The Crape Myrtle Border

Along one side of our property there is a narrow strip of land between the house and our neighbors' properties.  There isn't much room to do a whole lot of gardening (or so I originally thought) and this side of the house felt exposed when we bought our home in 2007.  This is how it looked a couple years ago just after I planted a short row of hemlocks as a privacy screen: November 2007 And this is how it looks today: August 2011 You can't even see the hemlocks now.  I planted the crape myrtles in between each hemlock. We later lost two of the hemlocks then I replanted one then promptly lost it.  The two that remain are doing great now.  They get protection from the summer sun by the fast growing crape myrtles. In the winter we'll have evergreen color on the border. I added the stone…

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My State of the Garden Address

Our president gave us his State of the Union address for 2010 this week and informed us of his plans and his thoughts so I thought why not do the same for my garden? It’s been a while since I’ve addressed the garden as a whole entity as usually I just discuss its parts or its plants. Let me start off by saying it’s not necessarily a pretty picture. It is winter after all! As I walked around the gardens today I had an opportunity to view what has been accomplished and what has yet to be done. The front garden hasn’t undergone many changes over the last year but it is due for some redeveloping. The Russian sage on the left of the sidewalk has grown large and it is time for it to be tamed or moved. It’s wispy and bare now but its white stems make an…

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Gardening on the Radio

I was on the radio yesterday to talk about gardening on Spotlight on Spring Hill (WAKM 950 AM) and had several fall gardening topics prepared to share. Then the first guest to talk, our City Codes Inspector, began mentioning some upcoming projects and I nearly got completely sidetracked. You see I meant to talk about leaves, not to burn them, not to waste them, but to use them in your compost or as mulch. I had seen a Craigslist ad that completely annoyed me last week and thought the radio would be a great opportunity to get out the message. The ad actually said "Free leaves, if you don't come get them I will burn them!" Now that is shortened and paraphrased but the ad offered leaves and threatened to burn them! I hope it was merely a motivational tool used to encourage people to take his leaves, but I…

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The Border Garden Corridor

Everybody has a spot in their yard that needs definition. Whether it is a shared boundary line with the neighbors or just a border between garden rooms, people like to define their spaces. Another major project I tackled last weekend was the side border garden. As it's creative name describes, it is on our side border, and it's purpose is to define our boundary line. It's also just behind the Self Sowing Garden. As you look past the front porch and to the left you can see an area of darkened mulch. That's where I'm taking you today.Here's a closer look. In the front is the Self Sowing Garden and behind it is what will be the deciduous grove that will one day create summer shade along this side of our house. It's hard to see but many of the plants are already there. A crape myrtle on the left…

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