Monday, May 26, 2014

Just a Little Work

We worked in the yard all week end, accomplishing quite a bit. Saturday we left the house early to go get the rock to stack around the edge of the pond. Once at the rock place, the Head Gardener showed me what he had picked out, a white limestone that I wasn't too crazy about and shivered at the cost: $350. a ton. Then I spied the Colorado red flagstone and won him over. Priced at $195. a ton and much prettier, he agreed that the flagstone would be a better choice. The pallet weighed in at 1.6 ton. While I did take my camera with me, I left it in the pick up, so I pulled out the iPhone.

Once home, we had a bite of lunch then the Head Gardener unloaded the stones from the horse trailer onto the EZ Go golf cart and hauled it all over to the pond.

So this is what a ton an a half of rock looks like. He laid it all out so that we could see each piece to help decide where to place each stone.

There was a lot of "not there" and "try it over there" and "no, I don't really like that piece there."

He worked so hard all afternoon lugging heavy flagstone and moving some of the bigger stones that were already in place.  We still need to do more work to cover all of the black plastic pond liner. This is one of those projects where we have to work on it for a while, leave, go back and re-evaluate and maybe even the rocks around more. Right now the water is pretty grungy with a red algae growth in it. He does not have the pond pump or the filter installed yet, only a temporary one to keep the water moving. We will probably have to treat the algae to clear it up and  the big pump with the trash can sized filter will clean up the debris.

While the pond out back needs a lot more work, I am very pleased with the front courtyard. The little water garden is clean as I keep a watchful eye, dosing it with an algaecide when it looks like there is about to be an algae bloom. Two water lilies have been moved from the horse tank to their summer home. The Korean lilac has a few blooms, but not as many as last year; the leaves looks shiny and healthy.

The plant material along the waterfall is taking off, filling in nicely. There is always some die-back over winter, so it takes a while for new growth to take over. The blue creeping speedwell is my favorite. I love the shade of lavender blue aside the two varieties of lamium, both hand-me-downs, so I don't know what varieties they are. But I do enjoy lamium as a ground cover because it grows quickly and covers a big area.

One morning I went out to feed the gold fish and to my surprise I discovered that the Gnomes had new neighbors. The Fairies seem to be pretty well settled in. They may have to relocate once the echinacea reaches full growth. Here I use the non-fruit bearing strawberry as ground cover. It, too, suffered a lot of die back with the cold winter;  love the pretty pink flowers.

I often wonder just what Mr. Frog must be pondering as he sits at water's edge.

Could he perhaps be dreaming of the mermaid across the waters?

Amphitrite, Greek Goddess and Queen of the sea, wife to Poseidon, King of the sea, wearing a crown of pansies watches over the fairies, frogs, and fishes.

Meanwhile out at the chicken house and the vegetable garden, Edith Warford blooms.

 Don't the name of this beauty.

Along with bits and patches of weeds, the Iris are the first showy bloom here. 

The Head Gardener planted most of the garden today. Still more work to do, but the tomatoes, onions, potatoes, squash, and peppers are in. The cabbages and broccoli that we planted inside didn't do well, so we will have to buy sets. Darn it.

Here is the disaster area in the front circle (actually tear-drop shape.) This end has been somewhat neglected. I have started weeding it and go out every day to see what new is growing. I may put Preen down to discourage the abundance of weeds that seem to want to make this space home. Right how I have a shrub rose, iris, day lily, crocsomia, spring bulbs, and uninvited columbine and dill growing. Since writing this post mostly yesterday and now editing and adding, I also added a few plants to this spot, hoping that they fill in and look gorgeous.

These columbines just appear,  growing easily and plentifully. I have no idea what variety they are. The neighbor next door has a nice garden with them so I suppose the seeds come in with birds or something. But they are pleasant visitors, so I allow them to stay; although, I much prefer the beautiful lavender blue one, our state flower. 

Two clumps of columbine produced this beauty, our state flower. Again, sprouting from seed left behind perhaps by the plant that died last year.

The Colorado columbine bloomed just this morning.

They are quite handsome paired with the chamomile, both uninvited, but welcome at the Garden Spot.

Along with the columbine, we have vinca minor with a lovely purple flower, arapid grower that tends to take over a space. Here  you can barely see the path through the aspen trees. On one hand, I want lots of ground cover to deter weeds, but on the other, I have a problem with vinca. It is a strong plant with tough vines and strong deep roots that takes over an area.

Planted in the front of the house behind a large bush, blooms this gorgeous clematis. Each year it gets stronger and bigger with blossoms the size of my hand this year. I regret planting it where I did because it is hidden behind a bush and does not get the attention that it dissevers. I had to give it a new trellis this year, a metal one from Hobby Lobby because the wooden one broke off during a hard wind.

Who does not love the chamomile? It has nearly taken over the center circle. As we worked out there this morning, the Head Gardener asked if he should start pulling it out. No, I answered. I think we will let it run its course. Right now it is keeping weeds from growing. 

After a morning in the garden Sunday, we drove over to the kids' to deliver a little trailer that Jen can hook behind the lawn mover and some left over pond liner. When it came time to leave, we were headed to the local garden center and, of course, the little girls wanted to go, too. We indulged them, bought them some plants for their fairy gardens, then did some garden center hopping after we took them back home. We hit 3 and come home with the pick-up truck back full. I was rather disappointed, however, because i am looking for ground cover. Plant material is so expensive and the spaces that I need to cover are so big, that I am getting frustrated. 

Today, hubby worked on the vegetable garden, while I planted flowers. We still have more to do.

On this Memorial Day, we remember our military both past and present, thanking them for their service to keep America free. 

I hope you had a wonderful week end and are looking forward to great week.

Thanks so much for stopping by. 


  1. That's a lot of rocks! But it will be beautiful when the project is done. I love chamomile, too. I may give it a try this summer when one of my spring annuals keels over in the heat. Love that columbine. :o)

  2. Your pond area is coming along nicely Ann - I can understand the little and often policy - lugging rocks about is back-breaking work. Your garden is looking good too - I often regret putting in ground cover as they really do become thugs sometimes. Enjoy your week - I don't think I shall be doing much outside this week, we have rain, rain and more rain forecast. Bummer.

  3. Your pond is coming along quite nicely...and that stone is gorgeous.

    I rather like the idea of pavers like that spaced out in the grass, might be doing something similar to make a bit of a path.


  4. What a grand job! The pond is looking wonderful :) The clematis is gorgeous.
    Rose H

  5. Beautiful! You have a very ambitious garden! Well done!
    I love the fairy land and the gnome domain!

  6. Spectacular! You have an enchanting home Ann. I love the red brick on your home too. You said you wonder how I do it all and I am sitting here with my jaw dropping at how much work you guys do, such a wonderful piece of property. I am so envious of the garden plot you have. Your Iris are stunning, mine didn't do much at all this year with the temperatures being so high in the spring. Maybe they will come back in the fall if we can just has some cool weather then.

    Here is the link to my Pesto Sauce, it freezes well which is good because it make quite a bit. I will be making more today!

  7. The stone looks like really heavy and hard work but the end result is really good. You will be able to enjoy it for years to come. The flowers and columbine look fab too.

  8. I suppose all the heavy work on the pond has been done, I can imagine how you both were busy, you telling your husband where to put the stones and he switching and carrying them around. Your frontgarden pond with waterfall looks nice too and especially the beautiful coloured bearded Irises are stunning, but I think they have been gone by now, for their spectacular sight is always of a short time.