Earths Laughter

Earth Laughs in Flowers

– Ralph Waldo Emerson

It has been a cold, rainy and dreary month as I have noted in the past few posts. So continues the cold trudge of winter grasping greedily at spring and her bounty. Usually, by this time of year, we are pulling out the shorts and getting ready to do some serious gardening. Instead we are barely starting for fear that the cool evening temperatures will cause havoc for the plants. I couldn’t wait any long and a few weeks ago dared to plant a bunch of my plants and seeds. So far the plants are doing well. I’m still waiting on some of the seeds, but that is to be expected.

We bought a bunch of flowers over a week ago, and finally decided that we had a few days of decent weather and high temperatures so we would be safe to get them into their beds and hopefully established before the rain begins again. As we prepared, I realized that we had one task that we had to complete before we could get to planting. The cedars had to have a trim.

If we had started from scratch with the yard, I would not have planted cedars. They don’t do overly well in our hot summer climate and are a major fire risk. But, when we bought the house, they were well established and provide us a lot of privacy, so for now we are rolling with them. Perhaps one day we will replace them with something a little less flammable, but that is a back-burner project at least until we are done landscaping the rest of the yard.

Now, we have these beautiful rock gardens that we have built under the cedars, which makes trimming them more than messy business. Luckily, we have learned over the years, and now put down a nice large tarp or drop cloth. We recently bought a tarp for camping that is just ridiculously large, and pointless to take camping. Well, that tarp works great for cedar trimming! I laid it out over our barrels, and covered as much of the rocks as I could. Then I pulled out the ladder and got to trimming. The ladder is another fun aspect of this and getting it to balance on the rocks or the sloped yard.

The trees needed a serious trim. I didn’t get a chance to do them last year because the heat hit to fast, and I didn’t want to disturb them. I would have liked to trim them back further, but as you can see, I was getting into the hollow centre of them, and didn’t want that. If you look at the pre-trim pictures above, you will notice the neon green of them, which is all new growth, so hopefully the few patchy areas will fill in quickly.

Next step was to start plunking our flowers into the barrels. Kurt had to re-fill 2 of the barrels because he had emptied them to put down landscaping fabric in preparation of making that area a rock garden as well. I got the canna lilies into the other 4 barrels while he did that. Then while I put the canna lilies into the 2 he had filled, he started putting out our wave petunias. I followed him and got them into the soil. 3 per barrel is plenty and they overflow beautifully. Kurt did a nice mix of yellow, white, and pink to go with the vibrant orange flowers of the canna lilies.

Once in, we tested the irrigation because it was out of commission all of last summer and we just had it repaired. It is so nice to have those on an automatic watering system again this year. That line also ties into our cedar bushes, which need regular watering. We have 2 that may be dead, but still have quite a bit of green on the lower yard side of them. Maybe we will be able to bring them back? I am doubtful, but we will try. I noticed they didn’t have a sprayer directly on them, so I made sure to add one in so that they get lots of water.

Done with the back, we took the rest of our wave petunias and headed to the front yard to get the front planters filled. When we bought the plants we had anticipated putting more in the front planters to really have them overflow with colour, but I think we may have overdone it. Oh well, I’d rather have too many flowers than not enough!

Similar to the backyard, Kurt laid them out while I followed him and got them into the soil. These were also a pain to water last year, but once again, with the irrigation being fixed, we are now all set for the summer. The plants will get plenty of watering during the night, with time to soak it all up.

We gave them a full cycle once in so that they had nice moist soil. A few had dried out a bit in the back, waiting to get into the ground, so we wanted to make sure those ones got a good soak. Now we sit back and let them grow and bloom. I look forward to the splash of colour that is coming.

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