Sunday, July 29, 2007

Dog paddling, vacation and open spaces

Sitting lakeside with a margarita in your hand is one of life's small pleasures. We had a great time relaxing with family and taking in all the sights and sounds of the lake (aren't loons the best?), small shops, etc.. Oh, if every week could be like this! Our mini Schnauzer Henry tried swimming for the first time - what a trooper he was. Is he not the cutest guy?!

My sister-in-law and I couldn't resist the small-town nurseries and flea markets that were trying to get rid of their inventory. One place in Vergas, Minnesota had their perennials as low as $2.70 each! Of course, they weren't large plants but they were green and healthy and they begged me to take them home with me! Why not try some new varieties at that price? I bought a Sunray Coreopsis, "Goblin" Gaillardia and Lady's Mantle.

And now I have the space!

My poor husband survived the sweltering heat Saturday to expand my garden bed (original design is above) in the front of the house. He tried using a sod cutter but the blades were dull and it made the area even worse. So he got out the shovel and started diggin'. We put our 16-year-old son to work too. He created a small area in our backyard that will be a perfect home for zinnias and cosmos seeds next year. Nothing like some hard manual labor on a 90-degree day ....

Anyway, the space is wonderful - with at least 5 hours of sun in the morning/early afternoon. At its furthest point- the space extends about 5-6 feet. The soil is remarkably good - lots of worms which is always an encouraging sign. We added some fresh dirt and a little peat. I'll mix some compost in the area in the spring too.

Of course, that area will be a little barren until fall when I start filling it up. I'll divide overgrown perennials that have worn out their welcome and transplant cuttings from generous friends and relatives. I'm such a garden geek.

The challenge now is that I have a new canvas on which to draw on and at times it's quite overwhelming. Do I move the hostas even though the landscape has a slight slope? Do I bring the rudbeckias forward? Where do I put the Lady's Mantle? What about that ligularia I was going to buy?!?

As you can see, I have lots of questions and lots of yellow, green and white in my current color scheme. Any ideas for flower combos that would look good with what I have?

1 comment:

kris said...

Hi Beth - your vacation sounds wonderful - family, lake, drinks, AND new plants!! Henry is, indeed, adorable. I love your new garden space - the first photo is charming, but how exciting to have all that new space. The great thing about gardens is that you don't have to get it "right" the first time - you can play around with different ideas. Can't wait to see what you end up doing!