Weather looks bleak for some but great for gardeners, over the next few days in the BX. Perfect weather for the horticulture aficionado! Rain water is soft water at its finest, free of salts, minerals and a number of chemicals that are found in municipal water. These harsh salts, minerals and chemicals build up in soil over time and are stressful on plants. With its neutral pH, rainwater allows for the natural intake of nutrients which promotes healthy plant growth. Plants will grow when watered regardless of where the water comes from, but it just feels so good to know you are doing everything possible to maintain a healthy environment, in all its aspects, for your garden.
On this rainy day I found my self enamored with the sheen of the droplets of water glistening with the gray, clouded sun light fighting to make its way through. Inspired, I took a few shots of sedum I planted last autumn and a few I planted very early in the spring time. They are planted at the front of the house were we have a small patch of dirt. I cleared it out and removed about 5, 30 gallon black construction garbage bags of back fill that was put in to hold up a few pine bushes planted there. It was not ideal for what I had in envisioned for the 3×9 ft area of the house. I prepared the spot by pulling up the weeds and rocks that were under about 3 inches of black mulch. I replaced the rock back fill with a mix of MiracleGro gardening soil (5 bags) and an organic soil by Nature’s Care (4 bags) I purchased at Home Depot and topped it off with a few bags of black Mulch also from Miracle Gro.
After about two days of hard labor and hauling off heavy wet, rock filled mud, everything was set to my (and what I thought to be the new greens) liking. I planted some roots I purchased online from a distributor in Holland who had an amazing selection of all kinds of exotic perennial plants and bulbs Breck’s .
I also used some select pickings from Mountain Crest Gardens for this job. The sedums come in root form and they don’t ship them till the cold season has passed or when its and ideal time of the year in your particular climate zone to plant. The hens and chicks came individually wrapped in some cases and compiled into one box in others. The shipments both came in good shape and with detailed instructions on how and when to plant them. I ordered and planted a few prior to the winter which is when I began this project and others I planted early this spring. That was a brutal late Saturday morning to Sunday evening job, but boy was I impressed and satisfied with my labor of love. I couldn’t wait until the spring rolled around to see the big pay off.
To my surprise when I got home from work Monday afternoon, I found many of the bulbs I had planted up rooted and holes with the dirt and mulch all over the front walk way of my house. All my hard work was completely undone by a pair of dastardly squirrels that roam our neighborhood. They were stashing peanuts with the shells and acorns which is natural for them to do at that time of the year (late autumn), I was devastated! I immediately looked up all kinds of ways to keep them out but everything seemed impossible or useless. Everything from setting up a fake owl, to spraying coyote urine. Eventually I created framed barrier with chicken wire and poked holes for the small pine bushes to poke through. It was very unsightly but it would at least give everything time to rest an settle in till the roots became strong enough to fend for themselves.
Now that its spring I treasure every rainy and sunny day as I know my garden is storing up all that natural goodness that will make them a sight to be seen. Many of the flowers have bloomed early on and now only the stalks remain. They made for a beautiful set of Easter pictures of my wife and girls and some pleasant comments from my neighbors.
The hens and chicks as well as the sedum are starting to show their true colors. I am starting to see some of what the squirrels didn’t ravage their first go around. To my amazement many of the roots were still intact and buried away throughout the winter time and are now awakening from their winter slumber.
I plan on fertilizing this weekend as I have removed the chicken wire frame and plan on doing some cleaning up and giving some serious care to my garden over the holiday weekend. Cant wait for late summer, early fall when many of the sedum have spread and start to flower giving the garden a new stage of color and life. The battle with the #@*! squirrels, however is another blog posting!!!