ladyotterfae: (Discworld-lilacsrise)
[personal profile] ladyotterfae
Last night I sat down with mom and we finished working out a sketch for the roughly 4'x 54' bed along the south wall of Sunnyside. (Mom was boggled by the length...she seemed to think it was only 40' or so. *snort*)

We've been planning for quite a while to put blueberries in there, but it keeps getting shuffled to the back of the list, due to timing or money problems. We almost did it last fall, but most of the things we're planting are spring planted, so I pushed it to now. Or rather, I pushed it to a month or two ago, and it's taken this long for mom and I to get the measurements and sit down and hash it out. :P

I bought three fairly good-sized (well, they will be when they mature, anyway) blueberry bushes at a local nursery a couple of weeks ago, when I bought the fig and papaya for my own container garden. Mom didn't really want any blueberries that big, but nothing but low bushes would look really kind of dippy on a wall that long on a 3-story brick house. Just saying.

So, final plans (right now, anyway), involved those three (2 bluerays and a bluecrop, I think), and three low-bush (northland), and three 'groundcover' blueberries (ruby carpet and little crisp, not sure which there will be two of, it's a set). Those are all on order if they're not on my porch. When mom found out about groundcover cranberry this winter, she went gaga, so there are 9 plants of that on order as well. I picked up some 'mosquito-repellent' thyme groundcover for another low-lying spreader to tuck in there.

Then the fun part. I kept butting up against a problem of what to do with the big blank section in the middle, where there's a slight change in bed depth, and, well, it just looked wrong. We started talking about putting a climber or two there, then I had the ultimate light-bulb moment. There's a climber I've been panting to try for a few years, but haven't the space for. Hardy kiwi. :) It's 8 feet of wall. D and I will design and build a trellis, and we have 3 kiwi plants (2 female, 1 male) on order. I am thoroughly pleased.

Last stop on that bed (aside from some annuals that I'll interplant in the first year or two, while the perennials slowly fill in) is to pick out and locate or order the 6 hydrangeas, which will frame the ends of the bed, and each of the two windows. Mom wants some mophead style that will be blue (blue is no problem, the bed will be highly acidic for the fruit, anyway, I just need to find some good coloured mopheads), and I want a couple of classic whites. If anyone adores hydrandeas and has recommendations, that would be awesome.

The first raised bed is starting to show promise. :) I've got a significant number of beets sprouted, and there are spinach and bok choi sprouts at every place I planted the relevant seeds, so it's looking good so far. Carrots haven't come up yet, but I didn't expect them to.
I planted peas on Sunday, both snow and garden varieties. The birds have already gone after the seeds once. *sigh* we'll see how it goes.

I've mostly got the rest of the first round of planting mapped out in my gardening journal. I think I'm going to come out okay on places for tomatoes, which was my major worry. Yeah, some of them will be in containers that won't be as big as they'd like, but too bad. I'll do my best to keep everyone watered and happy, but I can't afford to buy or build enough self-waterers for the number of plants I have arriving or growing. 6 tomatoes will be in the raised beds, 3 in hanging planters (two topsy-turvys, and one hanging basket for a small tumbling tomato), and another 3 in containers. If I can scrounge a larger container or two, I'll move the biggest of the container plants into those, but we'll manage. I need to find some good wire for cages on the containers, and we're working on the trellises for both raised beds.

I grabbed a fairly well-grown sweet pepper pot (more than one plant) for mom, since I don't have seeds, and only ordered one heritage sweet pepper, since it's not really our thing. The container has three plants, and I suspect I'm going to need to cut at least one of them down to keep it from drying out every time I turn around. I hate to do it, since they're quite big and already setting fruit, but the stress will just be too hard on them, I think, if I leave them all there.

Also picked up a dill plant, since I don't feel like starting all my herbs from seed just yet. It's been repotted. The oregano I picked up at farmer's market weekend before last will get repotted this week, too. I have plenty of basil growing in the of course I bought two more seed varieties, and will be starting a purple and a lime later this week, once I've scrounged enough to get another bag of potting soil. There are plenty of thyme seedlings downstairs, too. I know those don't grow super-fast, but that's okay. The sage looks good, too. Again, perennial, so slow-grower, but I figure I'll get a few leaves, and hopefully at least one strong plant will survive through to next year and be nicely productive.

The chives never germinated. I'm not sure what the typical germination rate for chives is, but it's been weeks, everything else in that flat is up and growing, and not a peep out of those seeds. I may try again, but since that's another one that's a really slow grower, I'll likely just give in and buy a pot somewhere, so I can harvest this year. I'd like some garlic chives as well, but I haven't seen any of those already grown yet.

The garden has been eating a lot of my spare brain-power lately. I'm enjoying it tremendously so far, though we're a bit away from seeing more than a sprig of rosemary (it's still alive!!!) or dill for cooking purposes. The mesclun, if the squirrels will quit digging in it, might be productive in another couple of weeks. The spinach won't be far behind that, and the bok choi is a 'baby' variety that will be harvest-age in less than 50 days.
Cabbage and chard are hardening off nicely, and the first round of each will hit the raised bed later this week.

Time to go back to cleaning or something that looks like it.

Date: 2011-04-12 02:18 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Thyme is mosquito repellant?

Date: 2011-04-12 03:43 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
a lot of herbs are, to varying degrees (rosemary is in a lot of the bug repellent mixes, as are some geraniums, and many citrus-scented things), but it happens that this particular variety of thyme is heavy on the stuff that makes citronella citronella, so you can rub some on your skin or just walk through it (groundcover thyme does pretty well with being stepped on, within reason), and release the chemicals that a lot of bugs avoid. I figured it was worth a shot, since I'll be standing out there to harvest eventually. You can also cook with it. ;) mmm...citrus thyme.
I can get you the exact scientific name, if you like.

Date: 2011-04-12 05:25 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Yes, please! I may plant some just for that purpose.

Date: 2011-04-12 05:32 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Thymus citriodora (or citriodorus) is the basic latin name. You'll find some cultivars based off of that.
Here's the place I ordered it from, so you can see their description, but you can probably find it locally. It's variably known as mosquito-repellant thyme, lemon thyme (there's more than one lemon thyme), lime thyme...nobody can quite agree what it smells like, I suppose. :) At any rate, this version is a low spreading ground-cover, not all of them will be.

Here's a short list of other recommended repellent plants I found while doing a search on the latin name:

Date: 2011-04-12 05:33 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Very cool, thank you so much!

Date: 2011-04-12 11:40 pm (UTC)
ilyena_sylph: picture of Labyrinth!faerie with 'careful, i bite' as text (Default)
From: [personal profile] ilyena_sylph (from
So many plants! And suuuch a list!

*hugs you*


Date: 2011-04-28 07:18 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] (from
I'm so happy that I came across your journal. I don't have any helpful advice regarding your planting process with the exception of giving your back a rest now and then. I enjoy reading and hearing (if only in my head) the two of you spar a bit too. Would love to hear from you!


Re: plants

Date: 2011-05-03 11:39 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Just in case my reply gets lost in the abyss that can be LJ's weirdness, because I hadn't yet realized that your comment was listed as suspicious and therefore invisible...

Hi! if I can figure out how to add you so you can see more of my posts, I will, but so far I haven't figured it out, since I don't know if you have an LJ account. :) Most of my stuff is locked, which is why it probably looks as if I never write. A lot of the gardening adventures are over on my other blog, though., if you're interested.
Do you have an email for me anymore?


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