Tag Archives: Gardening

To Add More Gardens or Not???

I am really in need of a new area for vegetables. For years, I’ve struggled with too many plants in a too small of a place. But, I also don’t have a good spot for adding more vegetable gardens, either due to too much shade or existing plants in the way. So I am contemplating putting 2 new raised beds off the back of the patio in a space that used to house the kids swing set.

View from my patio looking straight out

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Right now, this looks out onto half dead red-twig dogwoods that are unfortunately succumbing to some kind of canker. To try and help the dogwoods, we’ve tried to cut back all the old wood, clean up the leaves and last spring did some rejuvenation pruning removing about a third of the branches. No more have died and I’ll do another rejuvenation pruning in the late winter. We’ll see how much longer they last.

But, back to the vegetables. I have been following the sun pattern for most of the summer, and I think this spot will work out. It’s not full sun, but gets good morning and mid-day sun, which is the best I can hope for. I am trying to decide if I should add some trellis work in front to shield it, but in talking to my landscaper, he confirmed my fears that while it will look nice, it will make the area quite shady.  Maybe some other kind of less dense fence will work?

So now the question is, can I make this look pretty by adding some flowers, grasses or other interesting features to the area, or will it just turn into another messy vegetable garden? What have you done to “hide” the vegetable garden or do you think they are pretty?  I think what my mom has done with her gardens is pretty.

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A Little Civic Duty

While being called for jury duty has nothing to do with gardening, it does call for a little planning ahead since everything will be a bit more hectic around the house. We are settling into one of the hottest weeks of the summer, following a pretty rain-free few weeks. So this weekend, I spent some time being sure everything was ready to be a little less attended to, and even possibly somewhat ignored, depending on how the jury duty went.

Things on my check list included:

  • Being sure my pots where all watered and the plants in them dead-headed.
  • Check the vegetable plants for ripe vegetables and fruit. Make note of what might need picking in the next couple of days.
  • Noticed rhubarb was sprouting seed pods, so got those cut off. Also checked to be sure nothing else was in dire need of dead-heading
  • Be sure in ground sprinkler was set to run.
  • Watered the first year shrubs in the garden
  • I recently did a thorough watering of the larger trees and shrubs, so I felt comfortable not soaking them this weekend.

This felt a bit like getting ready for vacation. The garden always needs to be prepped before you head out of town. Otherwise, you never know what you’ll come back too. Even with that prepping, Mother Nature doesn’t always cooperate and “things happen”. Just part of the fun. What is part of your garden vacation planning?

As I wait at the judicial center, I am very impressed with the jury pool waiting area. While sitting and waiting to be potentially called for a case, we can look out over the county government complex’s drainage area that doubles as a well-planned wetlands area. I’ve been able to watch Barn Swallows flying gracefully about, as well as a Great Blue Heron hunting for food, a Great Egret fly right past the window, a pair of Mute Swans (unfortunately no babies right now) and Red-Winged Blackbirds sitting in the cattails. If I had binoculars, I might be able to see more, but that might require some unnecessary explaining as to why I had binoculars at the courthouse 🙂