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The Gardening Shed

Posted: May 23rd, 2008, 11:18 am
by moira finnie
Does anyone like to garden?

I love it, and, believe it or not, this is the first time that I've had a chance to put anything in the ground this year without worrying about a frost! Today, I'm putting in a longed for beginning of a fern garden at the back of my fence. Ostrich, leatherwood, and royal ferns are going to form the backbone of what I hope will be a perennial woodland area. I'll be spreading some shady garden "meadow in a can" type flowers in the same area in the hopes of some color against the delicate green.

Are you planting anything new this year in the ground or in a pot or window box? I'd love to hear about it!

Posted: May 23rd, 2008, 11:29 am
by MissGoddess
I'd like to if I had a house and garden! :P It's such a nice, soothing pursuit to me. I love the smell of earth and greenhouses---they remind me of my Grandfather, who owned a nursery.

But I grew up with a major gardener, my Mom, who has a whole big lot which she's cultivated into a gardener's paradise for herself (in Germany).

Posted: May 23rd, 2008, 11:44 am
by Mr. O'Brady
I love gardening. I rebuilt my pond last fall, and have been concentrating on getting it running properly, but I have planted a little. A new pin oak to replace two trees I lost in a wind storm last summer. Lots of potted geraniums and asparagus ferns all over my patio. All the flower and herb beds are filled with perennials and annuals that re-seed, so I rarely add anything new there. The pride of my yard: dozens of yellow columbines that are up to three feet tall, all coming from a couple of plants that I bought about twenty years ago. Coneflowers, coreopsis, black-eyed susans, various sages, and daylilies are in full bloom. However, looks like we're in for another drought, so it could all take a nosedive soon. My plants just prefer rain to a garden hose.

Posted: May 23rd, 2008, 11:59 am
by ChiO
We love gardening! And we're pretty happy with our Garden in the City.

The tulips & hyacinths were disappointing this year, but at least the daffodils gave us some early Spring flowers. Our peonies are in full bloom now, as is our giant bleeding heart. Given how cold it has been, our ferns are doing extremely well -- from the Japanese ferns to the goat's beard. Hosta -- my, my, the gardening idiot's delight! Pansies (a ChiO fave) are about the only annual we bother with anymore.

Most our garden is shade -- some extremely heavy -- so ferns & hosta became early favorites for us. And our pond is about two-thirds covered by lily pads already (amazing since I've neglected it this Spring).

We live in our garden all summer -- Mrs. ChiO sipping her gin & tonic under our grape arbor while I guzzle Campari & soda or Pimms & ginger ale and char various meats, fish & veggies with the rosemary & basil from the herb section.

New stuff: heirloom tomatoes & rapini from seeds started by Mrs. ChiO's boss (a vegetable gardening fanatic).

Posted: May 23rd, 2008, 12:07 pm
by Hollis
I too love to get "down and dirty" in the soil. Being an apartment dweller though means that my options are more limited than they once were. But what space I do have is filled to overflowing. Four varieties of philodendron, angel hair and Boston ferns, Christmas and Easter cacti, a huge "mother in law's tongue" (known by some as the snake plant,) a false aurelia, several succulents of an unknown variety, swedish ivy, an asparagus fern, impatiens, some dusty miller (which actually glows in the moonlight,) caladium in four or five variations and I've actually started a honey locust tree from seed I brought with me from Pennsylvania which I hope to turn into a Bonsai, something I've never tried my hand at before. And don't let me forget my cherry tomatoes! Does anything taste better than fresh picked tomatoes from your own garden? I think not!

As always,

Hollis

Posted: May 23rd, 2008, 12:13 pm
by Hollis
ChiO wrote:We love gardening! And we're pretty happy with our Garden in the City.

We live in our garden all summer -- Mrs. ChiO sipping her gin & tonic under our grape arbor while I guzzle Campari & soda or Pimms & ginger ale and char various meats, fish & veggies with the rosemary & basil from the herb section.



My dear ChiO, where oh where do I find a woman to help me drink my Tanqueray and tonic? That my friend, is a more than admirable quality!

As always,

Hollis

Posted: May 23rd, 2008, 10:18 pm
by Mr. O'Brady
Does anything taste better than fresh picked tomatoes from your own garden? I think not!


Apparently not. I finally planted some tomatoes again last year, had some nice ones, but a mysterious unseen bird kept eating holes in each and every one, even through netting.

Hosta -- my, my, the gardening idiot's delight!


I must be sub-idiot then. I've never had one live to see a second year, despite well-prepared soil and plenty of shade and water.

Posted: May 24th, 2008, 6:30 am
by ChiO
Mr. O'Brady said:
I've never had one live to see a second year, despite well-prepared soil and plenty of shade and water.


I think I've found the problem -- you used well-prepared soil and water. We just use shade. :wink:

Posted: May 24th, 2008, 2:28 pm
by Mr. O'Brady
We just use shade. Wink


Laugh it up, my native Texas clay soil is so hard I needed a hammer and chisel to help dig my original pond. Destroyed both knees, too. I need to prepare the soil just to grow weeds. :lol:

Posted: May 25th, 2008, 7:56 am
by Hollis
Hi Pat,

Take heart. I've always been told that "Everything's bigger in Texas!" I'll bet that's one fine crop of weeds you've got! Am I right?

Hollis

Posted: June 5th, 2008, 4:39 pm
by moira finnie
Hi Mr. O'Brady,
I can sympathize about soil issues as well as our "friends" from Mother Nature helping with the harvesting.
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I have very wet, clay soil at one end of my yard, and a rocky mix throughout the rest of the yard, so constant raking, feeding, and mixing in of black loam, sand and peat is always necessary whenever I plant. Digging and hauling are problems for me physically, so I try to figure out ways to do things piecemeal.

When I do get something planted, some *&@!*?~&%*@ rabbits come along and eat my bulbs or freakin' squirrels pull flowers out of pots to bury a nut in them and spread the dirt from the pot all over my porch steps and the yard!! It's like a combination of an episode of Wild Kingdom and the movie The Wild One--though I'm cast as the small town rube and the critters are the motorcycle gang!

Sometimes I start to feel as though I'm reclaiming the soil on the size of a postage stamp like my ancestors did when the family farm was divided up repeatedly in the Auld Sod. Now I know how Farmer McGregor felt in "Peter Rabbit"...
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Gotta go to the local nursery and ask about non-toxic mulch to keep All God's Creatures Great and Small out of my g.d. garden! Btw, don't tell the animal kingdom, but I really do enjoy this "battle" and their company.

Posted: June 6th, 2008, 8:49 am
by jdb1
Moira, did you see the article in yesterday's NY Times entitled "Peter Rabbit Must Die?" It's about the battle of man vs. bunnies in the garden. That's one aspect of keeping a garden I'm glad I don't have to deal with in my concrete and asphalt world.

http://tinyurl.com/3pfzcr

Posted: June 6th, 2008, 9:04 am
by knitwit45
I know this is going to sound weird, BUT:

I asked the hairdresser for some of the hair from haircuts, took it home and spread it around the plants the rabbits like, and it worked. No little critters have nibbled anything, they smell the human scent and won't come near.

Posted: June 6th, 2008, 9:18 am
by Hollis
Good morning,

Nancy and Judith, here's something for warding off the rabbits that my dad (born and raised on a farm in South Dakota) taught me and I've seen it in action and it really does work. Simply plant a line of marigolds around the area you want to protect. Apparently, there's something about the smell or taste of them that the rabbits just don't like and it sends them scurrying off in search of somewhere else to find their next meal. Not only is it entirely organic, but it adds a nice border with lots of color to your garden. If you have the space, a double row works even better. Obviously, the less in the way of chemicals you use in the garden the better off you are, and they're relatively inexpensive and easy to propagate. An added benefit is that the bright yellow and orange blossoms help attract bees which aid in pollination. Many areas are dealing with a pronounced shortage of bees, so anything you can do to attract them is a plus.

As always,

Hollis

Posted: June 6th, 2008, 11:00 am
by Mr. O'Brady
I love my squirrels. They patiently wait for their handful of sunflower seeds each morning. The only plants they've ever disturbed are potato vines, which must have tasty leaves and tubers.

As for rabbits, they never eat anything in my yard except grass and weeds, so they're welcome to raise their young here too. I could never deny the pond water to thirsty creatures.

As for attracting bees, Hollis, we have none. Zero. Zilch. Pretty depressing. Everyone else around here must be using pesticides.