Sunday, September 28, 2008

Holy Hydrangeas

So my sister, always generous with her plants and cuttings, has gifted me with a hydrangea. H. Paniculata Tardiva to be precise. Click this link to see more about the variety: In the first moments after our latest round of rains stopped, I was out and planting a number of plants that dear sister gave me. I plunked 'tardiva' in a shady spot next to the new deck where it will get morning sun, but will largely be in shade. That's what I understood hydrangeas wanted. Then I go online (after I've cleaned up and showered mind you...) and find that this bugger wants alot of sun. 'Several hours of sun actually...Crud. Alot of sun I do not have. Shade I have a-plenty. I might lit it lie where it is for the winter, but then again I might get adventurous and move it to a sunnier spot farther from the house. I'll keep you posted (pun intended).

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Setting Seed

Two posts in two days - ok don't hyperventilate... I have to share that my sister has jumped on in to the blogosphere here at and has discussed her successess with starting from seed. I, on the other hand, have not been so brave. Yet. However, that is all about to change. I received the most recent Horticulture magazine e-newsletter. The pink and melon tones of carribean cocktail nasturtium called to me from their 'Plants we love' section, so much so that I just had to have them. See the article here: I immediately jumped over to Pine Hill Gardens ( and had to 'git me sum.' And so I did. I've shared the picture that started it all as lifted from (aren't they pretty?!) I'll keep you posted on my experience with ordering from Pine Hill Gardens as well as my foray into seed-ery. Wish me luck!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Where did the summer go...?

I am a terrible blogger. There, I admit it.

I might even be a terrible gardener. During the summer, when I had a spare moment, it was after dark. As a result, I only just got back into my garden 3 weekends ago. When I did wade into it, the front border was more a weedgarden - the crabgrass had all but taken over. All I can say is Thank-god for hardy perennials and plant sales.
I can't blame my 8-month or four-year old for the neglect. Not this time. Why not? A woman who blogs on gardening not in her garden?? The answer: We built a deck. To be precise, I had very little to do with the actual building of it -- my husband did the heavy lifting -- 80 40-lb bags of concrete to be specific. And that with a bad back (understatement). Many others contributed as well - thanks go to Dad, brother and brother-in-law, for (at the very least) 6 4-foot posts dug, three lifts of that door in the photo below, and 800 lbs of construction detritus removed respectively. I stand by the "We" though, since without me to make sure our two little darlings did not, either, A) slice off a digit (or worse) on one of daddy's power tools, or B)stand too close to a swinging hammer, the deck would not have gotten done. I removed said offspring every weekend, almost all weekend, which was reflected by the garden. Here is what our back yard looked like before....

and what it looks like now...

And the side view before (jeez, it almost looks like we had grass back there)...

...and after...

How did we get heyah from theyah? From the end of July until this past weekend we lived in a construction zone, but it was worth it. We extended our living area (during 2 seasons) by 300 square feet. We moved the gas grill from the front porch - with our cooking schedule on display to the neighborhood - to the relative privacy of the back yard. The living room is now opened up literally and figuratively, which expands the view of the Nashua river that we fell in love with when we bought the house. It changes (in a good way) the air flow when the door/windows are open. All in all, it brings our 1870s farmhouse into the 21st century. The bad news is, now I want more...changes, modernity, etc. We are talking about paint next year - but that's another post.

The deck also brings new gardening challenges. It's on the North side of the house so plants by the stairs (unless they are tall) will get little direct sunlight, but containers on the deck itself will get full sun for much of the day. Nevertheless, I can't wait to plant stuff out there!!! I bought some mums today, and while I'm not a huge fan of mums, they are dependable and colorful for the season. It also makes me want to move the playset, but that is another post too... Stay tuned, on my next post I will return to blogging about my lovelies that didn't get killed despite (in spite of?) my neglect.

Local Nurseries I've used