Sometimes, your gardening duties get interrupted. When two enormous turkey vultures started circling over my head, it was time to break for lunch (theirs and mine).
AKA Cheerful Coral Bells
Whether used as an accent plant for your garden borders or as filler plant, heucheras (commonly know as coral bells) are a must have perennial for your landscape.
This morning, I was busy dividing three existing plants into 11 new plants. Let me share a few reasons why I love heucheras so much…
10 Reasons to Grow Heuchera
10. Heucheras are available in a plethora or colors. Since many of my other plants are green, I prefer bronze purple and red purple varieties.
9. They are extremely easy to propagate.
8. They can tolerate a variety of soil conditions.
7. The foliage and flowers both make excellent cuttings for floral arrangements.
6. Depending on the variety you choose and your climate, they can tolerate full shade or full sun.
5. These plants are essentially low maintenance.
4. Heucheras look great with a variety of other plants.
3. They are deer- and pest-resistant.
2. Butterflies are attracted to the little flowers.
1. Hummingbirds also love the blossoms.
I’ve had these resin urns for over 7 years. The original finish was perfect with the siding and accents of our first home. Since then, the finish has faded, and the color is completely washed out against our light grey siding.
Due to the lack of mature trees on our property, our house gets full sun all day long during the summer and the harsh winter winds whip without the windbreak. I’ve struggled to keep even hardy perennials and evergreens alive in these planters.
I want to update them, but I’m unsure how spray paint will hold up on the worn finish. I decided to test out the paint on two urns I keep on the front porch. Next summer, I’ll decide if I should update the others. I also purchased realistic faux (gasp!) topiaries for the two urns. I’d like to order three more to place outside the garage doors.
Hopefully, this helps make the front entrance a little more welcoming…
Although last Saturday, Hubster saw flurries as he sat in his tree stand, our October has been fairly mild. Today, it even reached 70°F! Last week, a praying mantis visited us. We picked and ate our first homegrown red delicious apple. Our foliage on our trees are just starting to turn colors, and our salvia is still blooming. Our rose bushes are bursting with vibrant reds and producing nice sized rose hips. While weeding the garden today, I was covered in about 20 lady bugs as they were looking for a cozy place to hibernate. The forecast is calling for 77°F on Tuesday! What has your October been like?
Two years ago, Hubster over pruned the pin oak in our backyard resulting in a sun-scorched trunk (and at our first house, he over pruned an ancient oak). Although summer pruning is frowned upon, I had to trim up the bottom of our maple tree before my resident arborist got to it. Our maple is located in the front of our house, right where our front plateau slopes down to the lower plateau. It is the only tree in the front on the same plateau as our house. and was never trained or pruned so it was a bushy sphere of a tree. You couldn’t actually sit under the tree to enjoy the shade.
After checking to make sure there we no nests in the targeted branches/limbs, I trimmed off the branches that hung too low. I cleaned up the dead branches within the canopy. There were a few limbs that needed to be cut (which I trimmed, but our chainsaw was left at the cabin) to clean up the final appearance.
Now, Hubster will be able to get under the tree to mow and weed whack. We can sit under the tree and enjoy the shade. With a few more years of growth, this maple will be the perfect climbing tree.
On another note, we just discovered these four hatchlings in one of the hanging baskets on our front porch! They may be making a home in our maple tree sometime soon!
Since our potager isn’t located close to our kitchen at all (it’s further away from our house down on the first bank), it wasn’t an ideal location for my herbs. I can’t just run out quickly when making dinner to add a spring of something or another.
Four years ago, The Town Mouse posted a picture of the herb garden at le château de Chenonceau (Chenonceaux, France) that I have coveted ever since. The recessed pots are adorable and would help deter mints and other herbs from taking over the entire garden.
The perfect spot for the herb garden was just off the back deck. It is the perfect location for both kitchen and grill access. At the beginning of last year, we turned a tight v- shaped corner (between the deck, pool deck, and pool) into a garden bed. We removed the grass, lined it with black plastic, mulched, edged it with mountain stone, while lining the pool side with small river rock. The only plant in the area was a spiraea we transplanted (and rescued) from next to the AC unit.
Last night, I purchased terra-cotta pots and herbs for my new garden. On the upper lip of the pots, I brushed on 2 coats of a terra-cotta sealant, 2 coats of paint (formulated for terra-cotta), and finished with two more coats of the sealant. I had these supplies left over from a previous project.
This morning, we were ready to create our new herb garden. I’m actually surprised Hubster was so agreeable to this design, when I first showed him the picture years ago, he didn’t care for it. First, I laid out the pots to determine their arrangement. Then, I pushed aside the old mulch and cut a hole in the plastic, and Hubster loosened holes in the clay soil. Once I recessed the pots into the new holes, I back-filled any exterior gaps with the clay soil and filled the pots with potting soil. I smoothed the old mulch back around the pots and planted the herbs.
I planted thyme, rosemary, oregano, sage, fennel, chives, peppermint, spearmint, chocolate mint, and bee balm. I actually think we’re going to add two more pots and create a fourth row in the back. I already have two types of basil and a lavender that I’d like to add there. Most of the herbs are perennials and will come back each year, so it’ll be easy to supplement the annual varieties.
I can’t wait to update this post when the herbs have filled out and been topped off with fresh mulch!
We added two more pots in the back!
What do you think of our new herb garden?
What herbs do you keep in your garden?