U.S.A., Washington State. USDA zone 8b. Sunset climate zone 5

Monday, April 20, 2009

Do You Have A Hired Gardener, Tatyana?

Click on the pictures to make them larger. Then click Back to return to the post.
I looked at my last posts - all of them are about trips, holidays, interesting places. What about my own garden? Is anything going on there? Who takes care of it? Do you have a gardener, Tatyana? Does anyone come and do all the weeding, pruning, trimming, afterstorm debris removal, etc., etc.? Nope. It's only us, mice. Let me look back and see what has been done in my garden during the sunny weekends in April. I usually have several projects going on at the same time. I heard that from my Mom - not to get bored with a job, switch to another and afterwhile get back.
First, I started destroying our lawn. It was laid in 2004, and the first two years it was almost perfect. Then, came moss, bare spots, yellow circles, weeds and craneflies. We aerated and overseeded it almost every spring. It helped for a while, but the winters would damage the grass again, moss will grow again... Maintaining a perfect lawn became a constant battle and as a result, I was allowed to convert a part of the lawn to flower and vegetable beds.
It's not so difficult to remove the turf. I use it in the vegetable/perennial part of the garden. I put pieces of turf, roots up, around small raised beds. It takes a couple of seasons for them to rotten and turn to fine soil. Meanwhile, those pieces of turf help to hold the soil in place without any frames.

Ocasionally, some grass will find a way up and start growing just in time to be removed or covered with another piece of turf.
On the picture below, after removing part of the lawn, I planted hydrangeas. Grasses and perennials will be soon be added.

Another project is converting a strip of land along the garage wall to a shady perennial bed.

Climbing hydrangeas, hostas, grasses plus baby helleborus moved from another part of the garden make this place more attractive.

Our kitchen garden is also getting expanded. My husband made another wooden frame/raised bed that hosts arugula and cabbage.
We put the frame directly on the lawn which was covered with several layers of newspapers. Around the frame, the turf has been removed, mulch laid and baby boxwoods will be added.

On the next picture, there are lettuce, peas, broccoli, cauliflower plus garlic and chives. I dug out melissa and put it in the container since it grows huge and takes a lot of space.

Lettuce grows on the raised beds and in pots. Around the pots, there is garlic and chives that spread on their own.

Well, not to forget 10 cubic yards of mulch that we spread in two days. The borders and beds certainly look dressed up with it.

A number of hours have been spent on weeding. Shotweed is aggressive as never before. Those tiny plants with cute round leaves and white flowers appear like mushrooms after the rain - fast and in big quantities. Hours have also been spent on shrubs that were damaged badly by winter winds and heavy snow. Trenches have been redone to separate borders from the lawn, thereby preventing grass crawling on mulch.

All in all, the garden is getting in shape. New plants include Phygelius croftway Purple Prince (never had it before), Nasturtium Cherry Rose, hosta Gold Standard, another Mister Lincoln rose, two types of climbing fuschias, salvia, blueberry Duke, etc.

Every year I tell myself not to buy new plants, and every year I fail. I like this type of failure.

Yesterday, it was Easter for Orthodox Christians. On the picture below, there are eggs that I colored using onion peel dye. I learned how to do it from my Grandma and Mom (my post Easter Eggs, Bunnies and Russian Paskha ).


  1. You've been very busy all looking good.

  2. Happy Easter, Tatyana (a little late). Lots of fun things going on in your gardens! The new shade bed is going to be nice. I like your kitchen garden too. And all your new plants sound beautiful. I'd like to have Phygelius, but I'm not sure it would survive in our zone. Thanks for the tour!

  3. Tatyana your house and the garden look beautiful, and I love you egg decoration. Blue and white are one of my favourite colour combinations, I have a lot of blue and white china.

  4. Yes, you have indeed been busy, but it will all be worth it, won't it? Love the eggs...they look so pretty and natural.

  5. Well you have certainly been busy. Everything is looking good. I love the bed on the side for a shade garden. Your hosta will look real nice there. The new plant looks interesting and can't wait to see a pic in bloom. Happy gardening... Becca

  6. Your house and garden looks great,
    and you sure are going to be a little busy bee.. thanks for the lovely tour I sure enjoyed seeing your garden.

  7. I enjoyed seeing the photos of your garden. You have been hard at work!! I did the same thing with my lawn ~ expanding flowerbeds over time. It was fun. Somehow gardening doesn't seem like work to me ~ I think it's more like play!!

  8. Oops ~ I also meant to say Happy Belated Easter. The eggs look beautiful!

  9. You are a hard worker! Your garden is growing beautifully...very impressive. gail

  10. Everything looks so nice and fresh. I am going to get one of those sharp and flat small shovels for edging. I am tired of how my grass continues to climb into areas it is not welcome. Thanks for the advice. I can't wait to give it a try.

  11. I'm most impressed with your many ambitious projects ... all looks lovely. Happy Easter (I have a very similar chicken/egg plate that I use for my colored Easter eggs)

  12. Happy Easter! Man, you've been busy, and it all looks great! I love your raised vegetable beds.

  13. Nice to se pictures from you looks beautyful...and well taken care of. I'm looking forward to follow your garden during the season..

  14. Not all of your photos showed up, but I enjoyed the ones I could see. It sounds like you've been busy!

  15. A very interesting round up. It's nice to see less amazing photos of your garden - I don't mean to be rude, I mean the more practical ones! In all the others it looks like a show-garden. I can well imagine someone thinking you employed a person to help. The vegetable frames look very nicely made.

  16. Dear Tatyana, thank you so much for stopping by.
    Firstly your garden looks great and like you had many helpers with grren thumbs. It is a good idea to remove part of the lawn if it renders to much work to maintain. I do not have much lawn left in my ornamental garden. What is left is fairly tough and rough but when it is cut it still looks good and sets of the borders.
    I have a Jack Russel and he needs some grass to run and play.
    Anyway this is not about my garden! I love your potager. Vegetable gardens look interesting and can fit well, even into a formal garden. It is not only a challenge and fun but also more and more important to grow what you can yourself. Not only are the veggies much healthier but also tastier. Your garden looks fit and ready for the growing season. It is part,fun and exciting to buy new plants. I always find a niche to plant something new.
    Your traditional easter decoration is very beautiful. Love the coloured eggs together with the blue china. Very pleasing.
    We all have left some roots somewhere. Mine are on "My World"
    titania-thisandthat. Sorry Tatyana that my comment got so long!

  17. How is your back? Goodness, that is some clever gardening and solutions. All that turf piled to make a bed is a smart move. It all looks grand and well thought out.

  18. Thank you dear friends for your kind comments.I think we all are busy this time of the year. Happy gardening to all of us!

  19. You have really been busy and I love the improvements. I like learning of everyones' holiday customs. I must try dying eggs with onion skins.

  20. So much work and such wonderfully amazing results! Really beautiful.


  21. Everything looks lovely. Good idea to pot up the melissa (aka lemon balm). The previous owner planted it in the ground here -- and I had to dig it up. The plant was taking over...

    Happy gardening.

  22. Looking good! I think you won't miss the lawn, and love the way you recycled it...


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