Monday, April 23, 2012

The Festivities

My new Shrub Bed
Today is my birthday, and my birthday weekend has been quite festive. Through no fault of my own I did not have to work Saturday, so Shana and I have had the entire weekend to have fun except for a few scheduled errands and one trip to the office for Shana.

Saturday morning we went out for pancakes and then on to the selection of by Birthday Bushes. The original plan was to purchase and install my new shrub bed on Monday, but with a beautiful sunny day forecast for Saturday and solid rain Sunday through Tuesday a change of plan seemed indicated. We planned on going to Mahoney's Garden Center in Falmouth, which has a terrific selection, but I was also set on visiting Cape Cod Wholesale Nursery just up the street from Mahoney's. I always see rafts of cars going in and out, so I was sure it was worth a visit (Cape Codders are very "value conscious"!). Once in I found it to be much larger than I expected, with all kinds of shrubs at excellent prices. In every category that interest me I found loads of shrubs to choose from, and all looking healthy and robust. My main problem was selecting shrubs without going mad and picking recklessly!
Our kitchen garden

My selection for my new bed was: two white rhododendrons (Rhododendron Chionoides), a white variety of modest size, one mountain Laurel (Kalmia Latifolia 'Peppermint') a moderate sized laurel with pink and white striped flowers for the front row of evergreen shrubs. For the back row of larger shrubs: one Harry Lauder's Walking Stick (Corylus avellana 'Contorta') a filbert cultivar that grows only 8'-10' tall with corkscrew branching to provide winter interest, and one Ivory Halo Dogwood (Cornus alba 'Ivory Halo'), a dogwood with variegated leaves, red branches for winter interest and a very moderate size - only about 6' tall. I've added a couple of little hydrangeas from my late MIL's garden to the back row for summer color. It will take a few years for the bed to mature, but they are all good looking shrubs already.

Flower bed with no space to spare
Shana selected some herb plants and we went on to Mahoney's for pots and lettuce plants. We picked out a fancy-shmancy pot system for the fancy-shmancy lettuces and some more ordinary pots for the herbs. I already have a big pot of mint on the deck, so our kitchen garden it pretty comprehensive. I also slipped in an Alchemilla vulgaris (Lady's Mantle), which is meant to be a medicinal plant although I just love it for its leaves that open up like little umbrellas. My Alchemilla is not going to live with the herbs, it's tucked in near the Stella D'Oro day lilies where its flowers will echo the yellow blooms.
Bed with Giant Forsythia

I had dug up some "starts" last week when I was in Falmouth - some heather, some offshoots of hydrangea and oakleaf hydrangea, and some day lilies which I had tucked under the deck in a plastic tub to wait for a good planting day. Those went into the ground as well. The oakleaf hydrangeas are the start of a hydrangea and hosta corner in a damp and shady back corner of the yard where I hope to have a cozy seating area in future. A six inch tall start of a hydrangea does not look like much now, but after I get a few more in there and a few years of growth I have great hopes. Gardeners play the long game, after all!
Roxy has no interest in gardening

Shana tells me that my main flowering bed is full, and I must agree, but I have started a bed of sun lovers right next to the deck where I plan to indulge in a wild profusion of blooming plants. I've got space to spread out there. My main concern with this area is that is is right behind our shed and I suspect a skunk may be living under the shed. I don't want to come face to face with our "renter" under any circumstances!

I started the day today with a proper biscuit and gravy breakfast and will end it with an Indian dinner. Perfect meals for a celebratory weekend.

1 comment:

lacochran's evil twin said...

Happy birthday! Glad you are finding different ways to celebrate!