Thursday, May 31, 2012

how our garden grows

Vivi's patient pursuit of four-leaf clovers can consume an entire afternoon.

Much like Mary, we are contrary gardeners around here. Despite dire warnings from neighbors and strangers about critters eating the whole lot come harvest time, our seedling adventure is still chugging along. I'm unflappably optimistic about the venture, figuring all the exercise and dirt therapy is worth whatever food we must eventually offer up to the tiny garden gnomes or whatever other earthly creatures lie in wait.

Offering the kids plenty of occupying activities: house, bin o'toys, tub o'water, and a branch fort

"Digging in" my garden with compost, peat moss, and fertilizer

A few of my trophies. "Rocky" doesn't begin to describe this patch of soil.

Peonies, thanks to the lady who used to live in our house. Aren't they lovely?

Drooling over my neighbor's sweet tomato set-up. Can you believe the upside down thing really works?

Hybrid bell peppers, squash, zucchini, and a tomato (not pictured)

Three more tomatoes, raspberry, and Vivi's sunflowers

This is some kind of weedy flower that is apparently impossible to get rid of. Luckily I like it, and so do the bees.

Strawberries! I'm sad we are going to miss most of the picking season while we are on our southerly vacation.

We are making progress! This week was the biggest output of energy yet and involved lots of digging of dirt, rocks, and roots, and multiple trips back to the local farm for fertilizer, compost, and pots. Ultimately, we ended up with a 4'x8' plot in the ground (minus a spot for the tiny maple tree I couldn't bear to dig up) instead of raised beds. I couldn't find salvaged wood or cinder blocks in the time frame I wanted them, and it occurred to me I didn't mind putting in a bit of extra labor of digging in the soil. {Note about supplies for digging in: for our 4'x8' plot, I used 4 40lb. bags of composted cow manure, 1 cu.ft. of peat moss, and about 3/4 c. of organic fertilizer}. We've also added a bunch of pots in the sunny spot next to the garden plot that had too many roots to plant in the ground, and a few random pots of strawberries, herbs, and flowers here and there.

Having given you my nonchalant spiel, do you green thumbs out there have any tips about keeping away unwanted critters? Some sort of {gulp} fencing I should put in? Or {double gulp} fox urine I should spread around? Even without the garden, we could use some protection anyway against whatever omnivorous nocturnal creature is eating our garbage, be it raccoon, possum, or skunk.

Vivi's flower pot: lantana and some unknown vintage hybrid mix. Somehow they managed to make those flowers all co-exist in the same plant. Don't ask me how, but isn't it cool?
Front porch herbs: sage, thyme, and parsley (back porch has rosemary, oregano, and basil)

Update: A few hours after I posted this article, Tom Ashbrook hosted a great hour of NPR's On Point called Garden Fever. Guess his show ain't called "On Point" for nothin'! I enjoyed the discussion and learned a lot--I highly recommend it if you've got some time.


The Botany Queen said...

The pretty blue wildflower is called "spiderwort " . Horrible name for a nice plant .

The Lone Home Ranger said...

I figured you would know! It's even growing in the crack between the retaining wall and sidewalk. Heck of a lot prettier than poke weed.

Alison at NOVA Frugal Family said...

I was going to comment and let you know about the Spiderwort too! We had one clump when we moved in and it is the plant that keeps on giving. We divide and share with anyone who wants some. There is also a white version that my husband went out and bouhgt... I told him to make sure to get the smallest plant that they had since we knew we would have a ton in a short time!!

Andrea McBrady said...

I broke down and put a fence up last year.....but this year we have a stray cat that we're feeding (I'm a softy, it won't let me pet it, but I'll feed it), and I haven't seen a single rodent all year. The fence worked great (I just got a short little 3 foot fence), but apparently the cat is doing the same job. :) Good luck in your adventures!

Jawsiebelle said...

That hard to get rid of purple plant is Virginia Spiderwort, also known as Tradescantia. The Native American's used it as food and medicine. I just stumbled across your blog today and am really enjoying it.

Jawsiebelle said...

Oops! I guess I should have read the comments first! Silly me.

sarah saad said...

افضل شركة تنظيف خزانات ومنازل وشقق بالمدينة المنورة شركة غسيل خزانات ومكافحة حشرات بالمدينة المنورة ونقل عفش بالمدينة المنورة مؤسسة صفوة المدينة
شركة غسيل خزانات بالمدينة المنورة

sarah saad said...

شركة نقل اثاث بالدمام التفاؤل شركة نقل اثاث بالخبر كما انها افضل شركة نقل اثاث بالجبيل نقل عفش واثاث بالجبيل والخبر والقطيف والدمام
شركة نقل اثاث بالدمام
شركة نقل اثاث بالجبيل
شركة نقل اثاث بالقطيف

شركة المثالية لتنظيف said...

شركة مكافحة حشرات بالدمام
شركة مكافحة حشرات بالاحساء
شركة مكافحة حشرات بالجبيل
شركة المثالية لمكافحة الحشرات


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