Lots has happened since then. In early April, we finally built the raised bed...and by 'we' I mean: my husband and by 'built' I mean: we had Home Depot cut the wood for us and we ordered a kit to assemble them into a raised bed.
I also started some arugula, peas, basil and tomatoes in our basement around that time. I had been thinking I would just get plants that had already been started from our nursery, but since I had some seeds left over from last time, I threw all we-have-a-baby-and-therefore-we-have-no-time caution to the wind and started some seeds. It really took no time at all, so in the end I am glad I did it.
A few weeks later we headed back out to the nursery to pick out some new plants for our flower garden, to ask them about the hydrangea which wasn't doing much of anything, and to get some more soil to fill our garden bed.
Turns out, you can buy compost in bulk from the nursery, so we ordered some up and waited for it to be delivered. In the meantime, we headed home and put down sheets of newspaper in the bottom of the raised bed and covered it with our own compost pile. The compost wasn't fully turned into 'gold' but it was pretty close and according to This Old House magazine it is perfectly acceptable to use it as a base for a raised bed.
Can you believe that in just a few short, not to mention COLD, months all of our leaves and grass clippings and food waste and diapers* turned into compost? So crazy!!
We also took some time to plant our new items in the garden. The goal was to round out the garden a bit. Half of it gets full sun and half of it is shaded by the cherry tree, so we looked to find some shade-loving plants for the one side, and transplanted the sun-loving plants to where the sun actually shines. Our other goal was to have something in bloom through the whole summer, so we found a variety of plants in a variety of heights that will hopefully give us a variety of bloom time.
I am hoping that this Phlox will eventually grow over the rocks of the raised bed and be a good ground cover:
It is nice to see that we didn't kill off these plants like we did last year. Pruning tip: don't prune this plant all the way back in the fall...instead, prune the dead areas and let it go through the winter. I was a doubter, but they are so beautiful and healthy this year all because we didn't cut them all the way back in the Fall! Yay!!
The cherry tree is always so pretty in full bloom:
So...here we are almost a month after all the planting featured above and as you will see our garden is doing pretty well. Sadly though, the original hydrangea we purchased didn't do so well, re: it didn't even get a single leaf, (I'm pretty sure we were slackers at watering it) so we went back to the nursery the other day and they were kind enough to give us a new one. We moved the original one near the house in one last attempt to get it to grow, but we're not holding our breath.
Here's where we planted the new hydrangea...you can barely see it behind the OUTRAGEOUSLY HUGE lily!! I seriously need to divide that lily before it gets too big for its own good:
And our arugula and peas are coming up in the raised bed:
In the foreground on the right you can see the peas I started...they didn't survive once transplanted. Next to them are the peas I sowed directly in the ground and they are doing great!! Who knew?
And here's a shot of the flower bed with some of the newer things we planted starting to bloom:
Up front and center is a cone flower, the blooming red and white plants are Columbines:
And white columbine:
This is a Speedwell and will eventually grow tall, slender, fuchia spikes that will hopefully attract butterflies in the summer: