Monday, March 23, 2009

Waiting out the cold and drizzle

Today is a cold damp day, just in the mid 40's.
I thought I'd share some of my project plans and a pretty ground cover.

Here is my small vegetable plot out in the back.
I'll get my peas started in a week or two out there and also try getting some lettuce growing soon. You might be shocked that the peas aren't in yet, but really, it snowed just last week! I think I have some time. Right now there is some cardboard covering the plot in an effort to keep weeds from getting too much of a head start.

Here is a row of roses freshly pruned and ready for some new growth. They came with the house and I don't know what kind they are. They have very large and nicely scented roses. One is pink and the other is more peachy colored with pink in the center. The one on the far right always battles powdery mildew and grows like it might be a climber???

Here is something that needs work. The hydrangea at the corner of the house. I just learned that it should have been pruned after it flowered last summer. Well, I plan to prune it this evening. We will see what happens after that!

My favorite ground cover at the moment. It's a rock cress. I picked 3 of these up at Carpenito's three or four years ago and was so surprised when they came back the next year! They are planted in a very hot, sunny south facing bed in the back and are largely neglected in the summer. I love them because they have spread more each year and take very little effort to keep around. I learned to snip them back a bit in early spring and again after they flower. It is so nice to go out and be surprised by their early flowering. Last spring, I bought a few more to put out front.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

The start of a new year in the garden

The first daffodils March 18, 2009

This year, many of my New Year's resolutions had to do with gardening. I've only been working in my garden for four years, and for the first two of those years my time was limited so I didn't do much more than grow some peas and zucchini, plant a few annuals out front, and prune the roses that came with the house. Last year, I was able to devote a little more time and I learned quite a bit. I grew zucchini, cucumbers, carrots, a few herbs, and four different tomatoes. I also started lots of annual and perennial flowers from seeds and tended them indoors until the time was right for them to go outside.

Nearing the end of summer, I began thinking of how I could do things differently and better the next time around. This year I hope to plant a bigger variety of vegetables and I look forward to seeing the perennials I started from seed last year reappear. If I can find the time and energy (or help) I'd like to start some new vegetable beds along the edges of our back yard.

I love cottage gardens and I would like to someday work toward having one. For now though my front garden sits like a little oasis on a field of grass. I planted cottage garden type plants in the little oasis but I know I have a long way to go. But I like to look at my flowers, herbs and tomatoes out there even though they are not surrounded by a lovely brick or stone wall. I plan to post photos as things start to grow.

First, I'll start with a few of my survivors:

We had a fairly cold winter with a lot of snowfall for this area. I was surprised by a couple of my little plants that made it, though maybe with a bit of damage.

Here is a parsley I planted in a container July 2008. It lived through a foot of snow being piled on top, and a few smaller snowfalls after that. Last week, I harvested most of it to add to a lasagna.

Then there is the primrose that barely survived. You can tell I have a slug population, but nonetheless, this little flower is ready for another spring!

What a tough little flower.