Where is Spring?

More thunderstorms came through here with a cold front following them. Today, it is in the 40’s here, with a stiff northerly wind. We have a freeze warning for tonight. In Oklahoma, it is snowing.

I have been putting off getting started on flower bed design and install until the weather warmed up. We had some nice warm days that reached into high 70’s and low 80’s, and so off to Lowe’s I went and got metal edging, mulch, mushroom compost, Moo-nure, (that name made me laugh), and shrubs and flowers. I know from experience, I can only manage a section of new flower bed install per season. Otherwise, it’s hard to keep up with watering and maintenance, especially when it hits 102 degrees in summer and we are on water restrictions.

I started by retrieving some of our left over building bricks piled out by the back fence. I used most of them to make a nice edging along the front entry sidewalk. Then I laid out the metal edging in a curving shape so the lawn tractor can mow around it with no sharp turns it can’t reach. I placed my still potted plantings so I could get a feel for spacing and where it needed to be Once I got all of it pounded into the ground I started on planting. I managed it all myself, except my husband was able to dig some of the large shrub holes so I could finish up before dark. Since he is still recovering from all his chemo treatments and surgery, his stamina is not yet up to speed, but it’s getting much better.
brick edge with juniper and begonias

entry flower bed

So I worked on the entry sidewalk, spanning from driveway to porch, and where it ties in along the front of the house under the kitchen windows and big dining room windows. The planting along this area included Blue Star juniper, http://www.hortmag.com/plants/plants-we-love/blue-star-juniper-makes-a-great-dwarf-evergreen-shrub, with red begonias mixed between.

Then, moving under the kitchen windows, I have Lipstick Red Autumn Sage. http://www.wildflower.org/plants/result.php?id_plant=SAGR4

Progressing under the dining windows I am using repeat blooming Pistachio Hydrangeas http://foreverandeverplants.com/Plant.aspx?code=TBN10072&type=hydrangea, and a Rosemary herb border. The Rosemary stays evergreen in this area and grows fast and can be trimmed to shape easily. They can also be replaced easily and grow quickly to fill in, if needed.
under kitchen and dining

I still need to lay in drip hoses and mulch heavily. It will look much better when the mulch is installed. This area will get morning sun and afternoon shade, which should suit them all perfectly. The begonias, lipstick sage and hydrangea all have red in them to create continuity. I amended the clay soil as I was planting and mulch will break down and continue to amend the clay soil. Now I can work at getting some type of grass seed started around this front yard to meet up with the pasture grass beyond. In the fall I will work on the next section of beds here in front.

I have the back of the house beds to do, along the master bedroom, laundry, and under living room windows, which will all be perennial coneflowers, more salvias, some daisies that stay evergreen during winter, and some Knock Out roses and David Austin roses (my favorite Graham Thomas yellow rose) near the bedroom windows for some beauty and fragrance. I will attack those beds next as I have used these flowers before and they love heat and flourish well. These I plan to keep in simple rectangle shaped planting beds mirroring the lines of the house and easy to maintain.

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