I have three outdoor projects I wanted to accomplish this summer, and seeing as it’s now August I figured I’d better get started! Yesterday the kids and I dug up the irises in the back garden. They haven’t been tended in eons and boy were they packed in there tight! Once I had them all out I started splitting them and I can’t believe how many I have! I gave two big bag fulls to my friend this afternoon and there are still tons more!
These are just a few of them!
After seeing the empty garden I’ve decided not to replant the irises there. I think I’ll put some in an empty spot in the front yard, and maybe around the mailbox. Not sure how hard it will be to plant there. I really like the open space of the back garden and I think I’ll put two more sides on it next spring and make it part of our veggie garden. Maybe put pumpkins in it or something. I think the veggies will grow better without the shade from the tall irises as well. For now, it’s a dirt pit and guess who’s loving it?!!
Construction workers in the dirt pit.
I really wanted to put some in front of the house behind the new hostas (wait, I DID accomplish something in the gardens already this summer!) but irises need full sun and as you can see by the below picture, the front garden does not get full sun! Look at those poor hostas reaching, desperately, for sunshine.
Stretch babies stretch, the sun is up there somewhere!
I finally got a chance to do some work in the gardens yesterday. It was a sunny day and I had lots of helpers. It was great. Elizabeth and Alistair were here and Parrish and Orin came to help and we all planted the sunflower house, hung the Topsy Turvy tomato plants, planted a few other tomato plants, and transplanted my two strawberry plants. They were bursting out of their pots and still growing strawberries! Hopefully everything grows happily. It was a happy spirited day and lots of love and laughter went into each and every plant.
Strong men hauling dirt! Lex told me later that Orin was doing most of the work :)
Look, me! Elizabeth took a few pictures for me while we were working hard.
Putting in the sunflower seeds. Hopefully these kids did a good job with the seeds and we get a great sunflower house this year!
Putting the gator to good use!
I finally got what I needed Friday afternoon. A quiet afternoon with my kids. Funny, right? Eve and I spent the morning baking and cleaning (Ha! The cleaning really happened about an hour before the party Saturday), then we got Lex from school and home for lunch and naps. Lex brought home a little cup with three seeds growing in it, but sadly we dropped the cup twice between when the teacher handed it to him and when we made it out of the school. Yep, twice, in the lobby. Once from his little fingers and once from mine! After nap Lex was eager to plant the seedlings in the garden so we went out and did some gardening. They happily helped me plant the green beans and peas too. Then we played outside and had a picnic dinner. Our neighbor came over to play while we were eating dinner and he ran around, distracting the kids. I decided to be the grownup and I told him that we didn’t want a wild meal time. I offered to let him sit down and eat with us or walk him back to his house where his dad was inside preparing their dinner. He calmly sat down and ate cherries with us and we had a nice picnic. I guess I can be a selfish mommy, but I really like my kids and I enjoy playing with them (most of the time). It was nice to have a happy afternoon with them.
We are farmers!
Lex's bean plant, after a bit of a beating. Hope it survives better in the ground.
He did a great job planting it.
Boys on swings
Like my new garden? After several years of thinking about it (that’s how I work best!) we had the shrubs removed this spring and I finally got around to moving the hostas! There were two very big plants in the backyard, smack in the middle of the yard. I spent a day and half readying the front garden, loosening soil, removing roots (and roots, and roots, and more roots!), and digging holes. This afternoon I dug up the two hostas, split them into five (still goodsized plants!) and replanted them in the front. Only time will tell if it was a successful transplant or a total massacre! Splitting hostas is no easy job and I’m pretty sure I did some serious damage to a few of them. Then I forgot to water them. Oops! It was late and I had to get the kids inside for bath and dinner. Hopefully the hostas survive!
Before - an empty garden
After - hostas!
A Lex in a tree. He still needs help getting into the tree, but he can now climb pretty high up, climb back down again, and get himself out of the tree! At the neighbor's house this afternoon he climbed on top of their baby playhouse thing and got himself into a tree. He was very proud of himself!
We did some planting this afternoon. Just a small dip into the massive gardening pool. :) Last week was Arbor Day and the kids in Lex’s school all came home with a tiny White Spruce seedling. Lex wanted to put it in the backyard and so we did. The kids dug a hole (with help from Parrish), planted the tree, filled in the hole, and made a little pine cone circle around it so (hopefully) it doesn’t get mowed over. I have no idea how well it will grow, but we’ll see :)
This looks like a good spot.
Digging a hole. The dirt did fly!
Wish our tiny seedling luck please. I suspect it will need it.
Since we were playing in dirt anyway I had them repot a little plant that Lex brought home from school as a Mother’s Day gift. It was in a cute little cup that he painted, but it already needed a bigger pot. So we gave that little guy a new home too.
My Mother's Day plant in its new home.
While the kids played a bored game I took a few minutes to start weeding the gardens too. So much I want to do, so little time (ok, so little motivation is usually the problem!) I was thinking of building two new, bigger raised bed gardens in the side lawn, but that’s not looking likely at this point, so now I’m thinking about container gardens on the back porch. Somewhere to put the tomato and basil seedlings I have growing on the counter! I’ll have to do some research on that.
The boy likes to climb!
The boys wanted to play a game in Parrish's room (in their basement!) so I suggested playing on the porch instead. It was a bit crazy, but I think it would have been equally crazy (and dark and chilly) in his room. I also got to do a bit of work in the garden.
Our sunflower garden didn’t come out quite as planned this year, but we learned some lessons and will try again next year. In the meantime we are enjoying the sunflowers that did grow!