"She refused to be bored, chiefly because she wasn't boring." Zelda Fitzgerald

Monday, March 5, 2012

A Garden Plot

Photo credit to: http://www.thegardenlady.org/
This morning started out so chill and bland and then as the day tumbled on it got brighter and clearer until there was warm golden sunlight pouring in on the potted fig, leaving cozy puddles of light on the floor. If only we had a cat. But we don't, instead we have me. So, I sat in the sun pools and read books to the boys and vacuumed the rug and then flipped through another sheaf of garden catalogs that came up the steps in the arm of the postman.

Nib, big book lover

Ru, my biggest book hound. Consuming Mr. Popper's Penguins as fast as I will read.

Here are five garden problems I have at the moment
  1.  I need to figure out proper up-keep for a gravel drive. Our gets all weedy every two minutes, and short of weeding it by hand meticulously (which I did do once or twice last year), how do folks really pull it off?
  2. I need a reminder to put in fall veggie crops. I always, always forget. Maybe one of those, send-yourself-an-email-in-the-future things would solve this. Hmmmm.....
  3. I need more chives. They are great for eating, they're completely fuss-free and they're a beautiful landscaping plant and rabbits don't eat them. That said, I can't bear to buy them. Everyone has chives, right? I'll have to get some divisions from someone.
  4. I am looking for some big shallow circular planters to nab. Preferably free! Am keeping an eye out on curbs. I want to stack them up in graduated sizes inside the giant cement planter on the lawn to make a towering kind of fountain effect. Then...I'm going to fill the whole thing with a cascade of strawberry plants.
  5. I have to figure out what can live under yew plants. Last year they looked like they had been plopped down into the sea of wood chips overnight. Very barren. Maybe I just need a few impatiens?

And here are five plants I'm most excited to be planting this year:
  1. A bridalwreath bush. This is a beautiful shrub that has everything but fragrance. It looks like a big frothy white fountain in May or so and is so covered with little white blossoms that you can scarcely see the plant itself at all. When I was a little girl I sighed over this bush and promised myself I'd buy one when I saw it blooming, every spring in forgotten doorways of abandoned homesteads in Northern Michigan. It is one of those steadfast shrubs that outlives occupants with ease. And you have to admit the name is high romance.
  2. Strawberry plants! Hooray! Am so excited to start putting in the small fruits.
  3. A climbing rose. I'm thinking to buy a deeply ruffled, scented yellow variety...the kind that blooms from June till frost. Still not sure if it should live in the back and climb up over the basement door in the stone foundation or in the front to camouflage the electrical wires and box on the the face of the house.
  4. A double mock-orange. This is another old fashioned charmer. A big frothy shrub that blooms all multi-petaled white during the garden's peak. Just trying to figure out where to put this one too. Too many options. I kind of fancy the idea of putting it by the back door where I'll smell it every time we walk in and out. It has a wonderful, sweet smell. I plan to be quite bowled over by it. 
  5. High bush blueberries. I just dug holes and put all five of them in the ground. I know it seems early but the shrubs I ordered came in the mail and they were still dormant so I gave it a go. The ground isn't frozen and so I am hoping for success. Some are going to fill holes in our hedge and some will mix into the perennial border along the front of the house.
And the top five changes I'm making since last season:
  1. I will put something in the giant cement planter in the backyard. It won't be a naked, slightly weedy odd spot in the yard. My plan is: strawberries!
  2. I will mulch thoroughly and often with grass clippings to keep plants from getting weedy or wilty. Have to locate a safe source for bags of discarded, non-treated bits though. Can't just go picking them curbside if you wanna be clean and green. Hmm....still thinking on that.
  3. I will get my garden in early! I was too lax last year and didn't realize that the hawks nesting above our house keep the rabbit population at bay until after midsummer when they're young fledge and suddenly whatever is in the ground and thriving is all there will be. Plants not established or tall will be munched. Not to mention I'm having a baby in June. I have no fall-back plan. I must plant early.
  4. I will keep the decorative planters full of pretty things. I did this once or twice last year but there were some real odd, patchy arrangements at certain times. No reason to let little contained, manageable bits get lost. I can do it!
  5. I'm carving a path through the lawn from the front door to the driveway. Everyone walks that way anyhow so you might as well go with the flow. I'm excited about putting in little stepping stones and dividing my thyme to go in between. Can't have too many pretty winding paths around!

What is on your green little hearts today? Have any solutions to my five conundrums or some exciting planting plans or changes of your own? I'd love to hear the deep, dark dish on all of it. My thumb needs a little fodder this time of year, we can't simply go mad while we wait you know!


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