Tag Archive: impatiens

Getting the Impatiens Planted

Saturday morning I made a list of what I wanted to accomplish this weekend.

The husband looked at me as if I was crazy because I really wanted to accomplish it all in one day. The fatigue reality of it all took over. I was not going to get everything accomplished. All but two items were completed on that list. I would have ordered new checks if they had been open Monday. That one can wait till Tuesday morning.

But here is one project I did get done.

Impatiens planted along the east side of my house. It really needed to be done and you will agree once you see the “before” picture.

Before the project begins

I have more weeds than I really should. These are mostly morning glories. they were pretty last fall but this year I am replacing them with Scarlet Running Bean. So I need to be on the constant lookout for morning-glory sprouts to prevent them from taking over. Here is a picture of the sprouting scarlet runner.


Scarlet runner amongst the morning glories.

I was given these seeds this year and they have a good start. I have been told the beans are tasty with a nutty flavor. I have five plants going and we shall see.

So the husband issues a challenge for me to get this project done before supper. I have my new garden gloves (thanks, Sandy) and a half flat of impatiens. There is also an empty five gallon bucket waiting for weeds and such. The such being left over compost from the winter.

So I start. I clean out weeds and any old compost on the left side of the door.  Then I begin digging one hole at a time. Dig hole, place plant, fill in hole, dig hole, place plant, fill in hole, over and over again.

Meanwhile, one of my neighbors is having a party. They are Mexican and I listen to many genres of Mexican music – as can the whole neighborhood. Tejano, disco, rap, traditional. At some point my new neighbor starts playing piano – everything from Beethoven to Garth Brooks. 

I really don’t mind as it helps my task movie that much more quickly. Soon I am done with the left side and start working on the right side.   While I am working, I notice a toad hanging around. In fact, he is the toad the kids caught the day before and we made them set loose. Well, I am pretty sure it is the same one.

 The husband is firing up the grill and getting hamburgers ready to cook. I am getting done when he makes a comment.

All of the work is done.

“Aren’t you going to get rid of the weeds in front of the door?”
No, no I am not. I have discovered a resident who deserves some cover until the impatiens grow and fill in the area. Once they are bigger, I will remove these weeds. But for now, I am leaving Toby’s cover intact.

Our resident toad.

He is sheltered by the door step and will be able to easily find slugs and bugs. I water enough to keep Toby moist but there is not enough of any puddle or pond for spawning near the house. Since I do not use pesticide this will make life for Toby much better. Bugs, a place to hide, some wetness – what more can a toad ask for?
Do you have a resident pest controller?

Moving from Winter to Spring

Blizzard of 2011

 Just  a few weeks ago we were under piles of snow. The blizzard of February 2011 actually kept me home from work for one day. Back then it seemed as if there would always be nothing but snow. Even my bouncing dog seems dwarfed by the snow. However, it is a month later and look at what I found in my front garden that receives full sun.

Tiger Lilies Sprouting

That is the start of my Tiger Lilies. I did some shifting of  plants in an effort to create a more rounded formation last fall. After I finished digging and moving plants and replaced the dirt, I had the husband cover the entire bed with compost and leaves from the yard.  And then came the cold and snow and more covering till the warm weather has melted most of the snow away.

Mums starting to sprout

I started looking around the rest of the garden, hoping that something else might be coming up, that signs of spring were being repeated. That is when I noticed the tiny mum sprouts hidden in the dead branches of last year’s plant.  This sighting got my very excited but I need to let the compost rest for another two weeks at least. I need to await the crocus that have not yet started sprouting.

The Shade garden in the morning

 My shade garden in the back looks bare right now. The only green is vegetation of the dianthus. I did lift compost here and there to see if there would be any crocus popping out. But the answer to that is “no, not yet.” Patience, we gardeners must practice patience. We know change is on the horizon.

Shade garden, May 2010

In only two months that same garden will look like this. Pansies, impatiens, snapdragons, star of Bethlehem, columbine, dianthus and peonies will all abound in beautiful blooms. I just have to remember to leave the compost for two more weeks, let the final frosts pass and then I can remove the old compost, put in the new plants and enjoy for the rest of the warm months.

What does your garden look like?