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A Little Dirt in the Skirt.

March 21, 2012

I am hands down a prepster but I can definitely get down and dirty with the best of them.  On Monday I mentioned how I filled my weekend ‘flower withdrawl’ by running to Lowes and buying a small amount of flowers  and ferns (found here).  When I took the pups out after work last night those darn black falts of blooming Dianthus flowers just kept staring at me.  It was an unexpected, awesome 88 degree afternoon, so I said “why not’?  I tackled those blooming flowers into the moist ground and got a little dirty along the way.

At the beginning of last summer the landscaping on the right side of our house looked like this: circa 1964 Yews and Boxwoods.

I put a little dirt in the skirt and removed those god awful Yews and cut back the way over grown boxwoods with the help of my lopping shears.

I couldn’t find Dianthus flowers to match what was already planted along the landscape bricks so for the time being I used some random annual flowers from Lowes until I could replant this year.

They were an absolutely beautiful flower (I can’t remember what they were called) but the fact that they don’t come back year after year is a major boo in my book.  After the  annuals died this winter (and I bought new patio furniture in case you noticed from the old picture above) I was left with this hot mess in the front bed.  (And yes, I have a cement pug that watches over my flower, nerd alert, I know).

And a close up in case you can’t really see the ugliness from your computer monitor.

Hence the reason for buying these beauties on Sunday.

Although these flowers are already in bloom they will eventually match what I currently have planted, outlining all of our flower beds. I use potting soil and Lesco 12-12-12 fertilizer when planting every plant or shrub.

Fertilizer is identified by numbers indicating the percent of each nutrient that is contained in the product.  Most fertilizer has a 3 number identification, such 12-12-12 (like I use).  These 3 numbers refer to the percentages of the major nutrients: Nitrogen, Phosphate, and Potash.  So a bag of 12-12-12 fertilizer contains 12% nitrogen, 12% phosphate and 12% potash (stuff I’ve learned from my father, the agronomist).

The first step was removing the old dead flower remains…rest their soul.

Once I dug a hole deep enough with my pretty little pink gardening shovel (yes, I’m that girl), I added a little top soil and 12-12-12 fertilizer so the roots can immediately have nutrients.

There were 16 little sprouts in each flat.  For each set I planted, I used three of them to make sure I would have a nice full plant when it completely blooms.  I want these newly planted flowers to blend in with my 5 year old existing Dianthus, afterall.

To state the obvious, I filled in each hole with the soil I shoveled out then topped each one off with more potting soil and and extra sprinkle of 12-12-12 fertilizer for luck.  I’m not exactly sure if I’m suppose to add the extra jimmies on top but I seem to do everything in excess.

I repeated the steps 11 more times.  It really didn’t take but 45 minutes.  The first plant taking the longest since I took the time to take pictures and document the process, muddy gloves and all.  Once 12 flowers were transplanted I gave each set a quenching drink of H20.

They’ll need a good drink every night for the next week or so until the roots get nestled into their new home.  In the mean time, here are some shots of the progress.

And a long shot, even though you have to really squint to see what I just planted…for now!

Of course I will eventually hit up Lowes or Home Depot in the next few weeks to buy about 30 bags of brown much.  I don’t want to spread the mulch too early this season.  I’d rather wait until late April so the yard looks all purdy when we hit the market.

What do you think, am I planting flowers way too early?  Have you planted anything already in this ridiculously warm weather?  Are you a fan of the Dianthus flower like I am?  Let us know by commenting below!

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