Saturday, January 29, 2011

Garden work

As usual, I didn't get done what I thought I wanted to do, but I did get stuff done. I put out the epsom salts in the back and side gardens and some of the front before I ran out. I will have to run out tomorrow and get some more. I have found that Walgreens has the best price. I paid $2.99 on sale for a 6 lb bag of very fine crystals that are easier to apply than the kind from the garden stores. I also put out sulfur on my lime-y back garden. I went to Seminole Feed to get it today and there decided to buy the wettable sulfur (very fine powder) in a 25 lb bag for $20.99 (cheaper than 4 lb of large granules for $8.99) since I've read that the finer it is the faster it lowers the pH. Just be careful not to breathe it. I did the front garden a few weeks ago with the large granule soil sulfur, so we'll see if I can see any difference. Oh, I also got a 50 lb bag of alfalfa pellets. Good stuff!!

I also moved 'Madame Scipion Cochet' out of her pot and into the ground. I should have taken a photo of this Hybrid Perpetual rose bush. She is leafless (well, there was one yellow one which I removed), but she has lots of swollen budeyes. I'm very curious about how this rose is going to grow. Her canes go out and around, or that's the way it seems so far. I also moved 'Martha Gonzales' from a 3-gallon nursery pot into a nice heavy ceramic pot that's taller and wider. This means I have only one rose in a pot that needs to be in the, at least until next weekend. That's when three new roses are coming home with me. 'Lilian Austin', 'Cl Clotilde Soupert' and 'Souv de St Anne's'. Hopefully, I'll get them in the ground the same day but maybe not.

While I was out today, I went to a nursery to get some Evergreen Giant Liriope, but instead I did a risky thing. I bought an azalea for the spot - a $9.99 azalea to be exact. Thankfully, azaleas have shallow root systems, and hopefully, the roots of this bush won't go much farther than the 16" or so that I dug down, removing the powdery fine, light gray sand that I know is bad for azaleas. The spot is right at the base of an oak tree, so I had to dig around the roots with my glove-covered fingers to get out as much bad stuff as I could. Then I sprinkled some sulfur around, added peat moss (unfortunately already pH adjusted up) and composted manure to the bottom, then filled the rest with newly amended, old amended soil that I had removed from the hole and, of course, put the azalea in the middle. This azalea is a 'Duc de Rohan'. A few weeks back I had scribbled its name on a stickie note by my computer after reading good things about it. It's a salmon pink flower, and the tag says it blooms from November to February in Florida. Maybe that's why I wanted it. I can't remember now. It's a long bloom time for an azalea. The plant I bought had spent blooms on it as well as open flowers and buds, so maybe I can believe the tag.

This area of the garden needed an evergreen bush, because there are four hydrangeas in this bed which are bare for an awfully long time. I will say though that I am starting to admire their silvery grayish branches that practically glisten when the light is right, especially the 'Limelight' hydrangea paniculata.

Oh, and I replaced the leaky hose that ran from the hose bib to the timer with 1/2" poly and two hose-end adapters. So now that section of the garden can be watered automatically again instead of using the hose and 10x more water! Of course, how much easier it would have been to have done it this way to begin with, but, alas, I didn't know what hose-end adapters were for. What can I say?


  1. Is that garden work or garden diddling, Sherry? Sounds like one of my days in the

  2. So...did you get any liriope? Your trip to the garden center sounds like a lot of mine. I go with the best of intentions to get a basic, badly needed item for good structure in the garden, and end up with something I just couldn't resist. You accomplished much in your gardening day. There's just always so much MORE to do! But, we don't really want to be finished do we?

  3. Well, Professor, this diddling seemed like work to me, because it HAD to be done and I was beat when I was finished. Yes, it was work.

    No, NanaK, I didn't get any liriope, and maybe it was a good thing since I realized I have a few large plants that I'll move to a new bed and replace them in the old bed with some flax - maybe. I think - hope - the azalea should do OK, and it will be green and pretty in that formerly empty space. I did buy some more of the 'Super Blue' liriope to fill in here and there. That's the only kind that Lowe's has right now.

  4. Wow, Sherry, you were busy (and you wrote a blog post too!). I am sure your garden will look all the better for it in spring, and I am looking forward to pictures. I love hydrangea paniculata a lot (it is fragrant too). I just finished pruning off those dried flowers recently.

  5. Sherry ~ Do you make alfalfa tea using the pellets, or just dig it into the soil?

    Reading your posts is definitely the inspiration I need to keep on working in my gardens, growing roses. I love them and can't get enough of them, their colors, forms and scents, and their names are beautiful too.

    I have a Maman Cochet climber that looks different than your MC, more white with some pink. I love her and her scent is wonderful. I just took some cuttings of her to root, and it looks like at least two of them are doing well.

    Happy Gardening ~ FlowerLady