Friday, July 30, 2010

May 2005

Flowers and shrubs took off in my yard during May. Hydrangeas bloomed and for the first time so did my Little Gem Magnolia. It was nice to see flowers filling in my new beds. I still did not have much afternoon shade in the backyard at this time so I could only plant shade loving plants along the back of the house where shade was provided by the second story around 2 pm. My hydrangeas didn’t seem to mind this or did my elephant ears or impatiens. We mulched the new front flowerbed and planted a small Maple tree. I decorated the porch forMemorial Day and put out a flag for our son who was serving on the USS Carr in the Persian Gulf.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

April 2005

One thing about living in the Coastal South is that it has a wonderfully long growing season and my landscape was already beginning to fill in with the warming of the weather. Imagine my surprise one day while I was watering plants on my screen porch and a Hummingbird came right up to the screen and hummed at me. I had not planned to put out a hummingbird feeder until much later in the year. But I ran inside and found my feeder, made some food from sugar and water and hung it right outside the patio. I was already reaping results from making my yard into a habitat! I had much enjoyment watching my Bluebirds raise 3 broods of chicks and the Hummingbirds protect his territory from others from spring through the end of summer!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

March 2005

I joined the National Wildlife Federation Backyard Wildlife Habitat Program and started to landscape my yard to provide Food, Water, places for birds to nest and cover for them to raise young. Since I didn’t have trees for nesting I installed a Bluebird house and it was immediately occupied. This pleasantly surprised me because I thought my yard was so unwelcoming to wildlife! I continued to plant, adding Caroline Jessamine in front of the garden shed. I also started planting hydrangeas hoping to someday have some as gorgeous as my grandmother’s. While shopping at Home Depot one weekend in March my husband said, “Let’s build a pond!” I didn’t argue because I had wanted one for each of the last two yards. I’d heard the sound of water would attract more birds so was happy to add this to the yard. Actually it was in my original plan for the backyard that was submitted to the homeowners association before we even moved in but didn’t know then it would ever get built.

Friday, July 23, 2010

December 2004 - February 2005

I began working on this new yard in December! I knew this was a good time to plant my trees. Maple trees were added to the two lone pines and one tiny oak the developer left at the edge of the backyard. That first winter I also planted four Osmanthus fragrans, a lovely evergreen with deliciously fragrant flowers that was highly recommended by our Tri-County Extension agent. With my husband’s help I relocated the one tree in the front yard, a crepe myrtle off to the side of the front porch and planted a “Little Gem” Magnolia in a newly created mulched planting bed in the front yard. Some curving flowerbeds were also to the front yard in January. The Osmanthus and Magnolia would provide some green color that this Florida transplant would need in the winter!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Heartbreak In South Carolina

Intro part 3
It was hard to imagine that I would ever like our new backyard with no landscaping and no character. I had to start from scratch again. I started to modify what the developer had done by planting trees, shrubs and flowers brought from my Georgia yard. I joined a new group of Master Gardeners and with their encouragement I began to build a backyard habitat for birds and other wildlife. This blog is the story of my Carolina yard, which is constantly changing.

On the move

Intro part2
I had 5 years of enjoyment landscaping our new build home in Florida when a job transfer moved us to the state of Georgia near Atlanta. Our Georgia home was 2 years old but had great older trees left by the developer. It was a wonderful habitat for birds and other wildlife. I discover the Master Gardeners again and this time I would be able to attend the classes. But it took 3 tries to be accepted into the program. I barely had time to get in my intern hours before we moved again.

Love of Gardening

Intro Part 1
Even as a child I loved gardening! I discovered it when I spent summers with my maternal grandparents. They lived in the city but had a long narrow lot. One part of the yard had my grandmother’s roses and gorgeous hydrangeas. Another area had peach, pear and apple trees and finally the very back of the yard held an extensive vegetable garden.

During the summer I helped tend the garden eating my fair share of strawberries, blackberries, and tomatoes right out of the garden. I loved wandering through rows of corn and picking beans or lettuce for that night’s dinner. I also loved playing in the flower garden with the huge flowers heads of the hydrangeas and discovering the tiny bell like flowers of Lily of the Valley.
I moved out of state away from my grandparents and my love for gardening went dormant until after 21 years of marriage and 17 years in our first house we moved into a new construction home and I got a blank slate to landscape. I read books and magazines all about gardening and first heard about the Master Gardeners. But since classes were held during my work hours I had to forget about that for a while