Saturday, April 12, 2014


     I love spring! I can't wait to rake out the lawn and garden beds and get my hands into the soil! The past few years I have had various times of not being in the garden as much as I'd like. One year it was a month long trip that kept me out of things in April, another year I completely ignored it as I prepared for my daughter's early fall wedding, the next year it was a month long trip in just seems there is always something that thwarts me. This year will probably be no different as I am hoping to get my knees replaced and while I haven't seen the orthopedist yet, I am hoping it will be done soon. So, I am currently spending as much time in the garden as I can. I treated my self and bought a cart to sit on that hopefully I can use if the knees are done - its really kind of cool .
     Last year I made a major mistake - I had bought a spray bottle of an antif-fungal for my roses which inevitably get black spot. I had been so good about spraying every seven days and  things were looking good. One day I went out and not only sprayed them, but also the soil around them figuring I would kill the spores that way. A few days later I looked out our porch window and it looked like some of my roses were dying. I went outside to the first garden and sure enough, all the leaves were crumbling and dry and the stalks were black. I went to the next garden and saw the same thing. I thought some weird sort of blight hit them until in horror I went to my garden closet and pulled out the spray bottle.

I had grabbed the wrong one! Instead of spraying them with the anti-fungal, I had sprayed them with Round Up!! It looked like I had killed 10 beautiful rose bushes! I quickly rinsed them down and decided to take a wait and see attitude.  Towards the end of the summer, I saw some of them were actually sending up some shoots and leaves and I was so encouraged...until this bizarre winter of massive snow storms and below zero weather. I went out  yesterday to look at them and it doesn't look like there was much of a survival rate. So, now I have to decide if I am going to spend the money for new ones. I am guessing I won't buy 10, more like 2 if at all.

     My mom and dad loved to garden and things bloomed beautifully for them - even now, while living in a retirement village with a small garden, my dad is out there checking what he has and thinking of new things he can try. My brother is also a great landscaper. I do alright, but I know I can do better. Up until late last summer I had a predominantly shady yard. Sunshine was a rare commodity, so I couldn't grow vegetables or some of the beautiful flowers you see that need full sun. Then my neighbor cut down two of his trees that shaded my yard. I have sun! I really want to put a raised bed garden and transplant some of the plants that needed more sun like my blueberries. But I guess I am going to have to be quick about it. So, the past two days I have been raking and pulling weeds like a madwoman! I still need to prepare some of the beds for transplants. I live in the northeast and we grow rocks here! You cannot dig down more than two inches without hitting stone. For a 3x5 foot garden, this is what I pulled out of the ground and I only went about 10-12 inches deep - you can see my problem! Its going to take a lot of digging along that eastern fence line to be able to get those blueberries in.

     When I first got married, I knew nothing about gardening, but I was game! I never do anything halfway, so that first summer I dug out the area around the front of our house and carefully planned for fall plantings of tulips, hyacinth, daffodils and other spring bulbs. I had circles and squares and all sorts of pleasing plans. Next up was the side garden which was a quarter of an acre. Like I said, I tend to go whole hog on things and so I turned that whole garden over and planted everything from A-Z. We were living in Illinois at the time and oh my the soil was wonderful - rich and dark and no stones! It was very successful and I spent the summer canning and feeling very pleased with myself. The big thing I learned was how well zucchini grows! We had it coming out of our ears! I am pretty sure we ate zucchini in all kinds of dishes well into winter. It was years before I planted it again - even now it brings a quick look of horror to my husband's face when I say I am thinking of planting it! For whatever reason, it will not grow in my garden. It flowers, I see bees pollinating it, but I never get an actual zucchini. I am going to try again this summer to see if it just wasn't getting enough sun before.

      My dad innocently gave me a small trumpet vine telling me it had beautiful vermillion flowers. He did not tell me how invasive it is or wildly it grows!

I spent most of last summer trying to cut it down.
I am hoping the hacking I did at it last year, will mean I have a better chance of killing the darn thing this summer. By the way, the other problem is that everything on the plant is poisonous! I found this out when I mistakenly crunched on one of its pods thinking it was a string bean from a nearby vine - I knew the minute I bit into it that something was wrong and then noticed there were others on the plant. I went inside to look it up on the internet and ended up having to call poison control. Luckily I hadn't eaten enough to cause a problem, but with grandchildren around, I don't want this in my yard!
So, I work and wait and hope this will be the summer that everything blooms like it should, there is not blight on whatever roses I put in, my zucchinis set fruit and my blueberries thrive. How does your garden grow?

1 comment:

  1. So, I work and wait and hope this will be the summer that everything blooms