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Don't be boring.. Git-er-Done..

Gardening Reference » Gardening in 2006
by ThunderBolt on July 06, 2006 12:29 PM
Well.. I just had to do something. The plain old boring flower bed in the front of my house was just too much to look at anymore and I didn't have the motivation to maintain it in its current state. Plus being overweight (280lbs) and sick of that too I thought of no better way to start losing weight and creating a master-piece (I think so anyway) than to sweat it out and git-er-done.

Since my last post here I actually started to grow most of my own plants from bulbs, seeds, cuttings from friends and any other way that I could. Keep in mind that I'm in Zone 9 - 10 and it gets really hot here in New Orleans (lose the weight)

After 2 months of trial and error (trust me) trying to grow my stuff:

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that I wanted I started out just removing and potting ALL the flowers in the existing flowerbed. Man, new seedlings and plants don’t seem to grow fast enough at fisrt.. Then BOOM. Next thing I know EVERYTHING is growing HUGE and faster than my new flowerbed. Now that I had the plans drawn up and ideas brainstorming I wanted to increase the size a bit both hizontally and in width. Originally the size of the bed was 24ft long and 2 1/2 wide running the entire length of my front porch and was just a place to stick plants. BORING... I thought to myself, NO WAY. Let's add a few feet in both directions and add some depth.. Well.. Here I go.. This new bed was going to be 26 1/2Ft long and 5 1/2 feet wide with pointed corners for accent.

I bought a really nice tiller, 8 bags of manure/ compost, 15 bags of Miricle grow flowering soil, new wheel barrow (more on this later), shovels, rakes, 100 Landscape treated logs, a hand made sifter that I used to get all the construction debris (Rocks, boards, pipes) that was burried and past owners kids toys (You can't imagine what I found) and all hardware that you could possibly need to put this MONSTER together.

I must add that my back yard was about 1 -2 feet higher in some spot along my fence line because when I had concrete poured about a year ago the builders didn’t know what to do with it and had no means of transporting it elsewhere. I had them build up the areas by my fence that my dogs had trampled down. The level wasn’t good since the rain would come onto my back patio because of the slope. This was really an omen since I had no idea that I'd use it later as top soil. Anyway, it took me 4 hours of tiller work to loosen up the soil that our dogs had compacted which was grown over with grass, 37 wheel barrows of sifted top soil and countless hours of re-tilling in the miracle grow, compost/manure with each dump of the wheel barrow to keep the mixture as even as I could.

I've just about finished it and here are some pictures.

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More to come..

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"Gnats are deceased gardners that annoy you when they think you're messing up."
by ThunderBolt on July 06, 2006 12:35 PM
Next set of photos are the arrangement of plants that I’ve put in there. Heh.. I had someone come by the other day and said, “Where’s all the flowers and colors?”. I explained that I’ve almost grown everything from scratch and that most of these won’t have blooms until next year. I knew this when I built this.” QUOTE “That’s stupid”. HA.. OK..

Anyway.. My neighbor said that he would take me to a place where we can get a pickup truck full of mulch for $30.00. I need something to control the grass that’s starting to grow in there. I don’t want to use chemicals. I believe the plants are too young and it could damage them.

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Of course I had to take a break and plant some Allison Whites along my driveway (which is another on-going project)

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More to come..

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"Gnats are deceased gardners that annoy you when they think you're messing up."
by tamara on July 06, 2006 12:37 PM
Wow, that is going to be gorgeous when it's finished. I'm lovin' the pointed edges, it certainly does add depth. I can see that you have more than enough plants to put in there.

Keep them pics coming, I want to see the finished flower bed. Good job.

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Tamara's Photos
Thinking Spring, Thinking Spring...Nope, doesn't work.lol
by ThunderBolt on July 06, 2006 12:40 PM
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My next project (which coincides with my flower bed) is building a 3 tier waterfall. Should be interesting.

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OK.. so far I've lost 42 Lbs..

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"Gnats are deceased gardners that annoy you when they think you're messing up."
by tamara on July 06, 2006 12:41 PM
That's just spooky, you answered my photo request while I was typing a response to your first post.

What is the purple spikey plants called? I've never seen them before, they are unusual and very striking. That is going to fill in wonderfully.

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Tamara's Photos
Thinking Spring, Thinking Spring...Nope, doesn't work.lol
by ThunderBolt on July 06, 2006 12:51 PM
They're all mostly spikey at this point :-P

I should add that most houses around my neighborhood have the same ole plants at every house. (BORING) EVERYTHING in here is unique to this neighborhood.

The ones on the ends in the corner pointed areas are African Iris's, and there's some Liatris Spicata's, Canna Lucifer's.. and.. and.. I have to break out the list to be accurate.

As much talent is in this forum I was hoping that someone would guess some of them... hehehe..

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"Gnats are deceased gardners that annoy you when they think you're messing up."
by markr on July 06, 2006 12:59 PM
Looks good!
and well done on the weight loss, keep it up [thumb]

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Mark
by badplanter on July 06, 2006 02:20 PM
thats a VERY impressive garden you got there---so many good ideas----- post more pics when everything grows in and all of your projects are done!!!!!!!!!!!

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 -  - "I don't want no more of army life, gee mom, I wanna go, but they won't let me go, gee mom, I wanna go home!" My PB!
by netty on July 06, 2006 02:29 PM
Looks great ThunderBolt!
And congradulations on the weight loss too!

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by ThunderBolt on July 09, 2006 09:34 AM
Oh.. Sorry Tamara.. Toa answer your question the purple spiky plants are called:

Red Star Spike
Botanical Name: "Cordyline Australis"

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"Gnats are deceased gardners that annoy you when they think you're messing up."
by ThunderBolt on July 09, 2006 09:45 AM
Last night we got that pickup truck full of mulch I mentioned above and we spent a few hours with the finishing touches.

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"Gnats are deceased gardners that annoy you when they think you're messing up."
by loz on July 09, 2006 09:53 AM
That's really nice!!!! Way to go....I hate the boring stuff too....I like to have plants that most people around here don't have.

Congrats on your amazing weight loss also, nothing better than sweating it out with some gardening! [thumb]

I'm really looking forward to seeing your 3 tier waterfall....that sounds like it's going to be sooooo cool! [grin]
by buzylady on July 10, 2006 06:12 AM
[tears] I can't see the last 2 sets of pics.
I wanta see too [tears]

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buzz buzz buzz  -
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http://s86.photobucket.com/albums/k103/Di_06/
by buzylady on July 10, 2006 06:16 AM
oh now see. Ask and you shall recieve. Next thing I know they show up. I quess my computer is a little slow. [Wink]

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buzz buzz buzz  -
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http://s86.photobucket.com/albums/k103/Di_06/
by SpringFever on July 10, 2006 09:36 AM
Excelent Job there!! Looks Amazing! [thumb]

Congrats on the weight Loss..

Can't wait to see the waterfall either!

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Tonight I am having friends for dinner... Hanibal Lector My Album
by penny in ontario on July 11, 2006 01:48 AM
You have done a fantastic job!!!!
I cant wait to see more pics too [thumb] [thumb] [thumb]

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by MarksYard on July 17, 2006 11:46 AM
I love that border...thats the idea I had for my backyard planters...nice job !!!
by plantqueen on July 21, 2006 07:43 AM
That is great Thunderbolt! Your flowerbed looks awesome and your weight loss is amazing! Congratulations on both!!!

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All of us could take a lesson from the weather. It pays no attention to criticism.
by ThunderBolt on August 09, 2006 12:57 PM
Update..

WOW.. Finally started to see FLOOOWWWWEEERRRRRSSSSS...

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Haven't had the motivation to work on the waterfall. Not in 100+ degree weather. Thanks all for the support on the weight loss too.. :-P

Thunder..

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"Gnats are deceased gardners that annoy you when they think you're messing up."
by netwiz on August 10, 2006 07:08 AM
What beautiful flowers!! What types are they? Wow!

Joanne
by ND farm girl on August 10, 2006 07:39 AM
Absolutely love this! Great job! How do you solar lights work? Are they very bright at night? Beautiful!

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PattyM
by penny in ontario on August 10, 2006 08:21 AM
Those are incredible looking flowers!

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by ThunderBolt on August 13, 2006 12:29 PM
Top: Crystal Dahlia - Gorgeous LARGE pink blooms. I have some purple and red one mixed in the bunch on both sides.

Middle: Can you guess? Here's a pic of the entire plant with flowers:

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Bottom: Dwarf Canna Lucifer

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"Gnats are deceased gardners that annoy you when they think you're messing up."
by ThunderBolt on August 13, 2006 12:33 PM
Oh.. I almost forgot.. WOW.. Here is another one that just started blooming. Not sure what it is. The marker I put next to them is gone but they're producing awesome purple 12" long buds like these:

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If someone can tell me what they are I'd appretiate it.

Thunder

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"Gnats are deceased gardners that annoy you when they think you're messing up."
by ThunderBolt on August 13, 2006 12:42 PM
quote:
How do you solar lights work? Are they very bright at night?
Actually I was kind of disappointed with them. Although they're really nice looking when they're charged up and strategically placed throughout the bed, the problem is that most of the day 1/2 the flowerbed is in the shade and they don't charge that well and only stay lit for about 2 hours after sunset. I tried to place them further to the front but I don't like the way they looked.

I'm resorting to an electrical system as we speak and will replace them.

However, I've planted some Alison Whites along my driveway and I'll be putting the solar ones in between them. They're not too bright either. They give off a low yellow glow which look really nice when they're engulfed by foliage. I'll shoot a picture tonight and post it for you.

Thunder

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"Gnats are deceased gardners that annoy you when they think you're messing up."
by gardenfairy on August 13, 2006 01:54 PM
The middle plant is an Acidanthera. My 5 year old daughter planted some in May, but it didn't flower this year. Hopefully it will next year!!

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Monica

"Life is not measured by the number of breaths you take, but by the moments that take your breath away."
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God gave us memories so we can have roses in the winter.
by ThunderBolt on August 13, 2006 02:30 PM
I looked that up and you're absolutley right..

Gladiolus callianthus is the real name for them. This is why I love this forum.. You ALL know yer stuff. :-P

Thanks Monica..

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"Gnats are deceased gardners that annoy you when they think you're messing up."
by gardenfairy on August 13, 2006 03:44 PM
I Love your flowerbed! I can't wait to see your waterfall. Keep us posted, we all love pictures!!!

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Monica

"Life is not measured by the number of breaths you take, but by the moments that take your breath away."
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God gave us memories so we can have roses in the winter.
by patches1414 on August 14, 2006 12:12 PM
Everything is so beautiful [flower] and looks terrific! [thumb] You've put in a lot of hard work and it shows. [Wink] I can't wait to see the waterfall either! [Wink] Great pictures, thanks for sharing! [muggs]

Congratulations on your weight loss! [clappy] You've done a great job there too! [thumb]

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"Lord, I love you and I need you, come into my heart, and bless me, my family, my home, and my friends, in Jesus' name. Amen!"
by gardenfairy on August 16, 2006 08:17 AM
Hi Thunderbolt, I believe the last plant, the purple one is a Blazing Star (Liatris spicata)

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Monica

"Life is not measured by the number of breaths you take, but by the moments that take your breath away."
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God gave us memories so we can have roses in the winter.
by loz on August 16, 2006 10:11 AM
I was just reading through and was going to say Liatris too! [thumb]

Everything is looking so nice, you must be very proud of what you've done! Give yourself a pat on the back! [thumb]
by ND farm girl on August 16, 2006 12:43 PM
Okay- too many names of plants flying around here for me. Would you mind listing what you planted there? There was one in particular - the ones right in front of the Red Star Spike.

I love them all!

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PattyM
by ThunderBolt on August 18, 2006 12:08 PM
Gardenfairy 2 - Thunder 0

Yessss.. Good Job.

Thanks
Thunder

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"Gnats are deceased gardners that annoy you when they think you're messing up."
by ThunderBolt on August 18, 2006 12:10 PM
ND Farm Girl..

Those are Cordyline "Red Star"

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"Gnats are deceased gardners that annoy you when they think you're messing up."
by Pianolady on August 18, 2006 03:54 PM
It's so nice to see someone else using gardening as an exercise! My doctor told me my gardening wasn't really exercise, I told him he didn't know what I meant by "gardening", and that he should come try it for a day. I lost a ton of weight, and all the gardening was DIY by myself, and it definitely helped. Plus, I had that desire to rub the doctors' comments in his face and prove him wrong. Maybe that was his intent. I didn't go back to that doctor for 2 years, and freaked him out completely at my next visit. LOL

Here's before gardening/after gardening. I was easily over 250 pounds at one time. Congratulations with your weightloss!
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by gailo on August 21, 2006 06:57 AM
WOW! Pianolady you are just awesome! Congrats on the job well done and proving the doc wrong.

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gailo

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