Friday, April 27, 2012

Stone Planter Makeover

I mentioned the other day that we have been doing a lot of the spring gardening over the last week. Plants are slowly moving out of the greenhouse and into the gardens. .seeds are being sown. .being watered. .and germinating. .garden centers have been visited and plants purchased and potted. .and earlier this week. .my sweetie helped me mulch the Johnson grass out of the garden.
Even though it isn't yet May. .I feel so behind on the tasks to do, since our last freeze was nearly 2 months ago now!! It just SEEMS like it should be the end of May instead of the end of April. 
The task at hand in today's post. .was more of a "don't know how to fix it" problem. .
with a solution inspired from our recent antiquing trip!
Back in 2010, we put in a new limestone raised bed. .
and see how this project really started!!

If you have read my blog for very long. .you know that I have a love affair with blue foliage. .namely spruces. .and now junipers. so immediately I found this dwarf globe spruce to add here.
I added some periennial plants to fill in. .
One weekend, and a few dollars later. .
and voila. .
project complete!
It looked immature. .but nice. .that summer.
Enter. .drought of 2011. .
and nearly 60 days of heat exceeding 100 degrees. .
with many of those exceeding 110!
Blue spruces DON'T love heat. .
or drought. .
or people who don't have enough time in their day to coddle them in such climates. .
And, THIS is how they show their true feelings!!
And sad. .but mainly UGLY!!
BUT. .because of my other addiction. .
plants. .
I can't resist a walk through the garden department in ANY store that has one. .
which led me to my inspiration plant at Lowes 2 weekends ago!!
It goes against my blue shrub scheme. .
but has a gorgeous chartruese foliage with golden tips.
I was SOLD when I read arid dry on the plant tag underneath the moisture requirements. .
SIGN       ME         UP
And home it came.
This little arborvite is a Golden Globe variety which will get about 3 feet tall and 3 feet wide. I bought a couple of red dianthus (Fire Star). .a yummy smelling plant that will show up year after year (with blue grass-like foliage, mind you). At our local nursery (on the way to last week's golf meet). .I found some coreopsis and blanket flower. .both good, hardy drought tolerant plants. .some red (redhead) and yellow (trusty rusty) coleus plants and red and yellow snapdragons. It seems that most of my snapdragons either overwinter or reseed themselves easily. .so I am hoping that everything in this bed will be permanent, except for the coleus. .which I can easily take cuttings of to use next year.
So. .we'll start again in 2012. .and hope for better luck with the growth and development of this bed!!
In other flowering news. .I have been working on this sunny, hot zone this year too. The orange honeysuckle is in full bloom, and seemingly has attracted a hummer. .I saw it on the fly earlier this week. .now, if I could just find a few minutes to sit quietly and watch for it!! They are so fast!! I've moved several herbs to this bed. The tall plant to the left of the photo is actually a flat leaf parsley. We don't use that much in cooking, though maybe I will learn. I really planted it for the swallowtail butterflies to feed on. I am surprised at how big this one has gotten.  I have about 12 seedlings in the greenhouse yet to plant. .I will have to find a spot bigger than what I thought I needed to accommodate them. This week I also added some chive starts and purple basil that I seeded this winter. My old herb garden is on the east side of the house. .and on the north side of the steps going up. .I have finally deemed it too shady for the herbs. .hopefully, I will like them among the flower beds! That seems to be the rage right now!
A fuchsia, planted in an antique wire egg basket (another treasure from the flea market. .I got a great steal on that because I also got an antique oil can for Jeremy's shop!) These blooms caught my eye at Lowes. .and so it will be another experiment around here as to whether I can get it to live or not! They are in the shade of the honeysuckle vine on the deck. It's too windy around here to get anything to grow nicely in hanging baskets!! 
The roses are in full bloom this week. .and the peonies are starting as well. The soft strip inferno garden is incredible. .and I am waiting on the 2 colors of penstemon to burst into bloom this week before showing photos of that. We have a quieter weekend planned. .Tristan FINALLY gets his foot surgery done. .and the other boys will be at the races. .hoping to get some of the new blooms posted this weekend. .
SO. .
don't forget to stop back by and smell our roses!!
Enjoy your weekend!!


  1. I LOVE LOVE Fuchsia plants!! My mother in law used to buy one every year. One year, when they lived in Abilene, she had a little bird nest in one. =) Anyway, I've tried several, and I've killed them all.
    Hope Tristans surgery goes smoothly and he gets that pesky foot all fixed up!

  2. I love the limestone raised bed! It is so charming! It looks beautiful with all that you have added this Spring! I love your sign "free weeds, pick your own" ..that is definitely a sign for my house!!!

  3. No frost for 2 months? Good grief--we're STILL in the upper teens at night. I'm so envious of all your pretty flowers. There is nothing blooming here except 4 daffodils . Woohoo! It's a Michigan floral extravaganza!

  4. The limestone planter looks good. I like all the plants you've chosen. Lots of colors!
    Sounds like your herbs are doing well. If you need recipes that use flat leaf parsley, think Rachael Ray. She's always "running a knive through some flat leaf parsley." All the herbs you shared with me are looking good. I grow dill for the butterflies as I make don't pickles with it. Works for the parsley too!
    I like the wire egg basket. And, I understand how our winds toast hanging baskets. Yet, every year I put some together.
    I picked up some fun succulents today. Checking out who's hardy and who's not to decide if they go in the ground or in a container. I'll be back to see more roses!

  5. Your revamped stone planter looks great!
    It's funny, we planted parsley one year for the very same reason. Ended up being food for some very hungry swallowtail caterpillars. ;)

  6. HI Melanie, Love that rose. Ours are blooming now also --and smell so good... Hubby brings me one inside everyday to enjoy and SNIFF....

    Good Luck with your raised flowerbed... I love your rock edgings....

    I had a Fuchsia once --but couldn't keep it alive during the winter inside.

    Thanks for a great post... Isn't spring just marvelous?