Three for Thursday: December 3, 2009

Today was one of those beautiful fall days on my corner of Katy, the kind that make all the miseries of summer seem like a bad dream. Blue skies, sunshine and 60something degrees all came together to make perfect gardening weather. So after my morning roar (2 cups of Lion Coffee, one of the many things that make Hawaii just about my favorite place in the world), and a visit with my friend Prince (Cavalier King Charles spaniel and just the sweetest little boy ever), I put on my gardening gloves and hit the back gardens. It didn't take me long to decide that what I really needed back there was bark mulch and compost ... so off came the gloves and away I trundled to Lowe's. Since it took them a few minutes to get the 5 bags of pine bark mulch and the 10 bags of compost onto the forklift, I used that time wisely and perused the plants on offer. I think I showed admirable restraint by only coming home with 2: a red Kalanchoe and a blush pink Kalanchoe. Then it was back home again to unload and spread 30 cubic feet of mulch and compost. Where was I putting it? Take a look at a picture from November 23rd.

The flagstones were left over from the paths and I asked the crew to put them there, thinking I'd use them in that spot. The more I looked at them, though, the less I liked them there. So I shifted them a few days ago, putting the largest ones off to one side and placing smaller pieces along the path between the planting areas. I lived with it for a bit and decided that would work, which is where the mulch and compost came into play. I used the mulch as an underlayer and then added compost on top of that to bring the level of the soil up. Here's how it looked after about 8 bags of material had been spread.

On the lower left side, you can see moss rocks that have formed an edging for the last couple of years (maybe less, maybe more ... I change things up pretty often, you know!). After spending a fair amount of time squinting and staring (thus requalifying for the title of OutStanding Gardener on this corner of Katy), I decided that edging should go. I took them out, tweaked the flagstones a bit and here's how it looked at the end of the day.

I'm back to this area being one big bed with stepping stones running through it so I can work in the beds. I'll need to add a few more stones here and there, and heaven only knows what other scathingly brilliant ideas will come to mind between now and the next time I post pictures!

In addition to all these activities, I planted a few of the various herbs and annuals I'd bought with my Bullfrog Bucks at Nelson Water Gardens. I scored some mighty fine plants, y'all: I've got three 2-gallon pots of Farfugium/Ligularia out front waiting to be planted. Boy howdy, are they purty. Earlier this week I planted the Salvia elegans, Pineapple Sage, I bought; it went along the south fence. If there are any errant hummingbirds still in the area, they'll be happy to spot that! Bronze Fennel, Arp Rosemary, German & French Thyme, Chives, Cilantro, Creeping and upright Sweet Marjoram are nestled into the ground in their pots for now. I'll tell you why in half a tick. Several 'Cutie Pie' Violas are brightening the bed to the right of the gate from the driveway into the back. In the big dark green ceramic pot that sits behind a green Adirondack chair, I planted Dianthus, Alyssum, Cutie Pies and a Snapdragon. That pot needs more but I can pretty much guarantee that I won't be shopping for plants tomorrow. Brace yourselves to hear the reason why ...

(get ready, this is positively shocking coming from my corner of Katy ... shoot, it's shocking coming from my part of Texas ...)

Folks, we are forecast to get SNOW tomorrow. Yes, you read that right. Snow. Wintry precipitation falling from the sky and sticking to the ground, if the meteorologists are to be believed. We could even experience temperatures below freezing for 10-12 hours! I don't know whether to hie myself to the grocery store and stock up before the winter weather arrives, or take my chances on the forecasters' being wrong (they've been wrong before). IF they're right, and I can get outside to take some pictures, I'll share this momentous event with y'all. It won't look like much to those for whom this is a regular winter occurrence but believe me, it will be huge for us!


I love before & after photos, and before, during & after are even better. It looks great now that it's (dare I say) done. Hello, winter.
Your path looks great! I am having so much trouble with mine. The water does not drain and it stays wet all the time. Problem!!!
I hear it DID snow there! How fun for you!
Gail said…
I've have tried to comment several times and was distracted by looking up the coffee and then something else! I like the new look and think taking out the edging was perfect....It looks completed. How was your back after all that hauling?

Rose said…
I was getting so envious reading this, Cindy, thinking how nice it must be to be able to garden and actually plant something in December. Then I got to the part about snow!! Holy cow, we have only had a few flurries up here in the frozen Midwest. I do hope the forecasters were wrong--that surely couldn't have been good for all your new plant purchases.

I was getting tired just reading about all the mulch and compost you spread (not tired of reading...just tired from thinking about all that work:)) I would have just left that edging alone out of sheer exhaustion, but the finished results do look so much better! You really have an eye for design.