’17 Spring – Green Thumb Vol. 1

 

“There is more pleasure in making a garden than in contemplating a paradise.” – Anne Scott-James

Spring. Southern Spring. It is here. Beautiful as ever. I was using just Southern Spring for my blogs from last year but decided to change it. I can’t ever completely decide on a heading. You can go many ways. But since these posts are about plants, flowers, gardens and yard work… green thumb only makes sense.

Green thumb is special to me. Yes, I have one but my Papa’s nursery was called the Green Thumb Nursery. I miss him having it. I know he misses it too. It is still there and someone else runs it these days. They call it something different too. I went by there last time I was in Moultrie. Still a wonderful place. The family that runs it is very nice too. So my love for gardening not only comes from my Mama but my Papa Williams too.

Gardening is good for my soul.

Anyways, Spring has been here for almost two weeks and the green thumbs have been getting it done. We have had some wonderful weather and some rain thrown in the mix. I started cleaning up back in February. Work usually starts in February. All my beds look crusty from the winter and they always need major TLC.

The last few years have been big on getting leaves and deadwood up from the front yard. My two big oak trees in the front produce that mess. I use to mulch it all up with my riding mower since it is a mulch mower but the last 3 years I haven’t done that. Man, it is some work. I normally do it all myself and it takes days and weeks to complete but luckily this year I had my nephew Cody come over and do most of it. First time I’ve ever had someone come over and do yard work for me.. and also pay them. Lol. I just like doing things myself. I like the work. But it was nice not to have to worry about it.. as far as time wise. Nice to get other things done. I appreciate his help. Photos don’t do it justice. It’s a mess.

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I started some seed in March. I didn’t know exactly what our weather would do. And plus I haven’t tilled any garden beds yet. I just did a few things for now to get them going. Any more seed I plant will go straight into the ground. I like to plant different things from annual flowers, herbs to vegetables. I also, of course, buy all those in actual plants as well. You can never have enough right?

Annuals, perennials… having the best of both worlds.

I have only made two hauls so far to pick up new plants and flowers. So many wonderful things out right now. I do different things each new Spring. A lot of my perennials are mainly in the ground but I do have a few in pots I put away for the winter. Mainly my hostas. I also have a hydrangea I planted in a pot last year. It is starting to come out. Curious to see what it is going to do. I buy a mix of things from perennials to annuals. Things for pots, things to plant in the ground.. some for hanging baskets. I haven’t planted one thing in the ground so far. Only potted plants. Many of my perennials are coming out of the ground but some are a few steps behind. I gotta see everything before I go planting new things in the ground.

I have only cleaned out two flower beds so far… or actually three counting the bed around my crabapple tree. I have about 7 more beds to clean out. It is always nice to get that first good cleaning done especially with everything coming out of the ground. But gotta stay on top of it throughout the year!  Weed, weed, weed! I haven’t decided if I’m doing mulch or pine-straw.. or both this year in my beds. I go back and forth. Last year I did both in some places. I’m leaning towards mulch though. But I don’t worry about buying that until I get my new flowers where I want them and get them in the ground.

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The one thing I always do early on is get out all the things I put up for the winter. Bird feeders, (I leave one or two out for the winter) bird houses and pots/planters. Okay, I have a pot problem. *snort* I have a LOT of them. I love potting plants though. I love having different colors. I love my metal pots. They are my favorite. I’m getting to where I have less and less plastic pots. Usually just don’t last and they crack. But anyways, I get all my pots out and clean them up. I get any old dirt out I need to get out and put fresh dirt in them.

I wash all bird feeders – inside and out and get them filled. My hummingbird feeders too. I got myself another glass hummingbird feeder a few weeks ago. I really like the glass ones. Today, I actually got them all filled with that sweet stuff. Can’t wait to see my first hummingbird of the year. I love them. And always love photographing them. *Cough* Attempting to photograph them. (I get a good shot here and there. LOL.)

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I got a new fern – Kimberly Queen fern. Walmart had them for $10. My Mama told me about them. This is a kind of fern I’ve never had… nor she. It actually can take some sun and also be planted in the ground. It came be brought inside for the winter and it is a perennial. Now most ferns are hard to keep. Most will tell you to dump them when winter hits and just get a new one(s) come Spring. That it ain’t worth the trouble to try to keep it and save it. I’ve never tried to save mine. I think I will try with this one. I left it in a bucket for a few days.. letting it catch rain water. I planted it today in a pot I painted yesterday. I’m gonna have it in the shade for now.

New plants feed my soul too. 

I also planted one of the bushels of lavender I bought. Lavender is just pretty. Smells good. LOVES sun. Easy to take care of. I also bought a “patio rose plant”. You know I’ve been gardening for many, many years and I have never once had a rose bush of any kind. It’s cross my mind to plant one… like a Knock Out rose bush but I never have for whatever reason. I love roses. So I got me a small one the other day to start off with. It is a yellow rose bush. I potted it in a old black pot I had – an old enamel speckled cookware pot. (I use anything to pot with.)

I have an old cast iron black wash pot. That thing is older than me. My Mama got it YEARS ago. I grew up with it. She always had something planted in it. It’s tough and heavy. And lasted all these years. It’s my favorite thing I plant in. I always do my caladium’s in it. I think each year I should change it up but I never do really. I love caladium’s! Plus the pot sits under my crab-apple tree and caladiums must have shade. I planted new bulbs a few days ago.

I don’t typically buy a lot of hanging baskets because I rather make my own. Hanging baskets are just too pricey.. just like ready-made planters. But our local grocery store had them for $7.99. They had Gerber daises and Geraniums. I got a pink Geranium. Lowes had the same basket for $14/15 and Walmart for $13. Crazy.  So $7.99 was a great deal! Geraniums are a classic Spring and Summer flower. Can’t go wrong them ever.

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With this Spring weather… pansies are still alive from the winter. At least mine are. I cleaned up mine as good as I could. Some I just tossed because they were raunchy. So I have several pansies still trying to stick around. Great color they have.

My tulips came up too. These tulips have been in that flower bed for YEARS. I mean… YEARS. Each year I’ve said I’m gonna dig them up and move them. Well, I finally did! Haha. The ground they are in is so hard. They are growing right up next to my crepe myrtles. The roots from them are just killing the tulips. So each year that passes, they seem to get weaker and smaller. And I see less blooms coming out. So I got up what I could and put the bulbs in a pot. Get them going in new dirt for next Spring. I will see what happens. They might be a goner. Or maybe not.

I’m going to check out Lowes in a few weeks to get their dead ones so I can plant the bulb. I think I want to try tulips in containers next year instead of the ground only. Tulips have pretty much come and gone around here. I love them. They are like the perfect flower bloom. So wrong they only last about 2 or so weeks. There is a guy near me who has a line of them planted – all colors and they are so pretty this time of year.

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Wanted to add a photo of my Mama. She took some of my oregano I gave her last year (totally forgot I gave her some) and potted it new for me and her. She stuck me some Rosemary in my pot too. I need to blog her as well. I always shoot pictures of her gardens, beds and all things plant related as well.

I get it honest. I learned from the best.

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To catch up to this weekend, first weekend of April… I got a LOT done over the weekend. We had great weather here in South Carolina. Saturday I had a flower shopping date with my friend. We went and ate Japanese at the newest place here. Sake! Then went plant shopping. Glad to have at least one friend who likes digging in the dirt. (She learned from my Mama too.)

This weekend was about cleaning up stuff as well. Small projects and then some. Not all was green thumb related but kinda ties into it really. I started the massive clean up of my barn. I normally clean it out 2 times a year. But today, I changed it around for the first time in my life. That is… to be continued. I keep a lot of my garden stuff in it. So really trying to get organized as well.

Sunscreen, Dirty Hands and Elbow Grease.

I have an old wooden bench that I’ve had for a long time. I can’t think of what year I got it. I just know the kids sat on it when they were little. And Bailey-Kole had her Easter photo made on it when she was about 2 or so. And she will be 14 this year… so that should tell you. It’s old. It has been a bench that I’ve used inside and out. But I plan on keeping it outside. I used it outside last year to sit plants on. It was really bad weathered but it’s still in good shape. I sanded it down yesterday and got up this morning to stain it. Just wanted to put some new life back in it. I did the Driftwood color. It looks so much better. It brought those nice tones back out. I stained my kitchen table several weeks ago as well. It turned out really nice. Maybe another blog, another day? P.S. I like staining wood.

As I mentioned earlier, I potted my new fern today. I had a terracotta colored pot… I think I bought last year. I like that color but the pot isn’t clay. I prefer that color when it is actually clay. So I spray painted it a soft green color. I set it up with my Magnolia pillow that I bought almost 2 years ago and I had it put up waiting for the right moment. My yard flag was something I had bought like 2 or 3 years ago. I bought one for me and Mama. I didn’t have it out last year. Those kinds of flags are not the best kind. They just weather real easy and plus I’m spoiled with metal signs we make at work. But I did my little set-up today. I liked the way it looks. I enjoy having things under the crab-apple tree. Shade! Shade! I love things to plant and have in the shade.

And we love our magnolia’s around here. Swoon.

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So the first two months went well. Lots of work done but only scratched the surface with cleaning, planting, gardening and outdoor projects. I do what I can during the week especially with the days being longer now. But I really get a lot done on weekends when I’m home… which I try to be in the Spring time. Got a lot of great weather for outdoor work. And no, I don’t workout on weekends I do yard work. Have you done yard all day.. weekend after weekend? I got done at 7:15 pm today. I moved and worked muscles in my legs today I don’t move when I workout on purpose. Haha! It’s true.

Do what you love and…

Having a green thumb ain’t just about planting a pretty flower or two. There is a lot of work involved. I have a current list that I’m working on. So much labor and TLC throughout the year. While I’ve always said it is work, it is work I enjoy.. so it doesn’t feel like “work” to me. I’m not kidding when I say it makes my soul happy… and feeds my soul. Being outside just feels great to your mind and brain.  And I love watching the sun go down.

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(FYI. I wrote this blog last night.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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