Apr 29, 2015

Green thumb

The weather this week is so much better than last! Sunny and 60's, and while I am still hoping we get MUCH hotter this summer, this will do for now.
Between cleaning and fixing up the inside of our home, I have set my sights outside and ventured into the gardening.
See....this is a big deal because I will (and have) kill a cactus so let's venture lightly.

I need some expert input, please, but first...how amazing are these pear tree blooms?

I have already weeded and turned up the soil to plant some (hopefully) successful sunflowers. One side of our garage is rather barren and when we first moved in we have one gloriously tall sunflower spring up and I thought it looked incredible. I planted 25 seeds yesterday so here's hoping a few of them make it!

Besides the general upkeep; I have to major questions.
The first is this space:

This little spot, I believe, has one remaining peony bloom that I have a hard time keeping alive.
I'm not sure what type of upkeep a peony takes, but as soon as it blooms, it is ALWAYS eaten by bugs and other animals.
My question is, besides that lonely peony, what else can I plant here?
It is full shade, minus late afternoon sun (think past 5pm).
I need something hearty and full-proof for the non-green thumb type.
I basically need a plant it and forget it, minus the general weeding upkeep and watering as needed.
Any suggestions on what to plant and when to plant it?
I should also note we are in Zone 5....the Midwest...northwest of Chicago.

And then I have these lovely tulips:

They are super amazing but the problem is they are growing in our woods.
We have two similarly shaped flower beds like the full shade spot, framing our side entrance. They have a few tulips that pop up but I would like to fill them in with more tulips.
My question is...can you move tulips? Meaning, if I am super careful, can I dig these up and re-plant them in the beds? I don't want to kill them, but at the same time, I also don't want to wait until Fall to plant bulbs. I'm impatient, ya know.

And with those questions, I'm off. I have a workout and errands to run before I set out to wash windows and enjoy the sun!!
Thanks for reading!


  1. You can move tulips. I had some at our old house. Just dig wide around them. You'll probably find more bulbs under the dirt, too. I kill everything. My MIL gave me some bamboo. Apparently indestructible. It's dead.

  2. How funny, I just had my mother in law over to help me rework our back yard (since it was destroyed) and I came to check out your blog today and voila! More landscaping :)

    I am horrible at this stuff, not my forte. I have like, a dumb thumb. Whatever you decide will be better than I can come up with! I have to say though, I live for Peonies in June :)

  3. I have a black thumb, so I am no help - although I have kept one plant alive from my husbands memorial - nearly six months and it's still alive - a record for me!

  4. Hostas! They cannot be killed. I like variegated kind (they sprout pretty little purple flower antennas in the summer). And you can divide them and split them as many times as you need to. They will get nice and full, too. If you planted one hosta where your lone peony is, it would probably fill the entire space. Hostas are really low maintenance. Just pull up the dead stuff in the spring and they'll start shooting up blooms again. Peonies prefer full sun to partial sun which is why your lone bloom probably isn't doing too well. A hydrangea might do well in the shady spot. They prefer shade to partial sun. They come in a lot of pretty colors as well. Those would be my suggestions for low maintenance, and sort of "one and done" planting. I love flowers but I always buy too many and give myself too much work. Those would be easy ones.

  5. Also - I think you are supposed to move tulips in the fall. They like the long winter to recuperate. You might want to double check that, but I think that's what I read.