Sunday, May 2, 2010

The joys of compost

My sweet husband made me a compost bin this weekend! It must be love. He built me a one cubic yard box with an opening at the bottom front for easy access. It's just waiting to be filled with yard waste and coffee grounds (there WILL be lots of those!), veggie peelings and fruit cores. Our back yard is VERY sandy, since the builder stripped the topsoil, so it's crying for organic matter. A few years of homemade black gold ought to work wonders on the planting beds I dug out.

DH also bought 7 bags of pine bark mulch, which I happily spread around. I need about 25 more bags, so a few more weeks ought to see the job done. I prefer pine bark to other mulches because it looks natural, and breaks down easily (but not TOO quickly).

I'm really pleased with how the garden is starting to come together. Really, we've made a LOT of progress since we moved in almost a year ago. I'll try to get some before/after shots to share with you soon.

Although I have quite a few seedlings to plant out, I'll still need to buy some annuals this spring. I want to find golden marigolds - not the limy-yellow ones, or the orange ones, but true sunshine yellow ones. I have a particular idea how the colors in the front should go together; we'll see how it works out.

I'm surprised at what has sprouted well for me via winter sowing (salvias, tender hibiscus 'Manihot,' all sorts of zinnias), and what hasn't sprouted at all (cosmos, dianthus, dicentra - which normally do well). I'll have to go looking for the ones that are MIA at a nursery. I really want the white cosmos to accent the bright colors out front, and the dicentra eximia (fern leaf bleeding hearts) for my shade garden. I love the patterns and frills of dianthus 'Chianti' and 'Victoriana,' which are so far not sprouting for me at all. That's gardening - always an adventure, never the same two years in a row.