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Monday, November 19, 2012

Here Comes The Rain Again

This past summer sure was lovely, wasn't it?  Well, at least for those of us in the PacNW coast.  We had lots and lots of sunshine.  No joke, there were weeks upon weeks of it straight into the beginning of October.  For anyone that lives in a place with a rainy fall, winter and spring - it's like crack.  We can't get enough of it.

Unfortunately for some of my plants - they didn't quite feel the same way.  Remember those pretty azaleas I planted back in April?

In a Laguna Beach flashback, they're done-zo.  I guess you have to water your plants for them to make it through the summer.  Who knew?  Poor little guys.  So with the indian summer coming to a close - I put in some work getting the yard ready for the rain.  First, I ran around picking up all the toys and outdoor furniture and stored them in our shed.  Then, I pulled all the potted plants indoors.

To get our lawn back to being a healthy cover of thick green blades, I raked up all the fallen leaves and pine needles.  According to this Houzz article, even a light layer of leaves will compact under winter snows, depriving lawn grasses of light and air and encouraging the growth of snow mold and other turf diseases.  We have an ongoing battle with moss so I'll do anything to help get that under control.  After the leaves were piled high, I used our metal rake to loosen up our soil to prepare it for the grass seed.  I spread the seed over the entire front and back yard.  We use J&B Sun & Shade seed which is grown locally in Oregon.  I gave the seed a good watering.

What what do ya know?  The next day it started raining.

Luckily we had a sunny break a few weeks later and my work outdoors started all over again.  I had high aspirations of planting in the fall and giving the plants lots of time to establish a strong root system, but I just didn't get around to it.  For those of you that are interested in future fall plantings, HGTV has a great fall planting guide for each region.  What I did do is dig up all the dead, plants - 4 azaleas in total.  I also dug up the viburnum tinus and replanted it down near the arbor.  That little shrub is struggling after my attempt at splitting and moving it.  Hopefully it'll do better in the new location.

Then I pulled up all of the bricks and placed them along our pathway.  I still have to actually lay them in the ground but I wanted to get a good idea of what the pathway could look like.  I think it looks pretty dang good and I'll be more than pleased to cover up the black landscaping trim and fabric with additional pea gravel - that is after I get rid of that wayward grass that grew up through the fabric.

I took all the potted lavender plants that I had on the deck and replanted those at the end of the pathway in addition to the lavender, salvia and some ground cover plant with little white flowers (can't recall what exactly) that were growing around each tree.

My hydrangea climbing vines also suffered through the sunshine, but I saw a little ray of hope in bringing them back around with the new growth sprouting. I pulled all the dead leaves, repositioned each stick then tied a length of twine to each to help them climb up to the trellis. I really hope these guys make it through because an arbor covered with hydrangea?  What could be better?

It's come a long little way from when we first bought our little place last December.

The landscaping, which is not my strong suit, is definitely on the list of to-dos.  Oh what a growing list that is. 

So what about you guys?  Did you do any outdoor cleanup or planting before winter finally set in?  Have any gardening tips you can share with a black thumb?


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