Spring gardening part 1

With the weekend temperatures at a cool 70 degrees, the fiance and I tackled two flower beds, framing them with stone and bricks. We also dug out the weeds and put in compost plus top soil to make the beds receptive to future plantings. Finally, we decided to go with black mulch to better set apart the colorful violas that I finally got around to planting in the front beds. (I had bought another flat of blue violas from Strong’s Nursery that went on sale.) The orange, blues, and whites popped against the dark background. And not to mention, the mulch will be help stifle the weed infestation that overgrew the bare beds. My only regret is that the violas didn’t get more ground time during the last month.

In addition to the new violas, I also planted a bag of lily of the valley, purchased from Home Depot. While the packaging advertised 16 plants, I discovered 2 sprouting bundles in the bag (similar to daylily rhizomes), which I quickly put into the front flower bed. It is supposedly a shade-loving plant, and further research indicated that this plant may actually grow like a weed under optimum conditions.

Speaking of weeds, I went ahead and invested in a spreader, plus a bag of weed killer. Unfortunately the yards are overgrown with weeds, not having enough turf to prevent it. But with the sudden onset of rain this weekend, I haven’t had time to apply it.

I’ve convinced the fiance to try a kalmia latifolia in the corner bed by the door, instead of the originally planned azalea. I had already made an online purchase for the Olympic Fire variety, but soon learned that Musser Forests in Pennsylvania was prohibited in shipping to Texas. Interesting. I’m going to have to find a local source somewhere…

Last thing to report…my japanese maple Asahi Zuru is showing signs of life. Green buds have begun to emerge from their red shells. This is exciting news, given that last year, the maple hadn’t leafed out this early. It seems that sitting by the patio door getting some morning sun has encouraged it to sprout early. I’m contemplating replanting in a bigger pot to help it spread its roots some more.