Gardening has been something that I have loved as far back as I can remember. I love to be outside. I love to see new life sprouting from their unique places – ground, trees, flowers, etc. I could go on and on about all that I have learned and plan to learn. I’ll start with what I have planted so far and what we are in the process of planting. I’m so excited!
The USDA has divided the United States into gardening zones. We live in what is considered zone 6 according to the plant hardiness zone map. We experience all four seasons – spring, summer, fall, and winter. We also have what is considered extreme weather conditions. In the winter, we can drop down to single digit temperatures and during the warmer months, we can have temperatures hovering around 100 degrees. In addition to extreme temperatures, we also have a constant wind. I like a 20-30 mile an hour breeze because it helps cool you off in the summer but it’s bitter cold in the winter. So finding plants and flowers that will withstand these crazy conditions is very challenging but some how we’ve managed to find a few.
Twelve years ago we planted five fruitless bradford pear trees. We had one die because of unwanted carpenter ants. The four we have now are enormous and shade most of our yard with these beautiful flowers in the spring and bud out with full leaves within a few weeks of blooming. They grow between 30-50 feet and are hardy in zones 5-9. Their real name is Pyrus Calleryana. We’ve only had one problem with them and it really wasn’t their fault. A few years a go, we had baseball size hail and the leaves were half gone after the storm. It took about two years for them to completely recover. These are definitely one of my favorites in my yard.
Next we have a ground cover called creeping plox. It’s real name is Phlox Subalata. It comes in several different colors and we planted the purple. It has tiny spikes when you touch it and is a taproot. It blooms only in the spring and is semi-evergreen in the winter. It is a great animal deterrent. I planted it about four years ago, but it has taken about three years to establish itself. I hardly have to water it because it is drought tolerant. We are currently in the process of relocating it to a new flowerbed. More on the new flowerbed later. I’ve never had a problem with it and it is very low maintenance.
On a whim, we planted these beauties called Redtip Photinia Shrub. The new leaves are red while the older leaves are green. The interesting thing is they are rated for zone 7-9. Half of the shrubs are slightly shaded and they are growing faster than the shrubs in full sun. However, they are all looking really good. We even have a few blooms. The hedge lines the back of our house and pops against our light colored brick. They need to be soaked about once a week. I love the color!
I get excited when I see worms in my soil. For worms to survive, the soil must be full of nutrients. Worms also aerate the soil keeping it loose so the roots of the plants can easily grow. This picture is one out of my garden. I probably dug up over 50 worms while digging in the dirt.
When we moved to our house fourteen years ago, this lilac bush was covered in big purple blooms. It was beautiful! Today it still blooms like this every spring. They love the warm dry climate. After they bloom in the spring, it becomes a pretty bush. Sometimes in the fall, if the weather is just right, the lilac bush will produce a few more blooms.
Stay tuned for more blooms!