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Gardening 101

April 9th, 2010 at 03:49 pm

Not much happening on the home front. I am still somewhat crazy in my gardening. I didn’t know it- but I love to garden. I know I spent around $3-400 last year on grass seed/plants/annuals/hanging baskets and shrubs. I am determined to spend tops maybe $100 this year.

I look around at my house and I love it. I must admit many of the plants I purchased never made it. My Mandevilla vines were spectacular- but the cold winter killed them, and I was never a fan of where I planted them- so they are gone, and I won’t be replacing them. I guess the winters are too risky in GA for them.

I bought a Lantana bush last year. It was tiny and pretty. Let me tell you they don’t look so pretty in the winter. They lose all their leaves and have dead looking twigs poking out of the ground. And after I bought the Lantana…they came into bloom in GA and they are EVERYWHERE in the wild. They are more like a weed. Why did I buy it? I didn’t know. I won’t be buying anymore Lantanas.

I bought some pretty yellow flowered succulent bushes to line my front walkway. Well- when the yellow flowers fall off you are left with a cactus looking bush- not so pretty. And cactus succulents don’t do so well in rainy Georgia either- they drowned.

And of course I spent a lot of money on annuals. I knew they were going to die but did not care. And they sure were pretty- might spend some money on them this year.

What I bought and lived…well the list is getting longer as I have become a little more educated.
I bought 3 Gardenia shrubs for the front flower bed. It was not until AFTER I bought them that I learned they are VERY difficult to keep alive. Surprisingly they are doing well. I have 1 shrub that has turned quite pale and seems to be on its way out- but I have been a busy mother hen- giving it plant food and lots of water. I am even trying to create acidic water to feed it. I hope it makes it. I don’t know what the problem is- as the other two are great.

I am a Hosta lover. I own 8. They are beautiful and I want to add more. But by September of last year they were quite ratty looking. Something was chewing on them in 1 bed. But the Hostas in the other bed survived the summer with not a single eaten leaf! So I guess the lesson is that all my Hostas need to be in bed #2.

My neighbor and I purchased Jasmine vines to run along the chain link fence dividing our properties. It had previously been overtaken by wild vines and I am still out there weekly trying to get rid of the wild vines and to let the Jasmine grow. Its coming along.

Yesterday I bought 3 pink Gumpo dwarf Azeleas to line my foundation line along one side of my house. 3 is not enough- I need about 4 more. They bloom in June and it will be beautiful! I already have 2 white ones in my front bed so I know their sizing and growth habits. They are warriors. When I bought the house last Feb they were on their last legs. 1 was already dead and had to be tossed. But the other 2 came back beautifully, and now I have a soft spot for them.

And my 2 Camelia bushes. They are my little darlings. I bought them a few weeks ago- so past their flowering season- but I cannot wait for next year. One pink Camellia has thrown up a lot of new growth- I know they are a very slow growing plant but I cannot WAIT for them to be big enough to tower over the Azeleas they are planted next to now.

Anyways, this is not a very great post. Maybe next week I will have some better topics.

6 Responses to “Gardening 101”

  1. Joan.of.the.Arch Says:

    I was hoping you had some photos to share. You know I just love the looks of your house. So charming and has such a spirit even in photos. Would love to see how the garden is evolving. P.S. I am mandevilla cursed. I just wistfully look at them on other people's porches and feel sorry for myself.

  2. gamecock43 Says:

    Oh you just gave me the encouragement I needed to go taking pictures of my plants this weekend! I am so proud of my little guys- I love posting pictures! And Mandevillas are not very popular here- Wisteria and Jasmine are the preferred vines...now I know why.

  3. baselle Says:

    I love gardening blog entries, and since you spent money on the plants, talking about them isn't off topic. Smile Slugs and snails love Hostas. Perhaps you have some free range escargot in bed #1?
    This is the time of year when other gardeners are dividing out plants. Perhaps you can get some new friends for free? If you like the Lantana, but its everywhere, like you I wouldn't buy it but would find a neighboring gardener that has it. The extra advantage is that the plant is proven to like your neighborhood.

  4. whitestripe Says:

    Just thought I would share this with you:
    http://www.weeds.org.au/WoNS/lantana/

    Basically, in Australia lantana is a weed that spreads very rapidly and gets out of control, so much so that there is national funding to help manage the spread of it, as it takes over completely, suffocates any other plants therefore killing them - in a lot of places it is illegal to plant it here. So please be careful with it!

  5. gamecock43 Says:

    The lantana is in a pot for now. I dig it up because it turned so ugly...but I cant bear to kill anything so I put it in a pot for now.

  6. snshijuptr Says:

    We only have 2 pots for plants in our apartment, but we have killed 3 plants in those pots. I really want to get a window box, but I'm not sure about the logistics. You've inspired me to look online! Smile

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