Fried Bananas

Fried Bananas
in full sun with purple petunias

Monday, November 7, 2011

November Chores

Most of November is cleanup and there certainly is a lot to do in that area, as I still have distressed trees that need to be trimmed or in some cases removed.  But another task is to prepare beds for planting next Spring.  Today I did that by the fence, as I am putting in a privacy screen of five Arborvitae (Thuja Orientalis 'Emerald Green'.   These are narrow columnar shaped Arborvitae.  They will grow about 3 feet wide and 12 feet high in about 10 years.  The plants I bought were half price at HD last month and they are wintering over in a holding area in pots that are sunk in the ground.  They are about 5 feet high so they have some growing to do.  I'm building a mound about a foot high by the fence in which to plant them so that they will be taller sooner.

First I had to kill the grass in this area.  Since I wasn't planting until Spring I decided not to use Roundup, but to use a chemical free method.  I place flattened cardboard and layers of newspaper in the planting bed.  This was after I used string and lime to line out the area and then removed the grass along the edge of the bed.  The cardboard newspaper barrier will eventually break down and decompose.  But not until the grass beneath has been killed due to lack of light.  I took some soil from an area on the west side of the property.  This soil looks like it was stored there for many years in a pile.  It's full of roots and weeds,  but I'm sifting it before bringing it over to build the mound.  I'll add some organic material to this area as well as soil.  By the Springtime it should be all set to move the Arborvitae without the use of herbicide.

I have another bed to prep this fall, but I don't know if I will get to it as there is so much cleanup to do.  We'll see.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Still Planting

The October Nor'easter notwithstanding, I haven't stopped purchasing or planting.  Yesterday I put in 75 daffodils (Ice Follies) in the driveway bed.  These were the bulbs that were a replacement order from last year.  Eden sent me an extra 25 bulbs due to the fact that they sent me the wrong bulbs last year.  I had to remove some snow from the bed, but the soil was nice and diggable as I used a bulb planter to put these in.  The work went quickly.

Cornus Sericea 'Silver and Gold' from Tower Hill
Today I went to Weston Nurseries because their end of year sale was too good to pass up.  I picked up a Viburnum 'Cardinal Candy', a Hydrangea 'Bella Ana', and Cornus Sericea 'Silver and Gold' along with a few tulips that I will force by bringing them into the house in the winter time.  Here's a pic of Cornus Sericea 'Silver and Gold'.  This is a plant I've been looking for for a long time.  It's actually a red twig dogwood, but the branches are a gold color instead of red.  As you can see from the picture it also has variegated foliage.  It also grows golden colored berries that the birds go crazy for.  So it's a 4 season shrub.  Right now I've put all these purchases in  a holding area, but I already know where Silver and Gold will go.  It will be placed on the hill in the back garden to provide some protection from the afternoon sun for the Hosta in that bed.  This is an old fashioned shrub that you see a lot in older gardens, but it's hard to find in nurseries.  Nurseries want to sell the latest and greatest stuff and oldies, but goodies like Silver and Gold get crowded out.  At half price I couldn't pass this one up.  Here's what mine looks like right now. 

I've been accepted into the Master Gardener's program by the Mass Horticultural Society.  In order to become a Master Gardener you have to take a full course in Horticulture, pass a test and then volunteer so many hours in different areas.  This is something I am looking forward to.  The course begins in February and runs through next Spring.  It should expand my knowledge a great deal.