Monday, June 22, 2009

My Garden

I spent the better part of Saturday morning working in my garden this past weekend. There is just something about getting down on your hands and knees and getting dirt under your nails. It's good for the soul.

I planted my roses as bareroots three years ago, and they are finally thriving this year. I only lost one of the original six bushes the first winter, which is pretty good considering we had more than a few nights in the -20 degree range that year. I feed them what some would consider a strange diet. No miracle gro, no fertilizer, no rose food. They, like me, love coffee. I pick up bags of used grounds and sprinkle the roses with them a few times a year. When we get aphids, I just run to the store and get some ladybugs. I can't think of a better way to control the pests, honestly. When something so simple and harmless is an option, I really wonder why people would use anything else. I love my roses, I even talk to them sometimes. Just don't tell anyone. ;)

We originally planted three trees in the front yard when we did the landscaping. Two died, and so far we have only replaced one of them. Trees have a hard time here with the wind - I've often wondered when one of the trees in the backyard will give in and just snap during a microburst thunderstorm. The trunk on that tree bends almost 90 degrees.

We have a row of huge golden daylilies. The flowers haven't popped up quite yet, but once they emerge, they last almost all summer. I really do need to dig them up and split the bulbs, but not this year. Maybe in the fall.

Most of the other plants in my garden came from a city sponsored program for xeriscaping. They handpicked groupings of plants, native to the area, that will grow and thrive without constantly needing water. I'll admit that I was more than a little skeptical when we got them, since most of the plants were teeny tiny. Those were all put in the ground about two years ago, and most are nearing maturity.

We have a small garden area running down the driveway, and it's mostly planted with ground cover. At one point, we had three lavender plants there, but 2 out of the 3 didn't make it one winter. Ironically, the only one still with us was the cheap plant from the garden section of a discount store - the expensive home improvement store ones died.

Every Spring, the garden starts to come back. I always find myself crossing my fingers, hoping that they will all make it. My garden now grows not just plants, trees and flowers. It helps other things grow as well. The largest bushes out front have shielded migrating geese and ducks. We have a pretty strong spider community in the trees. We have at least one nest out there, and we might have more - but I try hard not to disturb the birds. Those mama birds can be a bit testy!

Right before the end of school, Aidan had to do a project on an insect. He was pretty sure that he wanted to choose bees, but we spent a while looking for other options in the garden. Digging in the dirt, we found tons of roly polys, worms, caterpillars, spiders and more. The kids had a blast, and we learned a lot from the second grader in the house.

If you look close enough, you'll find other things growing here. We have a fabulous crop of toes coming up this year.

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