Saturday, April 14, 2012

Sometimes I Think I'm a Little Crazy...

When we moved to the farm 18 years ago, I decided that I wanted to grow some perennials.  Did I go about it in a reasonable fashion?  Nope!

I was inspired by my Aunt Joanne, who has a beautiful perennial border along the edge of her garden...I started collecting plants...I got numerous pieces of favorites from friends' gardens, or at perennial swaps.  Also, Jim's cousin has a greenhouse, and my car would just automatically turn in whenever I drove past...I had no control over it!

Over the past number of years, the perennial bed has grown.  And grown.  So has the work load.

About two weeks ago, I started to clean up the border.  There were tons of little annoying weeds, some dead wood from last fall, and the edge of the border just kind of merged with the yard.  I worked up the soil with my digger and edged along the yard...

 Then this week I made the first of several treks to a local farm that sells mulch by the cubic yard.  I do it the "lazy" way.  They would deliver the 8 or 9 yards that I need, but then I'd have to shovel it twice...once off the pile into my cart, and again onto the garden. I prefer to load it on the back of the truck, and move the truck around as I need to.  This saves me a lot of time and sore muscles!

 I use their mushroom mulch.  I like this so much better than shredded bark's much better for the soil...and it's much less expensive.  I've been told that in some areas it's more expensive, but since we live relatively close to mushroom farms here in southeastern Pennsylvania, it's readily available, and about half the price of bark mulch!

Here's part of the finished border.  There's still a row of shrubs to the right, between the border and the garden that I need to do something about...the jury's still out on what I mulch that with.  I had originally used chopped up branches from when we had our trees trimmed a few years ago, but that has since disappeared...

Iris don't like to be mulched, but roses do, so I pile it up around the rose bushes, and keep it back several inches from the Iris plants...

I started a new patch of strawberries this spring from my neighbor's runners, and I mulched them heavily...

Several years after I started the perennial border by the garden, we pulled out a bunch of yew bushes around the house.   Of course I had to fill in that area with perennials as well!  This bed will need to wait until next week for mulch.  I ran out of steam, and daylight today...

It's a satisfying feeling to be almost finished.  This time of year it looks so happy...

But just wait until mid summer when it's steaming hot and humid, and the weeds need to be tended to.  All that mulch helps, but unfortunately isn't a sure fix for the whole season!

Sometimes I think I'm a little crazy...why did I plant so many flowers!  The whole spring cleanup seems to be a bigger job every year.  I remember some years, I would mulch all day long, and still be going strong by evening.  This year, I did two scoops each day and called it quits.  I guess it was due in part to the fact that I'm fighting off a cold.

Yep, that must be it.

It couldn't be that I'm just getting old!


  1. Those gardens are looking good! However, I try not to plant things that I cannot eat. Elaine takes care of that part of it and I still get to do the weeding. :-{

  2. The more the better. I know it takes a lot of work & TLC. The mulch looks wonderful. Blessings!

  3. Oh you sound so much like me. It's a disease I tell you.
    It's a lot of work but your gardens look so weed free and promising.

    My problems are that I plant my perennials too close together and I'm getting old too. I don't know what I'll do this year as my lower back is paining and I haven't even started gardening yet. So far I just cleaned a few beds. JB

  4. I think everything looks great. Veggies feed the stomach and flowers feed the soul. Your place looks beautiful.

  5. It looks beautiful! I haven't even started outside yet. Between being sick and rainy weekends and tired after working all day, I just haven't gotten there yet. I need to do some major work on my perennial beds too.

  6. It's so hard not to bring home every pretty perennial you can get your hands on.

    Your gardens look fantastic. Well done!

    I always comfort myself when I'm mulching my roses and getting all scratched up by reminding myself of all the money I'm saving for not buying bedding plants.

  7. Your beds look wonderful, and I wish we could get mushroom mulch here, how wonderful!

  8. It's your garden that's bloomin' crazy, not you. LOL! What a talented green thumb you're sporting! Thanks for the view!

  9. Wow, you really do have a lot of flowers! I am very impressed! Everything is looking great! I soooo know what you mean about later in the summer and putting off the weeding and it's so hot! I too, would LOVE all of the landscaping...but I know me all too well! I'm all gung-ho in Spring...but as summer goes on, I get, I currently do not have any plants, flowers or pretty landscape unless it is growing naturally. I will do a couple of pretty flowering hanging baskets, but that's all. I am really loving everything that you have planted though. I especially love the row that runs along the white is gorgeous and charming!

  10. Your mulched beds look very neat and tidy! It will all pay off when you are enjoying all those beautiful flowers! I agree with Bonnie, the row with the white fence is lovely!

  11. Your beds look wonderful! Eric and I mulched on Saturday and I love how "put together" the garden looks. Iris around here do not seem to mind mulch but I think they are more a weed than a flower. At least they grow like weeds here, I am always yanking them out of the ground and the following spring they are back.

  12. Hello neighbor!!! Your place is looking beautiful! I love the stone path...and I loved spotting you at the mulch place on Saturday. Great minds think alike.

  13. Your gardens are beautiful! I've never heard of mushroom mulch...hmmm...something to look into. I sure I am going to feel the same way about my perenial gardens when I get old--I'm a hopeless plant collector as well!

  14. What a bunch of work ~ pat on back!!! I too have flower beds that need tending ~ but I just don't have the energy to maintain them as they should be.

  15. Love the pictures, you flowers beds look wonderful!

    We have had a super wet spring so far in Oregon, so I haven't done any yard work yet. Looking forward to some sunshine soon I hope, then maybe it will happen.

    Thanks for the glimpse of PA spring!

  16. You may be crazy:) but it sure is beautiful you can tell you love it. Alica I would love to have a nice garden like that showpiece you have nurtured and loved. I have a neglected hunk of dirt and squirrel holes:)
    Beautiful my friend. B

  17. Oh it all looks so good-makes me want to renew my mulch/compost too : )

  18. Wow! That is a lot of flowers! It looks amazing...


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