Posts tagged ‘garden’
The weather finally warmed up here in Northern Missouri, and I’m proud to report my daffodils are in bloom!
Although later than I was hoping for, the weather was finally dry enough to begin work on the garden. And oh, there is so much work to do. Clearing out dead branches and dead plants from the previous year (left through winter to provide cover for bugs, bees, spiders …), pruning, weeding, watering, planting, mulching, moving, dividing ….
Oh. My. At some point in life, I need to live somewhere that has a climate conducive to gardening year round. There is nothing, nothing more stress reducing than getting your hands dirty, getting a great workout and standing back to admire the fruits of your labor. One blog I was reading recently referred to always finding a plant growing from seed to be a little miracle, and I agree. The thrill of running to the garden every day to see what new miracles have transpired is absolutely priceless.
At work, we are going through a reorganization of sorts. Leadership has changed, and we are evolving and redefining our mission, purpose and job descriptions. It’s been a time of uncertainty, growth and opportunity. And not unlike the first few days in the garden in the spring. As we clear old branches and spent flowers that no longer support the main plant or future growth, so we must continue to do in organizations. As we experiment with new gardening tips and plant species, so we experiment with new things in the work place, encouraging those with promising results to thrive and ridding ourselves of ones who just don’t fit in the garden. Eliminating old growth to encourage new. Clearing out the clutter to see the original plant – the greater picture.
It’s been refreshing, intimidating and challenging (in good and bad ways) to go through these changes at work, dredging up the same feelings I have at the beginning of each spring. I stand back, look at my garden, and think, oh there is so much to do. So much to clear. So many things to sort out. What was I thinking taking on this big of a project? Where do I start?
But then, you do. You take a step forward. You carefully prune away a branch you know won’t be missed. You rid yourselves of the obvious weeds. You monitor and nurture new growth. Before you know it, you’re hooked. Things start making sense. Plants are thriving, healthy, working together to create a beautiful landscape.
OK, so this is hokey and a bit cliched. But, you get my point. I’ve been overwhelmed and invigorated by life’s tasks recently, from the office to the garden. Little by little, though, it’s starting to make sense. I’m starting to see the flowers through the weeds.
My previously mentioned step-brother’s wedding was so much fun, and the wedding location was a gardener’s/photographer’s dream. Set in The Jewel Box, an art deco green house in the middle of the beautiful Forest Park in St. Louis, you couldn’t ask for a much more picturesque location.
This trip, coupled with this beautiful weather, is inspiring me to get out in my garden and finally chop down some of the old growth, lay some new mulch, plant seeds … if only the ground would dry out before the rain starts again!
Snow is predicted for here tonight through tomorrow – a total accumulation of 3-5 inches. We’ve had about 2 times more snow than normal and ridiculously cold weather. I’m home sick today – for the second time in two months. I needed a pick me up.
So, it was time to order seeds for the spring’s garden. Just the pick me up I needed. I can’t wait to get my hands back in the dirt, to have small bouquets of brightly colored flowers, and to make delicious food with fresh herbs and veggies from the garden.
I ordered everything from rareseeds.com, and can’t wait for it to get here! The company is based in Missouri, so the seeds are semi local (regional anyway), non genetically modified, and will enable us to eat local food grown from our garden. Happy.
Here’s the stash that’s on it’s way to our house in the next few days:
The only things remaining to purchase are 6 tomato plants (variety of roma and heirloom), and a bag or two of onion sets for growing green onions.
By the way, seed gardening is such a bargain. I will be getting between 150-300 seeds of all of the above and the total cost was only $35. Woohoo!
As I stare out our French doors to see a sea of white coming down – another 4 inches, bringing us to a grand total of more than 30 so far this winter – I find solace in looking at seed company Web sites and making plans for this spring’s garden.
We have twoish gardens at our house, depending on how you count it. The largest one runs across part of the front of our house, around the corner and all up one side. It’s about 10X4 feet in front, and 45X4 feet across the side. It’s made up mostly of perennial flowers, with a few strawberry plants as well. Last year, I threw in some chives, green onions, burgundy beans, several types of herbs, egg plant, squash plants, peppers and a couple of tomato plants on the side, too.
Here’s a few pictures.
One of my first gardening goals, when the ground warms up, is to expand the side garden to run all the way alongside our fence. This should add another 20 X 4 foot strip of garden. Things I learned I do not want to plant next year: Peppers (our unseasonably cool summer meant a pitifully small harvest), egg plant (didn’t produce as much as I was hoping for) and squash (took up too much space). Things I definitely want to plant even more of this year: roma tomatoes, green onions, herbs of all kinds but especially cilantro and basil, burgundy beans and green beans, carrots, native perennial wildflowers. I am also aiming to plant less cherry tomatoes, more roma tomatoes. I love cherry tomatoes but they aren’t as versatile – not good for sandwiches or cooking sauces. Bring on the romas!
I love native plants and perennials because they are beautiful, environmentally friendly and require less upkeep. They have survived the crazy swings of temperature and conditions that can be found in Missouri, are reasonably naturally pest-resistant, and are beneficial to the dwindling bee population. They are beautiful in your garden and good for your concious, too. To read more about why you should go native, click here.
For a list of native options, click here.
The other garden we have is in our backyard, and is about 8 X 12 feet. Last year, I had it have more herbs and vegetables, but it also has a few perennials in it. The perennials I feature in the backyard, and to some extent the vegetable and herb plants, are all very tall. This is so I can have a beautiful view from my kitchen window.
This year, we have a newly added fence which means our dogs can technically get into this garden. I need to figure out a way to protect it before spring gets here. Because of the nearness of dogs, I am going to move away from vegetable planting this spring in this garden, and move toward things that won’t be as enticing for them to eat. I’m thinking about sticking with some herbs, but laying down more wildflower seeds.
Does anyone have any wildflower-type plants they would recommend? What are your plans for spring?