How gardens are made – or not.

In a way, my gardens have been too successful. I planted tomatoes where they didn’t have gl berries P1040889room to grow, and have had to drastically prune them back so that I could get in there to pick them as they ripen. No pretty picture to show you there.

The fennel grew so lovely – now I realize it was overgrown and woody before I picked it. I’m eating it anyway, and the edible parts are yummy. Next year will be my third growing fennel and it should be the charm.

Rudyard Kipling said,

“Gardens are not made by singing ‘Oh how beautiful,’ and sitting in the shade.”

That goes for harvesting, too! But the making I need to do today and next week concerns seeds…. Before my next trip to see grandchildren, I have a few weeks to get seeds planted in flats in the greenhouse, and to water them once or more daily until they are big enough to set out in the garden where they will get automatic watering from then on.P1050162

What seeds? I don’t even know yet. But perhaps these that I received from Prairie Moon. I saw a picture on a blog post, of unidentified coneflowers growing wild on the prairie, and researched to find out what variety it might be, and where to buy seeds. It turns out they are Echinacea pallida. The company sent me milkweed seeds also, as a gift, and I dug out my own milkweed I had collected a couple of years ago.P1050165 I’m not even sure that I can successfully plant them now to have plants to set out in the spring. Probably I should be reading up on that instead of writing and speculating!

My front yard is taking a lot of attention. In July we laid cardboard and mulch thickly all over the lawn (this is called “sheet mulching”) to kill it, and now that that has been done stonemasons are beginning work on a walkway and a wall. gl P1050150

Later we’ll landscape with some plants about which I am still deciding. I had two rosemary bushes in the front, one of which was about 25 years old. Landscape Lady said it looked like a Bristlecone Pine, and at first we were going to keep it around for its venerableness. But it wasn’t that worthy, and would scratch and poke me twice a year when I took the pruners to it, over the years shaping it into its crotchety self. I didn’t want to go through that one more time….so I took parting pictures.

gl P1040918

Now that I have great soil and many options for growing various things, I don’t know if I will ever have a chance of “keeping up” with my garden. But I plan to go on enjoying it, and reporting about it here. Perhaps even while sitting in the shade.

gl bee on rosemary
bee on rosemary in its younger years

13 thoughts on “How gardens are made – or not.

  1. Oh, oh, clearly your thumb is too green! That is really a great problem to have:)

    I have been sheet mulching with cardboard and straw as well. It really is the most effective way to get rid of weeds with very little effort. Looking forward to seeing your new wall. As you know, I have a great interest in walls right now:)

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  2. Doesn’t good soil make one feel hopeful? Next year we shall dump a great load of fine black dirt in our front garden. I’m already looking forward to it.

    I avoid the cucumber beds because they are producing at record speed. Maybe today I shall simply cut a few zinnias.

    Your garden is a great work, GJ. I love it.

    I’d like to have a sniff of that old rosemary.

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  3. While i haven’t a place to plant a garden, I’ve been enjoying learning about our native plants, and it will be a delight to follow the development of yours. Here’s a photo of a friend’s butterfly garden in the Texas hill country — thick with coneflower and blue mistflower. Can you find all the butterflies? I think there are five.

    I’ve become a volunteer at a local nature center, and once I’ve finished my training, I may be working in the native plant nursery. It will be a good chance for me to dig in the dirt, too.

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    1. What a beautiful garden your friend has, and the butterflies add to the color! I hope you enjoy digging in the dirt; I’ll be looking forward to reading on your blog about the native plants of Texas.

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