Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Cheap labor

Raising a teenager is one of the hardest jobs you'll ever have. And whoever said that raising teenage boys was easier than raising teenage girls has not lived in our house.

Aforementioned teenager got himself in a little hot water recently. Aside from the normal punishment of no cell phone (gasp!) and no keys to his truck, his father thought of a more creative way to earn back privileges.

"You have some garden stuff to do outside?" he asked me. "If so, put him to work."

It was music to my ears.

On a really hot sunny day, aforementioned teenager dug out the area I was hoping to have tilled this fall. He did a nice job and I watched his work with the eye of a disapproving mom and a landscape forman.

"You missed this spot over here!"

"Watch out for that underground sprinkler head! - Good grief!"

Once his landscape work was completed, we went to the city landfill where I had him fill several buckets of beautiful black compost to add to my new area. My husband and I edged it with field rock that the previous homeowners had around the house. My new garden bed was complete and his detention was served. The photo above looks pretty sparse but next year, it'll be lovely.

I moved my foxglove over to the new area and surprisingly, I have blooms already. Aren't they cool?

I took this gloriosa daisy home from the nursery this week and planted it in the new bed.

Black-eyed susan were late this year but boy, were they worth the wait.

Even the "Arizona Sun" gaillardia bloomed this year for me after an abysmal start. I hope they survive the winter.

Next blog installment ... photos from guest gardens!


Hocking Gardener said...

Your new flower bed turned out great.Cheap labor, a good lesson learn and smart parenting.

Susie said...

Your blooms look beautiful and the new flower bed is great! You'll probably have it filled before you know it.

Kerri said...

Your husband's punishment was brilliant! How nice to have a son who will actually do as his parents instruct him. I'll bet he actually enjoyed the work :) He certainly did a great job. He can look at his work and feel proud, especially when he sees it filled with blooms next summer.
In answer to your question:
I planted a gloriosa daisy seed mix years ago and they sew themselves every year. The colors are completely random. I never know what I'll get. Sometimes there's even a few doubles. Mostly the original plant doesn't come back.
The same for the names, just a pastel mix of plants originally, and a few years ago a friend gave me some of the red. The bees have made some new colors for me :) My favorite 'surprise' is the magenta.

Beth said...

Hocking - Smart parenting?!? Oh I wish! Somedays it's a crapshoot ... I have a new respect for my parents after having teenagers myself :O)

Susie - I might have to take after your idea and make it my "throw-away" garden of odds and ends plants! It'll be fun to see the final product next summer.

Kerri - thanks for responding on the gloriosa daisies. They have become my new favorite - I wish I could find that exact orange/rust like you had!
Regarding the monarda - my favorite is the magenta "Raspberry Wine." Its color is unmatched for monarda and it's not an aggressive spreader like so many are.

Northern Shade said...

A new flower bed is always fun to plan and plant. It works out well when you have some plant recruits already available. They should start filling out, and give a more mature look next spring. Meanwhile you can plan over the winter. Making lists and rearranging in your head is half the fun.

Connie said...

Your new flower bed is going to be awesome...what fun it will be to fill it up!

Beth said...

NS - and rearranging I have been doing! I can't tell you how many times I've gone over scenarios in my head. "Should I move this here?" "Should I buy this ...." It's fun and drives you crazy at the same time :O)

Connie - I could use an extra hand in planting - coming home soon?