Spring is arriving in full force in Atlanta. For this house, that also means COLOR.
I have an early spring habit. Every year, I tell myself that I need to be patient and wait out the month of March. Because in Atlanta, March will get blissfully warm for several weeks, starting near the end of February. But it’s a trick. A stealthy, mean trick.
Just when I put full faith in the weather that spring has finally arrived, that I should be prepping for spring gardening — that’s when the last freezing bit of weather comes around and threatens to ruin everything.
But do I actually listen? Noooooope. Every year, I get so excited about adding COLOR to the yard that I skip ahead. This time though, I let the purple phlox I planted several springs ago to give me the go-ahead:
And just as I wanted the creeping phlox to do, it’s been spreading and filling in, practically blanketing the entire bed!
(P.S. I decided I’ll be adding photo cards like the one above for my plants throughout the year so you can pin them and save them for garden ideas. I have had so much trial and error in certain parts of the house that these will be handy for new gardeners who are looking for easy-care ideas.)
After eight years of practice, I guess I’m getting pretty decent at keeping plants alive. But I’m not going to stop there. Of course not, right? Gotta up the ante and challenge myself. This year, I want more than hydrangeas and phlox and shrubs. I want roses.
The side garden: finally figuring things out
One of the things I’m most anxious to get in the ground are these gorgeous multi-colored roses (“shrub trees”) that will go along the side of the house.
Those of you who have followed for a while will recall this area, but probably only after seeing another picture of it:
The garden area next to my house has been one of those long-term, dangling projects I just haven’t been able to figure out. I’ve given it a number of attempts, tried with some discount plants, but never a proper “plan” for what to do. It’s long, and narrow, and it runs along the pathway that separates me from the neighbor’s fence and goes to the backyard gate. It also gets full sun, which gives me a lot of options. Too many, maybe? Perhaps that was the cause of my indecision all along.
Last spring, I made a practical upgrade by inserting a cement slab for the trash can and recycling bin. As of this year and with K moving in, the recycling got to a point where I needed a second full-size bin rather than a small container. The slab was the perfect size!
But obviously, this isn’t exactly charming to see at the front of the house (you can actually see the first section of this side garden from the street. I chose this spot, though, for other reasons that I covered back in this post). So, the only real “plan” I had in place began a couple of years ago when I made a frame for a wooden screen (intending on using it to hide the bins once the slab was in).
I finally finished it and installed it in the front, which perfectly hides the slab and two full-size bins. This is one GIANT leap in the right direction for this garden.
And wouldn’t ya know it? I figured out one of the biggest obstacles the yard has had for years, and boom: the very next week, my side garden got the burst of inspiration it was desperately needing.
The other day, I saw these beautiful roses at Lowe’s. They are two different varieties, but they have grown together in a single pot, producing “white iceberg” and “burgundy iceberg” flowers simultaneously. They are fragrant and full of buds and ready to be planted. Gorgeous, right? I got so excited, I bought all I could find at the store.
Over the weekend, I planted all that I bought, but I underestimated how many I’d need. I’ll have the full before & after of the garden when I gather up a few more and get them in the ground.
Starting a veggie garden!
Another first: K has been insisting we start a veggie garden (for over a year, actually). So, we bought the seeds, the starter stuff, and are going to build a couple of garden beds for the backyard, near to where the shed is going in. I’ve never grown my own food before (my parents had a small garden but I didn’t really work on it with them), so I’m pretty much letting K take the reins until things start to grow. I’ll admit, I’ve already had a lot of fun watching the little starter pods expand and putting in all the seeds (I’ll go through the whole process once they’re ready to transplant… a few look like they’ve already started to seed so that should be just a couple weeks!).
So, I guess that’s 2 projects down, which were immediately replaced with 2 more? The way it goes, I guess. There are several other projects that are also in various completion stages too (even if you’ve seen some of the posts on Instagram, you’re in for a treat on Wednesday with the Murphy bed update for Dueling DIY!). Are you anxious for spring, too? I feel like I’ve been stir-crazy all winter, so I’m hopping from project to project just as fast as I can. Are you getting a chance to plant anything yet?