We have many plans to improve the property and the way it looks. We can also use more space to grow ornamentals and shrubs. There are always improvements to be made and whimsical touches to be added. I have an old iron mailbox and post to put in a flowerbed somewhere with flowering vines growing over it. I just haven't found a spot for it yet. I have some red flowering bean seeds I am planning to plant on it, when I get it in place.
We did manage to get it completed and have moved on to putting in a fieldstone patio around the ourside tap, pictured here with a few stones. We will get it installed this weekend, weather permitting.
I would like to do more landscaping in this area, expanding the fieldstone patio back to the walkway.
There is also a hill I would like to replace with a small retaining wall, that runs across the front of the chicken houses. This will connect with the stone patio around the tap.
We have a lot of cedar posts that can be used for that. They have been very handy for landscaping and building on the farm. There are very few rails to go with them, just the posts.
I have recently discovered some forsythia that I have access to for cuttings. I would love a small forsythia hedge planted along the front of the chicken house (picture above). I would like to plant it behind the cedar post retaining wall (not yet built) discussed in the above paragraph.
Forsythia bushes root very easily. I could start a hedge just by sticking forsythia branches in the ground there. In the mean time, I have put some forsythia pieces in the ground as an experiment - just to see if they will root and grow.
I love forsythia! It is so beautiful planted with daffodils, which come in the same bright summer yellow and bloom at the same time. If I do put in a forsythia hedge, I will plant daffodils with it.
I had, originally, planned on planting the forsythia here, in the new shrub bed. I have "Blaze" climbing roses planted at each end of the little white picket fence. They have bright red flowers. This entire bed, with the exception of the purple lilac, is white with a few touches of bright red for interest. It was made for evening viewing from the front porch. If I can find a small white lilac, I will replace the purple one that is there now with a white one. I know where some are growing wild, I just need the time to go get one.
I have made a circle bed in the center of the new shrub bed for my red canna lilies. (The other end of this is the "new shrub bed", just added to this white flower bed last month.) Cannas look best growing in a large bunch so I will plant them altogether this year instead of one here and one there.
Do you like my flowerbed edging? Its done with shingles. You know...from a roof. Old shingles people usually beg you to take away. I got a trunk load of them from a gent on Freecycle. They completely smother any grass trying to grow underneath into the flowerbed and the mower just rolls right over them. They give the bed a clean, neat edge.
These are some of my red cannas last year, spread out in a line. This year they will be tightly grown in a circle in the middle of the shrub bed. I dug in a bit of old chicken manure and have high hopes for them. The roots came through the winter well and are just waiting to be planted, soon. I don't want actual leaf growth until after the end of May, when the danger of frost is passed but these can take a full 3-4 weeks to sprout. I will be planting them this weekend and will be prepared to cover any early growth if a frost threatens. These will be another little touch of red in the white bed.
I have also started some dwarf white canna lilies for this bed from seed. They are about 2" tall right now. I have read that canna lilies will bloom the first year from seed, if started early indoors, which these were.
Cannas are very difficult to start from seed. It is necessary to open the very hard seed coat just enough to let the water in. Then soak them for a few days until they swell. I had to use a rasp on the drill to wear away a spot on the seed coat enough to let the water in. The stratification was successful as the seed swelled and two have sprouted. I also have a 2" yellow canna sprouted from seed. Don't know where I'll be putting that one yet. Canna seed is something we may add to our farm seed sales, if they grow sucessfully from seed. I will have to add directions for stratification or no one will be able to get them to sprout. They are very hard!
I love cannas and collected a Tropicana gold and a Canna Durbin last fall. I don't know if they will grow again this year or not. I have potted them up early but they look fairly dried out. I will just have to wait and see.
This is the side of my house that faces the road and driveway, after you pass the 1/3 acre veggie garden, that is. There is a hill here, going up to the house. I would love to put in a raised bed, with shady woodland plants. It faces north and a little west.
I do have access to large cinnamon ferns that I can move to a bed here. With the addition of the elephant ears I acquired last fall, it could have quite a tropical look. That's a very large pink honeysuckle growing there now.
I have plans to put an arbor here, at the end of the stone path, as well. I have all the pieces cut and had it put together, sort of, last weekend. It crashed and fell apart. I will put it back together, with long screws, and install it in place, when I get a chance. I'd like to plant climbing spinach on it. I saw some seed for this spinach last weekend, very interesting plant and handy for salads.
I may think about building the retaining wall at this end of the house (above) with cedar posts, which we have. A fieldstone wall would look great connected to the path I just finished, but there is no way I am going to lug fieldstone big enough for that job all the way over there! When the fieldstone patio at the outdoor tap area is finished, I think I will have had enough of working with fieldstone. I have already gone through three pairs of good gloves and those stones are heavy. At least I don't need to pay for a membership at a gym, not that I've have time to go anyway...
This is another shady area that needs some work, beside the garage/shop. I want to put in a shade/woodland bed here, as well. I have started a small one and have seeded the impatiens glandulifera here. I put the seeds in the freezer for a couple of months. Last week I took them out and scattered them in this bed, after preparing it. They need winter stratification and light to germinate, as well as warm temps and longer days. Being impatiens, they will grow just scattered on the soil, but not until the end of May. They look their best in dense grouping at the back of a bed, since they get to be 5' tall. I may also plant some cinnamon ferns in here and some other woodland, shade loving plants. I want to extend it to about 6' wide.
I planted my pink obedient plant in the bed above, at the end, with the two lilacs. It is so invasive, I didn't want to put it in the bed next to the house. It will do well here in the sun and compliment the lilacs. I have planted some white obedient plant seeds in the white flowerbed. It is so invasive. I hope I don't regret putting them there.
Across the grassy span from the shop/garage bed above is this one, next to the deck. This is very new. (The flowerbed, not the deck. The deck is very old. The deck posts are not crooked. I don't know why they look like they are in this picture. Odd that...) I have only just covered it with cardboard to kill the grass and weeds and edged it with my handy-dandy flowerbed roofing shingle edgers. I made this bed after installing the cold frame here. I have dug up a strip beside the deck all the way down and plan to dig in some manure. This is where I will plant the luffahs to grow up on the deck. It will give the deck a tropical look and is the only place I have to grow them vertically with the space they need. I put all my irises at the end. Just around the corner from this is the well and the beginning of the stone path!
At the other end of this deck is my new herb bed, near the kitchen patio door.
Are you lost yet?