Rainy days are good for a garden makeover, except for the mess that is inevitable. Today was such a day. Gardens4u got this project going early this morning before the rain started, but a drizzle started a few hours in, followed by a torrential downpour. Downpours to me mean lunchtime, sitting in my van. Luckily, the rain subsided enough for me to continue until the job was complete. Well, except for the cleanup. Trying to sweep up my mess on the wet stone was not very effective. Nothing a hose down won’t fix though, a job I left for the homeowner when the rain stopped, long after I left.
These are the “before” pictures. The tree is a dead maple that was removed with the stump ground down before I started the makeover…
The burning bush (far right in second pic), lilac (center in the first pic), and hydrangea (right corner in the first pic) were salvaged, with the lilac getting a good pruning to whip it into shape. Everything else was removed. New shrubs and perennials were strategically planted and composted manure, my new favourite soil amendment, was added.
Here are the “after” pictures…
New plantings in this garden makeover include a pink magnolia (center of bed), a “Wine & Roses” weigela, several ornamental types of grass, coneflowers, pink and purple sages, and lavender, as well as several varieties of sedum and stonecrop to spill over the edges of this sunny garden. Once the new plants are established and well-watered, I will add mulch to complete the job.
A second bed, between the sidewalk and the garage, is next up on my garden makeover list. Stay tuned for more before and after pictures.
Gardening in the rain is usually not a problem for me, in fact, I prefer a light drizzle to the intense heat we have been experiencing lately. A light rain keeps me cool and keeps the bugs away. It also cuts down on the amount of sunscreen I use. I do draw the line however at thunderstorms or torrential downpours.
Today started off great. A light rain was falling so I headed to one of my favourite gardens, located in the exclusive and very private setting of the Kanata Rockeries which were designed by one of the founding fathers of Kanata Bill Teron.
Then the dark(er) clouds rolled in bringing heavier rainfall and distant thunder…
That was my cue to head (run) to my van. When the downpour did not let up after five minutes and the thunder got closer, I headed home.
Today was a good day for applying a fall fertilizer to lawns. Why? Because it is still not too cold out, the grass is no longer growing but still green, and it was drizzling. At least it was as I finished the five lawns I had to fertilize. It’s raining harder now, which is also ideal because the rain helps water the fertilizer in. However, try to avoid fertilizing before a downpour, so your hard work is not washed away.
Today’s conditions were ideal for fall lawn fertilizing. Most experts will tell you that fall is the most important time to fertilize your lawns. Fertilizer applied at this time of the year is to strengthen (deepen) the roots, repair the lawn from summer drought/stresses, and prepare the lawn for winter, so it is important to get the right product. These are two I frequently use for fertilizing lawns in the fall…
Both are pet and kid friendly, safe to walk on immediately after application. They can be purchased at your local garden centers or DIY (Home Depot, Lowes etc) stores.
Apply the fertilizer as instructed on the bags. I use a push spreader and apply the fertilizer in two directions to avoid patchiness (as pictured below). For irregularly shaped lawns, block off the lawn (visually) in squares or rectangles to ensure even distribution of the fertilizer.
Remember, a great-looking lawn enhances the appearance of your garden. We all know I appreciate beautiful gardens. If you miss/forget any fertilizer applications, don’t miss the fall one!