Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Labor Day, Yes We Did

We did indeed labor today, and it was all in the gardens.  We were trying to get ready for the garden walk tomorrow.  I sure hope the weather doesn't turn as ugly for Tuesday afternoon as they are predicting with wind gusts supposedly as high as 44 mph. Sounds like a fun day for a garden tour, huh?  If the forecast is correct, I guess I'll have to find a different place to put all the pots again since two of them almost rolled out of the driveway the other day when we had some high winds.

We've been working on a new stone project for the last several weeks; I've been updating a separate post about it every time we work on it, so one of these days I will be posting a start-to-finish post of the 'Thing' as we call it right now.  (You know our tendency to name gardens, right?  Well, 'Thing' isn't the most catchy name, I'll have to work on that.)
The 'Thing' bed (in progress) is behind the Pachyberm, when (or if) we get it done, I'll post the story.

The weather was very unsettled today, one minute it was raining, then the sun would come out, but before long thunder was rumbling in the distance and we were back to rain.  Around 1PM the rain more or less dissipated,  and we were able to go out and get something done.  Carl started working on the stone 'thing' project and I was weeding and thinning out ailing annuals and trimming back perennials.  Whenever Carl needed help with a stone he was moving, he would yell for me and I would drop what I was doing to go and help him.
The sky behind this Maiden Grass wasn't looking too sunny, weed faster!

As I was weeding and deadheading along, I came to the realization that I wasn't going to get as much done as I needed to, so Carl put the tractor away and came to help me weed.  Thank goodness!  Even with the two of us working together, we didn't get through the entire garden.  This place is just too big.

Earlier this year, we had transplanted a tamarack tree out front but I guess we didn't do a good job or maybe it was due to all the rain, but the tamarack died.  We had another tree waiting in the wings, an ironwood that we bought way back in April, so today we decided it was time to get that tree planted.  There's Carl, in the picture below, putting the finishing touches on the new tree.

Carl said I was back to my GADS tendencies again because we didn't need to plant the tree today, we needed to get the weeding and tidying done.  He was right, but I 'm glad the tree is planted anyway. 

Since this is also a Blooming Tuesday post, I guess I could show you the little flower bed out in front of the house a bit closer up.  I know my choice of color scheme is a bit odd, especially this time of year when the sedums are pink with the red celosia, but for most of the rest of the year when the sedums are green, it doesn't clash so badly.

There are one hundred Celosia 'Fresh Look Red' planted in this little bed.  I've been starting them from seed and planting them here for over a decade now, but I think next year I will be planting something different, though they really do show up from the road.

When you see the Autumn Joy next to the pink granite rock, at least they don't clash!

It's so hard to show perspective sometimes with pictures, but I found a picture of the big granite rock pictured above when it was delivered by Cody's dad last August:
August 2009, the big rock arrives.  Just one on this load, but it is heavy!  Funny how it looks kinda small when surrounded by flowers.
There's Dave and me, back in 2009, checking out the big rock (and wondering how we will ever move it!)  We finally placed it in the Red Bed (yes, named because of my red celosia, I told you we have lame names for our beds)
Can you see the big granite rock lurking near the upper left-hand side of the picture?
Ok, I've given everyone enough indigestion with my Red Bed (and pink) color scheme; moving on.......

Carl and I weeded and pruned our way all through the Front Bed (yup, named because it's in front of the house) and then went to work behind the house.  I lost track of how many trailers full of weeds and pruning material we had today; I just know it was a LOT.

By the time we got to the Formal Garden, it was nearing 5PM and the mosquitoes were absolutely awful; I had to quit working down there.  I don't remember a year when they were this bad.  I was walking the doggies the other night and the sound of the swarms whining overhead was unnerving...just think if they all ganged up on you at once?!  Despite being bitten relentlessly, even though we were wearing bug spray, we kept working near the Escarpment Bed (named because we piled a bunch of limestone rocks in here after the Quarry Garden was built---that name is self-explanatory....ha) 

The tree in the background is a Japanese garden juniper trained up a stick.  I also planted another juniper of the same kind in front of it on the flat part and it is wandering over the rocks.  When I was weeding here this afternoon, I just had to take a picture of the yellow 'Skylands' spruce in contrast with the grasses and 'Neon' sedums:
Escarpment Bed & 'Skylands' spruce
I just didn't have time to set up my pictures as well as I'd like to because the mosquitoes were having a field day biting me and it's hard to hold the camera still when you're under attack.
The far end of the Escarpment and one of the last rudbeckias left in this bed.

Joel mowed lawn today for me and also did the edging over by the tufa walls; I have to remember to get over there and pick up the sod.  Hopefully, if it is windy tomorrow morning, I'll be able to finish up in the Formal Garden before the visitors arrive at 3:30 PM.  
I did manage to finish weeding the 'Fountain Lady' bed----(stop laughing)

Finally, we had to call it quits, it started to rain again and the mosquitoes were calling in their reinforcement troops.  By this time it was 7PM, so we really didn't have that much daylight left anyway.  Cody and Briana came over tonight and Ann and her daughter stopped in too, so  we had a lot of fun visiting with all of them. 

There's always tomorrow, er, today....(since it's 2:00AM already, I guess I'd better get some sleep) to get the rest of the yard tour worthy.  Wish me luck!

And don't forget to check out what everyone else has blooming over at Jean's Bloomin' Tuesday!  Just click on the pretty orange sunflower link located on the right side!



Racquel said...

Looks like you had a productive Labor Day weekend in the garden. :)

Darla said...

Lots and lots of work here...I like the contrast of the celosia and sedum myself....eye catching!

Granny Lyn's Garden said...

Wish I lived a little closer,I would love to weed in such beautiful gardens. You make me feel guilty about how much "I didn't get done". :( Nothing wrong with their names either, I have the "Shade Garden" the "Backyard Bed" just to name a couple , how's that for imaginative. lol
Hope the weather is beautiful for your tour!
Have a blessed day! Lynda

Zoey said...

Wow, that red celosia is a stunner! I think it looks fine with the SAJ. . . sort of livens it up a bit. I was wondering how many plants it took to get such a nice full bed. Thanks for sharing that you planted 100 of them. I do love to know all the details. :)

Will this be your first garden walk?

Gatsbys Gardens said...

Karen, I do like that pink and red together, but then again I put just about every color together!


Karen said...

Hi Raquel, yes, we got at least some of the eyesores out of the way. ;-)

Darla, thank you, I'm glad you liked my color 'scheme' (if you can call it that.) I love red and pink and blue, yellow, orange, maroon......ALL the colors-guess I'll never be winning any garden design contests, ha!

Oh, Lynda, I wish you lived closer, too! I could sure use your help. Cool, someone else names their beds the same way I do! So far this morning, the sun is shining and the wind is already howling around 25mph...but I guess it could be much worse. There is a large woods right across the road from us that may help with the wind a little bit.

Hi Zoey, you're right, the celosia does perk up the sedum quite a bit! Every year I say I'm going to go out and cover them when frost is threatened and every year I forget. Maybe this will be the year I remember?

Yes, this is the first garden walk in September that I can ever remember hosting. Most groups like to come from June-August. And we still have three weddings coming for their pictures, but I don't know what will be blooming into late October. Ah, but there's always the rocks.

One of these days I will post a story about our first-ever public garden walk in 1996, oh, it was a time to remember! You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll, ok, you'll just want it to be over because I write too much, but it was definitely an 'experience' for me.

Eileen, the fact you like the color combo makes me proud; your garden and color sense is far superior to mine! Thank you!

Dandelion and Daisy said...

You say you excercise if you have to, looks like you get plenty....tending your beautiful garden. From the pictures, I would say you were "garden tour ready". I know I enjoyed the tour.

J. Smith said...

I love the way all the rocks are part of your gardens. I remember all the work getting read for my garden tour. Good luck! Everything looks beautiful! Jean

Anonymous said...

Just stopping by. The garden looks fabulous. Love the use of boulders in the garden, the rough surrounded by the delicate. Your color combos are very well selected. Good luck on your garden walk. Wish I could visit.

Dandelion and Daisy said...

I'm back again because I just realized I was on your blog roll....WOOHOO! You are WONDERFUL! Here I just discovered your blog, sorry I'm so slow but cannot tell you how much I appreciate your putting me on your roll. Thank you.

Meredehuit ♥ said...

Loved walking through your gardens. Your "labor" seems to have done the job!

shannon i olson said...

O I am in love. wow so very beautiful. That is a lot of work but absolutely heavenly!!!!

Rosemary said...

Karen what a absolutely gorgeous garden. Love all you have done. The red celosia certainly are a standout. How you keep it up is impressive.

Stone Art said...

Looks supper, that plants in your garden look fantastically vibrant against that lovely warm coloured rock you have.