Monday, April 28, 2014


After the harsh wind earlier this week we got some rain in the past two days; over an inch in total. It was still cold over the weekend, in the mid 50s, and the trees and shrubs aren't ready to leaf out yet, but things just look fresher.

Here's something that has never happened before. I got all the hoses up from the basement and hooked them up on Sunday.

And . . . . .  not a one leaked.

Not one is dribbling anywhere, and I tested them all. Including my hacked system to get water from the spigot at the front of the house to the back by the deck, using extra hose lengths and Lee Valley extender units.

This has never ever happened before. Hooking up hoses each spring is a frustrating, leaky, water-spouting job and I've written about it bitterly in past years. I've paid fortunes for hoses and reels and nozzles and connectors and systems and washers by the dozens each year, and they all fail to varying degrees at some juncture point.

They are never tight enough and always leak. But this year, without tools, without drama or fanfare, they were simply attached, turned on, and tested. Presto!

This is completely unheard of.  

The star magnolia (M. stellata 'Royal Star') has been blooming its little heart out for over a week now. It just keeps going, despite being frost burned last week. It's not the prettiest look with the browned blooms hanging on, but I admire its spirit blooming away like a champ!

I bought some 'Fort Hill' creeping phlox (P. subulata) and put them along the top of the wall by the driveway. They will spread out and drape over the wall.

At least I hope so. I never had any luck with two little plants of 'Drummond Pink' creeping phlox, which never spread and then didn't come back one spring. (I think they got too shaded by other plants in the summer.) These new 'Fort Hill' phlox are in an ideal open sunny spot, with a wall to drape over, so I'm hoping they do well.

I made some progress on my to-do list this chilly March-like weekend:

I divided and spread the blue iris reticulatas all through the kinnikinnik, mixing them, hopefully, with the other deeper purple ones. You're supposed to wait until early fall to divide and replant these little bulbs, but I can't find them after the foliage is gone. So it got done in spring. I hope they'll forgive me.

I also spent some time trying to trim some of the dead stuff in the kinnikinnik and fill holes, which was tedious and kind of hard to do. And messy.

I moved the Husker's Red penstemons to the patio wall. They are so shallow rooted and easy to move, it took all of a few minutes. Penstemons are like furniture, you just put them where you want. If I don't like them there, I'll move them somewhere else.

Here's why they were moved: their frilly pinky white blooms were too much with the frothy white baptisa alba and creamy white spikes of itea virginica. Too many small flowered plants blooming together in early June in slightly different shades of white.

Instead, I'll use more of the deep purple contrast of 'May Night' salvia and a rounded St. Johnswort under the arching baptisia. The pretty pink stands of penstemon on their dark stems will look good close up at the patio wall. At least I think so.

I did more clean up, broke up the matted mulch sheets in the Drive By garden, and now I see I need to start weeding everywhere as well. And, in an unprecedented development, I got all the hoses hooked up with no problems.

1 comment:

  1. How lucky are you to not have had any issues with your hoses! I can not say the same! I love penstemon for their structure and their color! I can't wait to see how that bed evolves though it looks gorgeous now! The life of a gardener...always tweaking and moving...makes things fun! Love the phlox too!!! Happy week to you! Nicole xoxo