Paper Dolls for Boys

Raising 2 crafty boys and thrifting every chance I get.

Typing Without Green Thumb July 15, 2009

Filed under: Home,Uncategorized — twlowenstein @ 6:32 pm
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I think plants are lovely.  I appreciate them in pots, although I killed all mine when I became pregnant for the first time and have never felt like I had the time to try and be a better plant parent.  So I am a little freaked at the prospect of taking care of all the beautiful and currently thriving plants in our new yard.  I have always lived in an apartment and don’t think I have even so much as mowed a lawn before.  Although I think mindlessly pushing a mower is more suited to my strengths than taking care of all these delicate plants that are now OURS!

Luckily, a friend from high school (International School Bangkok, WOOT!) is a published author and plant expert extraordinaire.

Check out her first book,  Rain Gardening in the South:  Ecologically Designed Gardens for Draught, Deluge and Everything in Between,!


Anne agreed to take a look at my photos, help me identify the plants and have a game plan for avoiding a yard full of astroturf (my husband’s preference). Big thanks to my fellow Soi 39’er!  I hope the fact that I have not heard from her since I sent a ridiculous amount of photos her way doesn’t mean I overwhelmed her kindness.

I thought I would also ask you all, who I assume are much more skilled in this area than I, for a little help as well.

How do you tend to your gardens?  Do you have a schedule?  What tools do I need?  Any other tips or tricks I should know?  Can I do this?


There ia a huge vine of Wisteria in the front, it’s  beautiful and ancient.  What do I do?


Can not wait to take a photo of it in full bloom next year.  The previous owner told me a story of walking  in the neighbor hood and seeing a woman holding a big bouquet of Wisteria and when she asked about it the thief woman admitting to taking it from the green house a couple of street over.  To which the previous owner replied, “Yeah, that’s my house.”


Those plants (?) got trampled during the move, should I cut them back?


Are there weeds in this shot?  What is that billowy thing?  Oh man, I am in trouble.


These unknown plants/bushes are over taking the back steps.  How do you cut them back?  Close to the base?  Is it harmful to them?


I am pretty sure that’s Hosta but what’s that pink flower?


So pretty.  What are they?  Please tell me they are all hardy.


Oh pretty little orange plants, I will do my bests.  Please be patient.

Thanking you in advance for any help you could throw my way.  I am a little embarrassed because in my head, I am a gardener.  But all learning is good, right?!!!


12 Responses to “Typing Without Green Thumb”

  1. Faith Says:

    I’ve killed even succulents, so I’m not offering plant advice. But CONGRATS – the house is supercute and I love the shade of green.

  2. Eartha Says:

    Bless your heart. I’m in the same boat when it comes to plants. The only ones that I could identify were the hosta and the orange day lilies at the end. I’m glad that you have an expert friend who can help you.

    Just take it slow. I think you’ll enjoy gardening once you get into it and know what’s what in your yard.

  3. Paige Says:

    Hey there! Well, let’s see. Don’t cut back those plants that were trampled during the move – looks to me like they’re daylilies, and they’ll recover just fine. Those are definitely hosta (will survive and multiply no matter what), but the pink flowers…not sure. Perhaps a climbing rose? William Baffin? Try staking it up a bit. After that I see some flowering lilies, definitely hardy and will multiply. Good luck!

  4. Chris Says:

    Like what Paige says, these are easy to maintain plants. Also, kids learn very quickly, what’s a weed and what’s a plant, so count on those little fingers to help out yank things out of the dirt! (I had to PAY mine to weed, but that got them interested in planting things they could EAT).

    Let’s talk… Have garden sheers, will travel!

  5. Anne Says:

    Oh good luck, I am a terrible gardener. Your yard looks nice. I am behind reading blogs this week…I hope to catch up this weekend.

  6. Natalie Says:

    everything looks lush.

    Living in Los Angeles, I planted a drought tolerant front yard, which I try to water twice a week, but usually it is just once.

    When I lived in NC, the yard was established and I didn’t have to do too much. I only regularly watered the vegetable patch during the summer. The hubby was in charge of mowing and, oh brother, come fall there was lots of raking to do. The hostas and the day lillies are hardy.

    For the bushes by the back door, just trim them back and out of the way. Just give a nice shape. Think Edward Scissorhands. If you trim them all the way down they will just look like stumps and won’t be full for another year or so.

    Relax and have fun. You totally can do it and will learn a lot in the process. Welcome to home ownership. Have fun with your curb appeal!

  7. Sharon Says:

    Do NOT cut those tree/shrub like plants back to the base, they will never be the same. The pink flower is fairy rose, I think, very common at old homes and hardy. The orange are daylilies. I’ll ask my mom to look at your pics, she will know more.

  8. Ellen Says:

    The trampled ones next to the back steps look like day lilies, and will recover just fine — they are hardy and tough. Orange flowers (last photo) are also day lilies. If the ones next to the back steps are shorter than the orange ones and have a yellow-gold flower, they might be Stella d’Or — which is (basics here!) a shorter variety with yellow-gold flowers, often the first of the gazillion varieties of day lily to bloom.

    The tall plants with single stalk and pinkish flower are Asian lilies, also quite hardy. Some varieties are wonderfully scented. If you have tall ones with single stalks like that that have orange flowers with some dark speckles on them, they are tiger lilies (I know, they have speckles rather than stripes) or Turk’s cap lilies. And in the photo with the pink flower, I think the bush on the right edge of the photo is lilac; if so, it has already bloomed, I’m guessing in late May in your area. And in the same photo, way in the back by the fence, there is something orange that lookes like something other than lily. Maybe gazania or blanket flower, but I can’t tell without a closer look.

    I agree with Sharon about the roses, and also definitely don’t cut the bushes way back. Trim lightly to get them back out of the path, and then just trim to keep in shape. SOme things you are supposed to prune after blooming and some before (some things bloom on old growth, some on new) but unless you know what the bushes are, you won’t know that.

    I don’t know what the billowy thing is.

    Any chance you can contact the former owner for a guide to the plants?

  9. Mimi K Says:

    Traditional advise is don’t do anything in the garden for a year- then, hopefully you’ve seen it through a cycle. And it gives you an excuse to focus on other things!

  10. Mimi K Says:

    btw- I think the billowy thing is broom- one of the earliest bloomers in the spring.

  11. Ellen Says:

    Just was looking at your wonderful house photos on Facebook. The climbing vine with the orange flowers in the photo of the side porch (Cal’s habitat) I think is trumpet vine (are the flowers trumpet shaped?). That is very hardy. But a word of caution: keep it trimmed back so it doesn’t grow into your gutters or push under your shingles — it will do both if left to its own devices, and you will be sorry afterwards. It will also send out runners underground and pop up in places where you probably don’t want it — at least it does that here if Virginia, and I am ruthless about pulling up the ones that pop up elsewhere. Maybe it won’t grow quite so rampantly in Massachusetts.

    And I love the teal paint!

  12. Complete Stranger Says:

    I think the “wait a year” advice is good.

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