
It's a good thing Edgardo installed the landscaping fabric this year because for how I feel after 12 hours of gardening and painting things (watering can, obelisk plant support, tea tray) I was pretty destroyed for the rest of the week and my hands and forearms are still complaining 3 days later.
The orange, white, brown, grey stains on the porch under the planters are from a couple of pots we kept planted every year for about the last 10 years or so. I'm going to try scrubbing the concrete with the green scrubbing pad attachment on my Oreck Orbital cleaning again this weekend. See the blog post about Keeping it Clean for more details on this favorite tool. I'm optimistic that there will be a large improvement.
You know the most helpful advice I've ever seen for how to select plants for decorative planters is as follows: "Filler, Thriller, Spiller." So you want to include something tall (thriller), something mid size (filler), and something that is going to trail over the edge (spiller). I saw this on a morning show or something similar a few years ago and it really help me choose plants that will be attractive in a group. I have had very good look with perennial grass plants, hostas, and the purple candy tuft. I'm hoping our covered porch gets enough sunlight to please the petunias and pansies thought (don't want them to get leggy). Sweet potato vine (spiller) is a very high ranking favorite of mine for container gardens but it was too early in the season and I couldn't find any at the nursery just yet.
Such a relief to have this leg of the garden done. Well kind of done - the snowball bush we planted can apparently get to be about 15 feet tall and right in the middle of the front porch is not the best location for a shrub that impressive. We'll have to relocate it and I'm considering other shrubs and perennials to take its place. If you have any favorites in the 3-5 foot maximum height range that will thrive in Zone 6 for hardiness please do share because I'm researching that now. I'm thinking I want something leafy not leggy with attractive foliage and an occasional flower would be nice. Thank you in advance for your assistance in this matter haha.