Monday, April 23, 2012

My Weekend: Two Amateur Gardeners Tackle the Yard

The hubs and I were lucky to move into a home already landscaped for the low maintenance gardener. *Thank goodness.* This is our first yard in both of our living-out-in-the-world-as-adult lives, and we know almost nothing. Seriously. I don't even know how to mow. Or how to keep a lawn from turning brown. And I'm 34.

After some concerned looks from the neighbors, we threw ourselves in. My goal: an idiot-proof garden.


Something is eating my roses. Grrrrrrr. Since our yard is full of evergreens, these roses are currently my only burst of color as we ease into Summer. My local nursery recommended: BT Worm Killer. Any suggestions?



To add some color in my shady areas we planted these Strawberry Drop Coleus. They are annuals (poo!) which means I will probably have to re-plant them next year. But I've been told they thrive in the shade, spread out pretty aggressively and grow low to the ground, which is what I want.


We planted Lime Moss in our shadier beds for some zing and for contrast against the reds and purples. The instructions say these are "vigorous" growers, which hopefully means I can't kill them.


To balance out all the tall and short evergreens I'm looking for another (easy) burst of red that grows low to the ground in full sun. Any ideas?

Oh, and lavender. I've been dreaming of lavender.

How about you? What did you do this weekend?

26 comments:

Valerie said...

Tina, I love lavender too. Several years ago I planted several along the sidewalk that runs from our house to our garage, and they grew to be nice and full. Unfortunately, our dog Kona thinks it's fun to leap over them, and sometimes she lands on them. Not so good for the lavender, but at least Kona smells good:)

Does your nursery have snap dragons? Some varieties are small and come in red, and often come back year after year even though they are sold as annuals. I wish I could come help you-I love designing flower beds:)

Tina L. Hook said...

Oh, Kona. I can hardly blame her. I might want to leap into the lavender too. ;)

I will check for snap dragons. And I could seriously benefit from your help. Thanks for the virtual gardening advice. It is the second best thing to having you in person.

BonBon Rose Girls Kristin said...

Want to come do my backyard now? Ha! We worked inside on the kiddos' rooms this weekend!

Bonnie said...

Your garden is gorgeous! Ours wouldn't look nearly as good as this. I tend to kill plants.

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Tina L. Hook said...

Kristin, I'm still recovering from my own yard. Though I might be able to work you in. ;) Sounds like you had a productive weekend too.

Tina L. Hook said...

Bonnie, I have a long history of accidental plant murder.

One of the most famous conversations with my mother went like this.

Her: (Looking around my apartment.) What did you do with that plant I gave you?

Me: I killed it.

Her: And then what?

Me: I threw it away.

Her: (Gasping in honest-to-goodness horror.) How dare you?!

Theanne said...

A+ for all your gardening efforts...aphids used to eat my roses...had to spray them (constantly) with the least non-toxic insecticide/pesticide I could find. I know I've used a brand called Safer...but can't remember the level of toxicity! Or if I used it on roses! Your roses are gorgeous!

Mowing is easy till the lawn mower breaks or won't start ;-) Find a good repair person...who doesn't charge an arm and a leg! Interestingly enough my parents let me start using a gas powered mower when I was 9...I was the main grass cutter for a fairly large lawn. And I cut grass from then til I divorced the ex in '81...when Don and I had a house with lawn...he did the cutting on a riding lawn mower!

Sara said...

I've always wanted a green thumb. It seems like everyone in my family was blessed with the ability to make plants thrive. Me? I kill them. Not intentionally. I kill them while attempting to love them. It's a curse.

The Dolls Are Alright said...

I am so bad with roses ~ love them, but really, I've learned never to plant a rose bush and never try to keep a rose bush already in any yard I have because I will kill it. I found having Mexican grasses in the yard is a sure way to keep things pretty and not be able to kill them ever. I have a lavender and a rosemary in the front that are true survivors. Sounds like you creating a beautiful yard for yourself ~ hope everything stays healthy!

Tina L. Hook said...

Theanne, my BT Worm Killer works on aphids too so here is hoping it solves the problem. And it is super gentle stuff--you can use it on your organic edibles too. Despite the holes they are pretty, right? I'll be off to spray them once a week I think. (Need to check the instructions again.)

Funny that you mention it, my Dad has a major talent for repairing lawn mowers. He does it for free for everyone in his neighborhood.

Tina L. Hook said...

Sara, ha! I'm sorry to hear that. Too much love.

Tina L. Hook said...

We shall see... If your lavender and rosemary are hanging in that is a good sign. Maybe I can grow them too.

I'll be looking into the Mexican grasses.

The Bluths said...

gorgeous flowers! i love your blog layout.

Tina L. Hook said...

Welcome to my blog Mrs. Bluth. And thanks. When all else fails I try to keep things simple. I look forward to visiting your blog soon.

Slamdunk said...

The Mrs. is the good gardener here. I just do the lifting, watering, and mowing.

I am sure you and the Mr. will learn what works in your climate, and will have lots of fun with the final product of beauty.

Tina L. Hook said...

My hubs also does most of the heavy-lifting and much like the inside of the house, I am the designer. We both have always loved being outside so the new yard has been fun for us.

oncealittlegirl.com said...

Best advice I ever got is: If you like the way it looks, try it. If you don't like it, dig it up, move it, or throw it out.

My advice: Plants are living things that are determined to grow. Don't worry too much.

Krysten @ Why Girls Are Weird said...

I've always wished that I was better with plants and gardening. Unfortunately I just can't keep that stuff alive!

Tina L. Hook said...

Welcome to my blog, oncealittlegirl. What a sweet blog title. I'm taking your advice. Seems like a good idea to let things take their course.

I will be by to visit your blog soon.

Tina L. Hook said...

Krysten, I have a similar wish. This is my first try. Wish me luck.

Raquel said...

Ooo pretty flowers! My weekend was spent in bed being sick... no fun!

Tina L. Hook said...

Sick? Uh no. Hope you got some rest.

Liz @ A Nut in a Nutshell said...

Is red salvia too tall for you? I've had them in full sun before and they did pretty well. I like the coleus. I might wanna try some of that over here!

Tina L. Hook said...

Liz, I saw those in the nursery and I have been considering it. Might be a bit tall but maybe I can find a way to work them. Really a beautiful flower.

Tina L. Hook said...

PS Coleus comes in some really striking colors, and the color stays until frost.

Vanisha @ Vanishas Life In...Australia said...

I enjoy lavender too :) By the sounds of it you guys have everything under control. We need have more flowers in our balcony garden, right now we only have herbs, rocket, gardenia and a pot of lavender. I'd like a lot more color...