Garden Tour Update

Update on May Garden Projects Blog

Last May I wrote a blog on the state of the garden here in the Ohio condo.  If you remember, we had gone through a rough winter and I had lost some roses and other plantings.  Also found out some of the bulbs I planted were not chipmunk safe. Anyway, the gardens looked bare and grim.

Now the back garden is almost completely full of plants, I need to put in more daffodil. I did add two types of Iris which have already bloomed and you can still the remnants of it in the left foreground  When I showed the May garden, the bare garden was depressing. However, only some patience was needed at that time. Most of the plantings that you can NOW see were already there but underground!

Back Garden

I planted astilbe and hostas.  Both of these plants die down to the ground in the winter and because our last winter was sooo cold, the shootings were not spouted as usually happens in May, but they are hardy plants and as you can see, they came back beautifully.

Behind the hostas are the ever-blooming hydrangeas I  planted last year… I did lose one but will get a replacement once the weather cools down a bit.  I want to break up all the pink colors so I will probably get a white hydrangea called Wee Boy or something similar. I love the color combination n this photo

Front Side Garden

The side plantings of hostas and hydrangeas: pinky – winky and limelight, did very well over the winter.  So just some minor trimming needed here.

Side Garden

My garden update continued. More color was required in the shade side garden. I planted some annuals and moved a bird feeder and seed bell down to the lower patio in the side garden.from the upper deck. I now sit down on the lower deck sheltered from the hot sun. I can look out over the grounds and watch the birds and yes, the chipmunks!

I spend a lot of time on the deck off the sunroom in the spring. Nice to just be able to walk out from the living area to the outdoors. In the hot weather, the upper deck is unbearable. The temp can go over 100 degrees up there in high eighty weather like today.  If there is no breeze, the corner on the deck seems to trap and build up heat. One of the reasons I can never keep a plant up there no matter how often I water.  If any of you have a suggestion, I’d love to hear from you.

I am babysitting my granddog  Indy. She loves to sit in the garden waiting for chipmunks.

Rose Garden

The rose garden is in really sad shape.  I had buried them in mulch last fall and when I got back from Ireland I found the two on the outside had died.  The bed itself I didn’t attend to until the cold weather broke. We had frost and nasty weather up until May.  

Unfortunately, I got pneumonia and was really not up to working in the garden.  I really need to remove all that mulch. Surprisingly, it has hardened and is like a plaster cast over the top of the rose.  A rose needs it bottom area a bit exposed to allow air and nutrients to get to the plant.  

I still need to dig all the mulch out. I will then put a sprinkling of  “SweetPeet” a much more garden friendly type of cover. I did not opt for the Condo garden personnel to place mulch on the rosebed this year.  I really do not like wood bark types of mulch. On the plus die, it keeps the weeds down and it does start to decay after a year or so but I find it really does not provide much nourishment to the soil and the hard bits that remain make turning the soil hard work. I am not quite sure why.

However, I do know that a good compost or peat like Sweet Peet nourishes the soil. It is an organic mulch made in Connecticut.  It is a patented item and really expensive but the difference it makes is remarkable. The company has a dealer locator on the website 

I will go up to Kerns nursery and get a couple of bags to put in the roses. I may have to hire someone this year to help me with the gardens until this lung problem settles down.

It is hard to admit and accept the added help but John and I  are both getting a bit older – him more so than me- haha and getting the retired folks complaints of achy joints, forgetfulness, and just not as much stamina.  So I will probably give in and get the help. I love my roses…there is a Mr. Lincoln still alive and healthy. An old time favorite with deep burgundy silky flower and a great scent.

The hot weather is now upon us.  I admit I do not like the weather extremes.  Winter and Summer are my worst months. In fact, I prefer the winter weather to the hot humid Ohio weather. 

Summer in Ireland is fine ..or I should say it has been fine. It does still get a bit rainy but not for the entire day. The moderate temperatures range in the sixties and seventies- my type of weather.

But as I write this, a town in Southern France broke all records and hit over 100 degrees F today.  Most of Europe does not have central air conditioning and there will sadly be a few deaths due to the hot weather extremes, as I am sure there will also be here when we get those record hot days.

As you look at this picture above of the back garden, I have to tell you I have an experiment going on in this garden. Do you see something a little funny?

I have a herd of chipmunks that ravage the gardens. I do not have the heart to have them walk the plank as they say…you know a pale of water with a piece of wood over the top and sunflower seed in the water…Anyway, the dog chases but they still come back.

They ate all my tulips, spring bulbs, (except the daffodils), daisies, and a bunch of other flowers. All my sweet lilies are gone. When I researched what chipmunks don’t eat see here.  I noted a suggestion that if you hide the item they do eat in a cluster of plants they don’t like, you might get away with keeping that good plant.

And so I have put my fav star lily in with the ferns …we will see if it comes up next year!

Before I Go

Before I sign off, I would like to set out my disclaimers.  First I do not work nor do I get any form of compensation from Sweetpeet.  I just like this healthy type of nourishing mulch. Next, I write these blogs to share my experiences in the garden.  I hope I can help someone by basically telling you what I do wrong and what works for me. I am in no way a professional or even semi-professional gardener. As I share this information, I am hopeful that you guys will tell me your experiences and even help me with my gardening efforts.

That said.  Thanks for listening, as always I hope to hear from you

Take good care


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