Saturday, April 18, 2009

Gardening 101

Here in upstate New York, we normally start planting our annual plants around Memorial Day (5/25/09) because by then your garden will be safe from the danger of frost. This does not necessarily mean though that we can't start working on our gardens before that. So for the past 3 weekends I've been busy raking, pruning and uncovering my perennial plants. Below is a Fall pic of my Butterfly Bush. I let it go like this then prune it to about 1-2 ft. in early Spring. I know I took a picture last summer of how big and tall it became by summertime but I can't find the pic in my photo folder.

This is what it looks like after I pruned it (corner of the garden bed.) I did the same thing with my roses, except roses are pruned moderately.

The garden above (taken last year) looks like this by early Summer. A spectacular display! When I have more time, I really would like to design my garden. I bet it is so relaxing to have a rock garden or similar with benches and a water fountain; a place to read a good book, to dream, take a nap or just to sit and relax with friends.

For those of you who are not into gardening but interested to know, annuals/biennials are plants that only live one/two years. Gardeners love to intermingle them with perennials because they bloom all summer and are often long-lasting if you want a bouquet.

Perennials on the other hand, are the mainstay of the garden. They come back year after year but only bloom once each year. Some of them, though, will reward you with colorful foliage in the Fall or after it blooms.

Here's my patch of peonies. It is hard to see but I had raked three rows of the dead leaves and four more to go, including the Iris patch! Leaving the dead foliage in the winter is a matter of preference for gardeners. I leave mine for plant protection and also to help improve the soil. There are nutrients in fallen leaves.

A close-up of the peonies starting to appear.

A picture of the peonies and Iris by early summmer; aren't they a joy to look at? (again, photo was taken last year)

Here is one of my peonies. We have white, pink, very light pink and maroon colors. One thing I like about peonies, they are low maintenance once they are established. They have sweet, fragrant flowers and are excellent as cut flowers because of their long vase-life of a week to 10 days.

...more of last year's peonies.

Did you know that one of the first signs of the coming of a new season in my area are the delicate, white blossoms of a plant called Common Snowdrop? Here's a picture of the plant and they come back year after year with no care at all.

Last weekend, I started planting my Dahlias. They are annuals, but because they are buried underground, they should be safe from frost. Planting them early will give them a head start. So by early summer, I should be rewarded with beautiful blooms! Dahlias can not stand freezing temps, so they need to be dug up before winter, and I store mine in our basement. Pictured below is one of my Dahlias last year.

...more of last's year Dahlias.

I don't claim to be an expert gardener but still wants to share what little I know just the same. ;) I welcome any tips, suggestions, and comments from you though, so if you have any, shoot it my way! lol


nona said...

Whoa! Lawak ng aayusin mo nance, sarap magpapawis diyan. I love gardening too...gusto ko rin yung mga flowering plants it brightens my day.
Enjoy the task,aabangan ko ang pagbloom ng mga plants mo. :)

Mari said...

Wow! That's a lot of work. But, in the end, you'll have a very colorful yard.

I started my gardening today. Planted some shrubs up the slope by the block fence and some lemon grass by it. And more plants on the lower tier. Now I'm achy all over. LOL

Our temps are in the 90's...HOT, very HOT.

Nance said...

dami nga. that's only one side of the house, meron pa sa front and other side...but am enjoying it! hilig ka din pala sa gardening huh? exchange tayo ng mga plants! lol

Nance said...

Yes, it's a lot of work, but ya 'know what? i don't consider it as work, it's my therapy! ;)
lemon grass? is that the one for cooking? love 'em! sarap sa adobo o dinuguan.

docgelo said...

Wow, your post about your gardening is on time for Earth day! Happy Earth Day, Ms. Nance!
Nice photos by the way.

Blue Rose said...

wow! goodluck to you nance. an lawak ng garden mo. ang ganda siguro tingnan nyan kapag andaming bulaklak ng mga tanim mo noh. *inggit*

Tracy said...

Fantastic post, Nance! This gardening post has my green thumbs itching--LOL! Still a bit early to plant much here yet--but soon! Looks like you have a big property and space to plant many things. those, along with roses, they are the queens of the garden. Happy Days in the sun, my friend :o) ((HUGS))

Monica said...

Hi Nance, I love those pics! you've been tagged; have fun dear! ;-)

dodong flores said...

Hi, Ate Nance. These are beautiful photos. I love flowers so I love specifically the 7th and 10th photo. I also would like to try gardening if only I have my space and time.
Good luck to your gardening...

Nance said...

welcome to my blog. Happy Earth Day to you too!

ganda nga nila pag namulaklak na, weekly akong nagdadala ng bulaklak sa work ko to be enjoyed by all.

Nance said...

Lol! so you love gardening too, huh?
am pretty sure you don't have to wait so long, spring is definitely just around the corner.

I'm off to your blog to grab the tag.

thanks but my photos are nothing compared to yours. i just point and shoot! lol

Joy said...

Come to Keukenhof Gardens, Nance! I'm sure you'll love everything you'll see and give you all sorts of ideas for the most beautiful garden ever.

Thanks for visiting A Pinay In England. Come back soon!

Norwich Daily PhotoYour Love CoachI, Woman

Anonymous said...

Live Butterfly Garden That's Good!!