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Garden Goodness

I posted over two months ago about the things that I’d be growing or possibly growing so I thought I’d give you a little update.

First up we have hydrangeas! The hydrangeas I wasn’t sure whether or not I liked. I decided I do. Travis bought a Forever and Ever pink hydrangea for me because he knows I’d rather have a plant that lasts for years than a bouquet that lasts a week or two. A couple of days later, I was at Costco and they had  Blue Nikko hydrangeas for $10.98, which is practically a steal, so I bought two.

When I first bought them the buds looked like this.

It’s not terribly impressive. And, honestly, if I hadn’t been purchasing them at Costco I probably wouldn’t have bought them. They have a reputation for quality plus a generous return policy. Thankfully I didn’t have to take them back because look at them now!

I love them very much. I wish they’d stay this light blue color but Nikko Blue gets pretty bright I think. Christy pointed out in the comments section of my “Spring” post that it depends on the ph of your soil and she’s right. So I did some digging and found that blueberries and blue hydrangeas like more acidic soil which can be adjusted by using coffee grounds. That same night I dreamed of coffee, coffee grounds, blueberries and hydrangeas over and over and over, all night long. By morning I was very grumpy and couldn’t have cared less about the whole thing. Thankfully the dreams subsided and I now like coffee, blueberries and hydrangeas again. Mmmmm…coffee.

And I also bought a blueberry bush. Well, she’ll be a bush when she grows up. Meet, Brigitta. I didn’t name her, that’s her variety. But it seems to suit her well.

I still need a Bluecrop for pollination purposes. I have another blueberry in my garden but I don’t know what variety it is. In fact, I wasn’t even completely sure that it was a blueberry until it bloomed this year,  I might have gotten a few berries but we had a freeze that killed the blooms. I think all-in-all we’ll have enough blueberries from this bush for each of the Buttons to have 2-3 berries each. If I’ve learned anything from gardening it’s patience…from lots and lots of waiting.

This will also be the first summer since our very first in this house that I’m planting sunflowers. Sunflowers grow here every year but that’s from the seeds that birds drop. This season I’m cleaning out all the sunflowers from my garden bed so that I can grow herbs and whatnot.

So, I’ve weeded and added composted manure so that I can add the herbs. And I’m in the process of digging out an area in the yard to plant the sunflowers. I’ll still get a privacy screen for summer and I’ve started seeds for several different varieties.

Before I started digging I wet the area using a sprinkler. Here in TN we have clay that’s rock hard when it’s dry. Here’s a little tip if you try this- don’t get the area too wet. If you do you’ll be sloshing around in mud that sticks to everything. Shoes, shovel, hands, clothes…it’s a big mess.

Here’s progress.

It may not look like a lot but it takes time to do that much digging. And I found a rock! As soon as I hit it with my shovel I was disappointed. My next thought was, “That’s going to be an amazing feature!” I get excited about big rocks I guess. I grew up in Florida and all we had was sand. No rocks. No hills. Just sand. The girls and I swept and washed and tried to uncover more of it and I think it will be pretty in my sunflower garden. I still have *far* to go. I also have to dig out the area where I’ll be planting the hydrangeas. Which means I will be a sweaty, hot, dirty mess on Saturday. I’m totally looking forward to it!

The seeds I’m planting couldn’t wait until I’m done digging and amending the planting area though so I bought a seed starter kit.

They have “super growing pellets” which I’ve had some experience with but wasn’t super impressed. I really just wanted a divided off area that I could easily see all the seedlings and easily transplant them. I decided to use the pellets since I bought them and my skepticism was well founded. I added warm water like I was supposed to and this was the result.

Some of them absorbed very little water, some slipped sideways and some did what they were supposed to. It was a lot more work than just scooping some soil into the cells, which is how I topped these off. I like the cells because I needed to start the seeds now but the “super growing pellets” are a waste of time. Today though, I woke up to this.

I started some other seeds in different containers and they’ve sprouted too.

They’re a purplish color and I can’t wait to see how they grow up! I’ve planted a hybrid mix, Citrus, Mammoth and Chianti. I’ve also got some seeds that I harvested from the first ones I ever planted but I can’t remember the variety.

I also wrote the type of flower and how tall they get on the outside of the container in hopes that I can plant them in a decent order height wise.

And that will do it for today. I realize that not everybody is as fascinated with growing things as I am so thank you for humoring me. My Mom says I get it from her Mom. I didn’t know her very well but I’ve heard enough stories to know that taking after her is a good thing. So how about you? What are you growing this summer?

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