In keeping with tradition I am posting this year’s Herb Fair haul. And in further keeping with tradition I was a complete glutton.
Gardening for the People
You Grow Girl was launched in February 2000, as a community for gardeners not unlike myself; people who want to grow but whose garden space is less than ideal. And for those of us with shallow pockets but a big, crazy love for tending plants and making a meal from homegrown fare, wherever home may be. – Read on…
Guest post by Zesty
I’ve decided June 1 is New Year’s Day at least when it comes to gardening. It certainly doesn’t make much sense to go with January 1. In June I can get outside, take some action and not indulge in any whimsy.
For whimsy and wishful thinking have ruled the day for far too long. It would be fair to say that since moving to my home almost three years ago, my garden has been an unmitigated, or perhaps more accurately, an ‘untended’ disaster. Granted there have been a fair share challenges the last couple of years, the kind of challenges that don’t so much knock weeding off the radar as put it into a new hemisphere altogether.
But as with most things, there is ultimately never a ‘good time’ or a ‘right time’ or ‘time’ period. There is simply the need to get things done and it’s a need that must be met or it all goes to hell in a Kate Spade basket.
If I may refer to a moment of philosophical brilliance as spoken by Edward Griffin: ‘There’s a time to fall apart and a time ta get funky. THIS is one of those funky times.’
So this weekend, it gets funky. I?m going to get out there and get the great purge done.
I made a good start two weeks ago. I purchased a Godsend of a gardening tool from Lee Valley. It’s called a dandelion digger and is the best $34.50 I have ever spent. I got done in one hour what would have taken me a half-day of hand picking on bended knee. After filling a compost bag with dandelions and their assorted compatriots, I was feeling satisfied. My paternal grandfather, who was genetically generous in giving me a talent for all things green, would be proud I thought.
The next day I came home from work and saw on my lawn an invasion of fresh yellow dandelion blooms. I thought what my grandfather would have thought.
I’ve since discovered that dandelions are the Hulk Hogan of the garden. They never really go away.
But I digress.
The dandelions made me feel so defeated. All that work and for what? It seemed that my desire to catch up with my Portuguese neighbours would never be fulfilled. In my neighbourhood it’s not keeping up with the Jones. It’s keeping up with the Fernandes and the Cabrals. My friend Joe, who is Portuguese once told me “For some men, it’s the trophy wife or the car. For some it’s the money. But for a Portuguese man? It’s his house.”
He wasn’t kidding. Being a less than diligent gardener in a predominantly Portuguese neighbourhood is a little slice of self-esteem hell. I’m willing to concede that part of my discomfort with the state of my garden is not just a matter of personal pride, it’s plain old peer pressure. Every day I walk past perfectly manicured grass so dense and richly green, you could carpet a living room with it. Top-heavy hydrangeas and bleeding hearts virtually dripping with blooms abound. I was lucky to get two buds on my Prince rose last year. There’s this awful feeling that that when folks are out on their porches in the summer, they’re looking at our place saying “Oh yeah. Nice people, but (insert multitude of gardening sins here.)”
So after a lost long weekend in soggy Huntsville where my spouse and I got pelted with rain, slept in an uncomfortable bed, saw the odd moose and canoed for all of ten minutes I now have this weekend to catch up.
I?m not being overly ambitious. I just want to finish clearing out the weeds, prune back the roses and ground pines and lay some mulch. The next week I?m going to plant some seeds and see what happens.
Hey, ya gotta start somewhere.Leave a comment
My seeds have arrived. Some are just in time for planting and some are kind-of late but manageable. Just to be clear I have done a first batch of seeds. This is a second, last-minute batch. They are all heirloom varieties purchased from Seed Savers. I’m very excited! I’ve already opened every packet and inspected all the seeds. I suspect most gardeners do this as a result of the pure excitment of it all. However, I will admit that at times I’ve purchased seeds just to see what they looked like, with no intention of growing them. That might be slightly more than a gardening quirk.
Here’s what I purchased:
Over May 24 weekend we did more work in the side garden. After several years we have finally expanded the garden to take up all the space next to the sidewalk. Unfortunately it looks really unbalanced now. One side has lush growth and is surrounded by fencing but the other side is all new, small perennials with no fencing. Hopefully it will even out a bit as the summer progresses and the plants grow.
Despite being trampled and mistreated flowers are blooming in the shade garden. Here are a few photos taken this afternoon.
Bleeding Heart – People say they are old-fashioned and boring but I disagree. Its unfurled, reddish foliage is one of the first signs of spring and the flowers look like crazy fifties bouffant hairdos or milkmaid bonnets.
Violets – A diehard anti-purple person who likes violets — go figure.
These are not from my garden but when I saw them it reminded me that spring is nearly over.Leave a comment