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Garden Tour, Mulch and More

In this week’s garden tour, it’s time to mulch and more! Wait until you see how pretty the gardens look this week!

The New Jersey weather this week had its ups and downs.

Some days were beautiful and others were damp, foggy, and chilly.

I took advantage of the nicer days and spread mulch throughout the front beds.

I usually do both the front and back beds myself, but as I’m aging, it’s taking me longer to do.

To haul several yards of mulch to the backyard is becoming too big a task for me, so this year, we hired a landscaper to do that part of the yard.

And that has been a lifesaver!

In general, I mulch the yard myself because I do not want to risk the landscaper crushing my plants that are emerging from the ground.

I have so many small perennials in the front beds and they grow so quickly, it’s worth it for me to just do it myself.

In addition to mulching, I planted some cool-season vegetables in the backyard garden.

Oh and the spring flowers are kicking it up a notch with their blooms!

Wait until you see how beautiful the gardens look with some mulch and more!

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What is Mulch?

Mulch is a layer of material that is applied to the soil.

It can be made from hay, wood, newspaper, and other organic materials.

What is Mulch Used For?

It’s important to mulch gardens.

But why?

Here are a few reasons why mulching the garden is important.

  • Mulch helps retain moisture in the soil.
  • It helps suppress weeds.
  • Mulch helps keep roots cool.
  • It prevent frost heaving in winter.
  • Applying mulch improves the garden’s appearance.
  • Mulch breaks down over time and enriches the soil.

What is Mulch Made Out Of?

There are two different types of mulch – organic and inorganic.

Organic mulch includes:

  • pine needles
  • wood chips
  • newspaper
  • chopped leaves
  • straw
  • compost
  • grass clippings
  • and other organic materials

Inorganic mulch includes landscape fabric and black plastic.

Garden Tour (2019): Spreading Mulch and More

During the growing season of 2019, I photographed my gardens each week to document how the beds grew, bloomed, and changed.

Wait until you see how different the gardens look (and grew)!

The Front Garden Tour

Since the front gardens are my labor of love, this is where I spend most of my time early in the growing season.

The front flowering crabapple tree has been blooming for almost a week now!

It is a current haven for pollinating bees – they are literally covering the tree.

I used to order twelve yards of mulch and spread it myself. Since I am only doing the front and sides of the house myself this year, I only ordered five. It takes a while to get through it all but I made some progress!

While I was spreading mulch and more beneath it, the happily buzzing bees sounded like running water – it is so cool!

The tulips, pansies, creeping phlox, forget-me-nots, and viburnum are still putting on quite a show.

The bachelor’s button, salvia, and dianthus that I planted last week are all doing well and blooming early since I purchased them from the nursery.

My daughter Shana picked up a Very Berry Refresher from Starbucks for me while I was mulching the front garden. Ahhhh!

All of the perennials that I divided and moved around took well and are growing nicely.

Walking around the yard, I noticed all of the bleeding hearts and magnolia trees are in full bloom.

And it looks like my alliums, catmint, and rhododendrons should all start blooming sometime next week!

The front flowering crabapple tree is a haven for pollinating bees.

They are completely covering the tree and sound so happy buzzing away up there.

Here is a view of the front border right after I finished mulching it.

I love how the flowers “pop” against the fresh mulch.

See what a layer of mulch can do to the garden?

It’s worth the effort.

Another view of the front border after mulching the beds.

The two urns flanking the front door will be redone as we approach Mother’s Day with annuals.

I will plant the tulips, daffodils, and pansies that are currently in there in one of my gardens somewhere sometime next week.

View from the viburnum.

If your hardiness zone can take a viburnum, get one!

Not only are they beautiful to look at while they are in bloom, but they smell incredible too!

Dianthus, muscari, forget-me-nots, red tulips, and creeping phlox are all blooming here.

One of the sedums I recently divided and transplanted is next to the dianthus.

This might be one of my favorite pictures of the week.

I love the white tulips with the purple-bluish hues of bachelor’s button, creeping phlox, and forget-me-nots.

Close up of Bachelor’s Button
This was a great year for my red tulips!

The Backyard Gardens Tour

I am often asked if the front gardens are the only gardens I have.

The answer is no.

I usually start gardening in the front first because the plants start blooming very early there and it’s the first thing we see.

Since we are not in the backyard much in early spring, I put off working back there until Mother’s Day because several of the backyard plants are annuals or tender plants.

Our deck, berry, and vegetable gardens, as well as all of my containers, are all located in the backyard.

While there isn’t too much to see back there right now, the gardens are starting to green up and fill in.

Since the landscaper just finished mulching the backyard beds, let me take you on a quick tour.

As you walk into my backyard, this is the view you see.

The shed garden houses my vegetables.

Since I had trouble growing grass in front of the vegetable bed, I turned it into a flowering shrub and perennial garden.

I mainly used cuttings or divisions from other areas of my yard to fill this bed.

Since sharing this post in 2019, the backyard gardens have changed tremendously.

To see what they look like now, CLICK HERE.

Real-life here…The vegetable garden is currently a work in progress.

I just planted some different lettuce varieties, broccoli, Brussel sprouts, and some strawberries.

And I still need to weed and add more pea gravel to the walkway area.

Truth be told, this whole garden needs an overhaul.

I want to repaint this shed and redesign the beds with new wood because it is falling apart.

As you walk into my backyard, the berry garden is to your left as you round this corner.

Sadly, the play area does not get used as much as it once did.

I am considering giving it away but for sentimental reasons, have not done so yet.

The other side of my yard houses a hosta garden, flowering shrubs and evergreens.

Our magnolia tree is currently blooming.

Also pictured here are a later blooming viburnum and spirea.

I don’t have a lot of orange tulips in the yard but I love these.

They were an Easter gift from my mother-in-law a few years ago.

I love watching tulips in the garden.

On bright sunny days, they open like this, but on cool, cloudy days, they close.

Thank you so much for joining me on another garden tour.

In case you missed last week’s tour or want to see how much the garden has changed, you can see it here.

I hope you enjoyed checking out what’s blooming this week and look forward to sharing next week’s tour with you!

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Enjoy a beautiful day! xo

Stacy Ling

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Happy planting – enjoy your day! xo

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