Kia hora te manno
Kia whakapapa paumamu te moana
Kia tere te Karohirohi

May the calm be widespread
May the sea glisten like the greenstone
And may the glimmer of summer dance across your pathways

Thursday, March 05, 2009

I am ready and waiting

Yesterday was a balmy 55 degrees, so I took advantage of the lovely day, and worked on getting my raised beds ready for planting. I am using the Square foot gardening method which requires planting a certain number of seeds or plants in each section.

The first chore was to install the soaker hoses, which be used only when I am away on vacation. I then had to measure and mark the sides of the garden frames in 12 inch increments, then go back around and pound in staples on the marks.
I now know I am a senior citizen for sure, my back and knees, told me so *chuckle*

Last year I had just one bed marked out in the square foot sections, using yellow garden twine, to out line the square foot grid, held in place by nails I had hammered into the top of the bed frames. I soon found this to be a huge mistake, as when I went to lean into the bed to pull a weed, I accidentally placed my hand on one of those nails. which was not hammered all the way down. Ouch #!*@#
Yesterday, I removed the nails and hammered in staples along the sides of the frame to attach the twine to. There shouldn't be more nasty words from me as I work in my garden plot.

Pansies and violas offer a splash of color in the early spring, so I bought these two packs to plant in a pot by the front door. I won't be outside today as the weather has cooled down and there is a chilly wind blowing, instead, I am going to plant seeds in peat pots I have in a tray, sitting on my kitchen table.

I was beginning to think the crocus had died, but here they are just starting to show their pretty faces.

Last year, a friend gave me some hellebores, or also called Lenten roses. I am now a huge fan of these flowers, which come up at the end of winter, brightening an other wise dull flowerless garden, with their rich alluring colors.

This one has pinkish lavender petals, fading almost to a cream color towards the center. There are also dark maroon speckles on the petals. A most attractive flower indeed.

A stunning lime green hellebore.

Where do I plant my hellebores?
Your hellebores should be planted in a partially shaded, moist site. If you are in an area that has hot summers, it is most important that the plants be shaded from the afternoon sun.

How do I plant my hellebores?

Dig a hole that is twice as wide and deep as the container the plant is in. Work this soil well and incorporate a balanced, slow-release fertilizer into the planting hole. Backfill the hole and set the plant even with ground level, firming the soil around it.

What should I do in order to have my hellebores increase in beauty from year to year?

The hellebore's evergreen foliage begins growth early in the season, and may be cut to the ground in late fall before the new flower stems emerge. As the flowers fade and seed pods form, you should remove the flower stems to prevent seedlings from growing in the crown of your plant.

Information from Heronswood

Well, my vegetable garden is all ready, there are seeds in pots on the kitchen table, so all I need now is for mother nature to co-operate.


Hocking Hills Gardener said...

Keewee,Your square foot beds are looking so terrific. You are going to have a great garden.Better be for all of the work :) The Hellebores are so pretty.

Anonymous said...

Hello Keewee, What an impressive spread you have. You'll have quite an amazing garden in a few months.

I don't want to dampen your spirits but I feel I must tell you: Please disregard my audaciousness if you already know this... The boards you're using to edge your beds look like the ones that are treated with a toxic preservative. It's a cocktail containing arsenic and can leach into the soil and into your food supply. If your boards are newly purchased they're probably safe since a few years ago the arsenic treatment was banned.

Love your hellebores!

keewee said...

Grace, thanks for mentioning the arsenic problem. Yes these boards, for this one bed, are newly purchased.All the other beds are constructed from untreated wood.

Anonymous said...

Keewee,From your posts you seem like a seasoned and savvy gardener who would know that it's not a good idea to line your borders with poison. :) I'm sorry if I was presumptuous.


Gardeness said...

SFG is wonderful. You've got it down, too! I just started using the method last season, but I love it. Those are lovely hellebores. I can't get enough of them.

Heather said...

Hi Keewee- the garden beds look great. I use (loosely) this method also in raised beds.I love it. And it looks so nice. BEst of luck! It looks great and isn't even planted yet, it's about to look stunning.

tina said...

I love the hellebores. You have a very nice friend to give you such a lovely plant. I just adore that maroon one.