Landscape & Gardening

Winter Annuals Have Been Planted

Planted for the shady corner
Planted for the shady corner

After many hours of brutal labor (eight hours digging up the summer annuals that were so very established and another eight for the planting of the winter annuals) all done over the last three weekends, I am almost done. What’s left is to sprinkle the fertilizer, slug bate, root stimulator, and to add more compost around the pansies. Next weekend, I will need to transport my summer container plants to the greenhouse and create my traditional winter container annuals.

The front of my house faces north, and there’s a vast amount of shade from the many trees that are on or next to my front garden. Most of them are deciduous, and you would think that would allow more sun during the winter months. But those same trees continuously dump bushels of leaves onto my beds and on the grass, and I have a hard time keeping the annuals uncovered. Gas and electrical blowers are not allowed in my garden. Ever! They strip the foliage and flowers off the plants and will also uproot the ones with shallow root systems. So from November through January, I am hand culling leaves and acorns every weekend without a break. But I do allow myself to use a rake on the grass. Still, my plants have a hard time growing and thriving because of the lack of sunlight.

(above) Looking west along the north facing front of my house
(above) Looking west along the north facing front of my house
(above) This northeast corner (of my house) receives more sunlight than the rest of the front bed. The White Peacock Kale, Giant Red Mustard, and the smaller mustard plant in the face pot do well in this spot.
(above) This northeast corner (of my house) receives more sunlight than the rest of the front bed. The White Peacock Kale, Giant Red Mustard, and the smaller mustard plant in the face pot do well in this spot.
(above) This area is part to mostly shade, and the prim roses and cyclamen do well in these conditions. Unfortunately, they are a bit too bodacious at the moment. The growers tend to pump these annuals with a ton of vitamins before shipping them to the local nurseries. But it does make it easier for me to arrange and plant them so that their colors compliment each other. I know that within a couple of weeks, there will be less blooms. Normally the primrose blooms at the end of January through March.
(above) This area is part to mostly shade, and the prim roses and cyclamen do well in these conditions. Unfortunately, they are a bit too bodacious at the moment. The growers tend to pump these annuals with a ton of vitamins before shipping them to the local nurseries. But it does make it easier for me to arrange and plant them so that their colors compliment each other. I know that within a couple of weeks, there will be less blooms. Normally the primrose blooms at the end of January through March.
(above) This is an up-close detail of the shady corner (the northwest corner of my house and the southwest corner of the garden). Notice the fallen flowering quince fruit in the upper left corner. No creature seems to be interested in it. If I don't pick it up, it will just rot where it fell.
(above) This is an up-close detail of the shady corner (the northwest corner of my house and the southwest corner of the garden). Notice the fallen flowering quince fruit in the upper left corner. No creature seems to be interested in it. If I don’t pick it up, it will just rot where it fell.
(above) This is another bigger view of the same northwest corner. I planted new plugs of grass this last spring. Hopefully next spring the grass will grow more and fill in that corner. But at the moment, it looks pathetic.
(above) This is another bigger view of the same northwest corner. I planted new plugs of grass this last spring. Hopefully next spring the grass will grow more and fill in that corner. But at the moment, it looks pathetic.
(above) This bed borders the west side of my garden and runs from the house down towards the street. Right now these new plantings look awkward, but they will eventually fill in. I had to cut down the Louisiana Iris because it had gone all wonky on me. It will grow back and help make this border look better and less messy.
(above) This bed borders the west side of my garden and runs from the house down towards the street. Right now these new plantings look awkward, but they will eventually fill in. I had to cut down the Louisiana Iris because it had gone all wonky on me. It will grow back and help make this border look better and less messy.
(above) An up-close detailed view of the west bed
(above) An up-close detailed view of the west bed
(above) Well it's just like me to save the ugliest photo for last. This is another view of the west bed. I wanted to show you how my Oxblood Lilies look most of the year. Notice the green stripy stuff at the bottom of the photo? That's them, and this happens after they have finished blooming. If I want to continue having them bloom each year in the early fall, then I must allow them to remain floppy and limp. Of course it doesn't help to have the chopped up Louisiana Iris butting up against them. Again, with time, all will grow and improve aesthetically. And hopefully before summer.
(above) Well it’s just like me to save the ugliest photo for last. This is another view of the west bed. I wanted to show you how my Oxblood Lilies look most of the year. Notice the green stripy stuff at the bottom of the photo? That’s them, and this happens after they have finished blooming. If I want to continue having them bloom each year in the early fall, then I must allow them to remain floppy and limp. Of course it doesn’t help to have the chopped up Louisiana Iris butting up against them. Again, with time, all will grow and improve aesthetically. And hopefully before summer.

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