Sunday, June 14, 2009

How Does Your Garden Grow?

We've been doing a lot walking in our neighborhood this past week and it's been fun and interesting observing all the gardens. Some are carefully planned, some have made some gallant attempts and others are pretty much weed gardens. Most everyone has the same plants (all bought at one of three local nurseries) so it's a challenge to seek out more unusual plants and flowers. I love the hidden gardens that we have seen. There are even some hidden homes that I never noticed before, blocked from view by trees or shrubs, sometimes unruly overgrowth. One home has an old bicycle as an ornamental element (?) O.k. Lots of trees have been cut down, due to that bad storm we had at the end of 2007. Which has given some people on the hill a view they never had.

I wish I had a gardener's touch. I can only read about it and observe others' creativity. Perhaps I just lack confidence. Is it a learned technique? Or are you born that way?

The book I'm reading is discussing gardens in Italy. Now there's some creativity, to be sure. Centuries-old creativity, in the form of mazes, pergolas and fountains. Gardens were often an extension of the home, apparently. I guess when you live in a place that allows you to be outside often, a lovely garden would be like having another room. That certainly can't be done here.

I will be content with my geranium in a pot on my deck, flanked by our potted strawberries, peppers and tomatoes. For now. If I start reading soon, perhaps I can expand my horizons next year.


jugglingpaynes said...

LOL! Gardening is definitely a learning process! My sister was the one with the green thumb. My motto is that if it can't thrive on neglect, it won't last long here. ;o)

Really, you only need to know three things when it comes to gardening:

1: What plants are native to your area? Look to your local cooperative extension or do an online search for native plants for your area. These are the most likely to survive without to much care in your garden.

2: Know your soil. I have clay soil. After lots of trial and error, I learned where the wetter areas are in the yard that need plants that don't mind wet feet, what parts get very dry and need tougher drought resistant plants.

3: Know your light exposure. How much sun do you get? Which parts of your yard are in shade most of the time? I'm still figuring out plants for the deepest shade in my yard.

This is all from experience. I never thought I would have much of a nice garden, but it is slowly coming together after ten years of work. You need to be patient and use your winters for reading and planning. There are great books to help, I can list some of my favorites if you like.

Also, set aside a plot for your kids. One of them might show a talent for making things grow. Marina handles all things vegetable in her 8x8 plot that I set up for her when she was nine.

Peace and Laughter,

Mama Self said...

This year, my garden isn't growing. Even my herbs, which are easy, are unhappy with the CO weather changes. Of course, not watering them while I was out of town didn't help. ;)

Trey's struggling a little this year at camp. He doesn't get to spend much time with folks, so he's lonely. And you know that I'm struggling knowing he's unhappy. But his back is better, and this time will be an opportunity to grow in he Lord. Time for me to pray again... :)

I liked what you said about feeling younger with braces. I got a huge silver purse that did the trick for me this spring. Maybe it's in the silver...

Enjoy the rest of you week.

appleleaf said...

You can tell a born gardener instantly! Your kitchen style garden on your deck sounds nice and homey anyway.
Thanks for your comment. It was fun & I'm glad you could listen in. A few more speaking opportunities have come and after that one, I think I'll handle them.
I smiled reading about your garage sale. You know, we've had a few cases of swine flu over here too. First there were cases reported in Victoria, Northern Territory and Western Australia, so we knew it would only be a matter of time to hit South Australia as we were hemmed in by it. Especially the way mad South Aussies rush over to Melbourne to watch football matches in packed stadiums.
Anyway, sounds like your garage sale was successful.

Leingang Family said...

This is the first year I've ever had a garden. You can do it! It's so fun and not as complicated as the gardening books make it sound! I love my little patch of green and growth! I just wish there weren't weeds... LOL