Making progress in the garden

For the past few weeks, my goal has been to spend at least an hour or two in the garden, weather permitting. This week, the weather was glorious after the cold weather left, and I put a big dent in my gardening chores.

Ever since we saw the snake in our front yard, I have been working on cleaning up areas of the garden. The backyard is covered in that horrid Vinca major and I work on it often. Both of my neighbors yards are covered in it, and it moves back into my yard every year.

But this year, I have weed-eated it back to the ground twice, and this week I laid landscape fabric and mulch.

I had 70 bags of mulch delivered

and they are gone!

I could use probably another 100 bags, but not all at once. I know it would be more economical to have a truckload of bulk mulch delivered, but I did that one year with super soil and it is hard work moving that around. With bags, I can get family members to move them for me, then all I have to do is cut, dump and spread. This week my son and his fiance helped and all the mulch is out and spread. Let's hope the vinca isn't back next week!

Last spring I was delayed on many planting projects waiting for my new sidewalk, solar power, sprinkler repair and a trip to England. This year, no excuses--I am not going anywhere and no big home projects are on the horizon. All the plants that have been patiently waiting almost a year to get planted, are planted.

I am slowly renovating the winter color to summer color,

and adding warm season vegetables to the vegetable garden. I can't bring myself to pull all the pansies yet, because they are stunning, as are the dianthus.

I did harvest the giant red mustard--it was HUGE,

but it was bolting, so my son added some to his pot of greens. I also pulled all the flowering kale and tulips and replanted with summer color.

I also got some pruning done. I thinned out all the small twiggy branches on the loropetalum.

This trunk is amazing! I pruned out some dead stalks of hydrangea, some dead tips on figs and a few other plants, but I am thrilled to see my Confederate jasmine coming back to life.

All of the old foliage on this usually evergreen vine died. Now it is leafing out and I see some flower buds coming on! I divided some hosta and replanted. And the weeding! I have never had so much poison ivy as I do this year. I finally ran out of steam, so the vegetable garden is not fully re-planted, nor are the pots on the deck renovated, but I do have plenty of time for that.

I have several that are looking spectacular now,

but some have seen better days. We can't use busy schedules as an excuse this year! I think a few more plant runs are definitely needed. I also ordered a new raised bed online, and I should have it this week. I am getting into this online shopping!

I now know why farmers go to bed early--they are pooped after a hard day's work. Let's hope the cold is gone for good. It looks like Monday and Tuesday are prime gardening days before rain comes back. Happy Gardening.