I Like This – May 27, 2011

Is there a #GardenCamp in your future?

If you follow any of my other blogs or projects, you know that I love the idea of an unconference. An unconference is attendee organized and everyone is highly encouraged to present something during the day. The schedule is created the morning of the event and then everyone dives in. There is so much great, local, knowledge in most towns and cities and an unconference can help to bring out that information and share it with others.


So, let me float the idea here of a GardenCamp unconference here in the Los Angeles area!


I would love to get together with other gardeners and hear what they have to say about their favorite gardening topics. There are a lot of great organizations here that might be potential partners for the event — providing space, providing sponsorship funding and maybe even providing a few speakers and attendees for the day.

Are you interested in putting together a gardening unconference here in LA or in your own local area? Let me know in the comments to this post or via email at agn@welchwrite.com. If there is enough interest I will set up a dedicated mailing list that we can use to get the ball rolling. I would especially like to here from organizations, gardens and garden-related businesses here in LA that might be interested in hosting such an event.

Video: Chef’s Garden “Unboxing” – chef-quality produce from Ohio

Join me as I open a box of ultra-fresh produce delivered straight from Chef’s Garden, Inc. in Huron, Ohio. I had the pleasure of visiting their company as part of Troy-Bilt’s Saturday6 and they were kind enough to send me a “Family Box” of veg to try. Come see everything that was included.


Click the full-screen icon to watch in HD

Watch “Chef’s Garden “Unboxing” – iPod Ready Video

Photos from our Saturday6 visit to Chef’s Garden

Disclosure: This post is in conjunction with my paid partnership as one of the Saturday6 from Troy-Bilt. All thoughts are my own.

Garden Bed Cleanup Today

We have lots of beds here in the garden, along with lots of paths and even what I call the “woodland” garden. Today was the first big push on the post-Spring garden cleanup.

Our bulbs start as soon as the first rain arrives in December or January, so by this time most of them are spent and the foliage needs to be cleaned up from all the beds. The bed, just outside the backyard always looks pretty ratty at this time of year. This always bugs me as we have our big summer party in June and about all I can do is make sure the bed is neat as there is nothing blooming at that time.

it is important to leave the foliage on bulbs after they finish their flowering so that they can recharge for the next season. Cut it off while it is still green and you will damage, if not remove, any display in the coming year. Of course, this often leaves things a bit messy. In this bed, most of the leaves are dead and a bit of raking removes it while still leaving any green leaves that are still working.


Garden Bed Cleanup Before

There was also a ton of leaf litter in this bed. This is true of the entire garden since we have so many mature trees. In the case of this bed, it contains both a large eucalyptus tree and a locust, which drops a host of small yellow leaves each Fall. This was of the main part of the cleanup today. I ended up filling both composters and still had to start a leaf mold pile next to them.  Cleaning up the leaves let the recently divided agapanthus stand out a lot more. I noticed that one is even blooming. I guess my division didn’t do too much damage. You never quite know what is going to happen when you pull apart the larger clumps. These were so large, in fact, that they had pushed themselves completely out of the ground.

I also took the opportunity neaten up the low recycled concrete wall that I assembled nearly 15 years ago. It has probably been over 5 years since I last did it. The wall has no footings. It is just broken-up concrete sitting directly on the ground. Over the years it slowly recedes into the dirt. Luckily, it doesn’t take much to get it back into shape, as you can see in the “after” picture. I have pulled some flagstones out of the front garden as we did grass removal there and I am thinking of topping this wall with a few of those to dress it up a bit.


Garden Bed Cleanup After

I am looking for something I can plant in this backyard bed to give it some interest during this time of year, yet doesn’t impede the growth of the bulbs next Spring. I am usually a perennial only gardener, but I just might go get some bedding annuals to put in here before our party. That would be a change! (LAUGH)

Hope all i well in your garden. Please add a comment here or on the AGN Facebook page and let me know what you are doing in your garden.

A Gardener’s Notebook Store

Check out some of my favorite books and products in this Amazon.com store!


Find more items in A Gardener’s Notebook Store 


Tasks on my gardening list

Here are just a few things to occupy my gardening time over the next several days. It is always good to keep a list of such things, but not let it worry you too much. It is more of a memory aid than something to feel guilty about. Gardening should be about enjoyment, not guilt.

Garden Tasks List

  • Install new soaker hose in rose bed
  • Empty compost bin
  • Turn second compost bin
  • Research garden bed edging – Maybe bottle edging
  • Clear bulb debris from beds
  • Clear leaf litter – add to compost/leaf mould pile
  • Trim large rosemary bush – topiary?
  • Trim pittosporum bush
  • …and much, much more!


Cattails at the edge of a pond, Douglas E. Welch

Video: Garden Morning – A slice of life video

Just a quick slice of life video of what it looks like in my garden today.


Watch “Garden Morning” – iPod Ready Video

Photo: Nasturtium

Another shot from the neighborhood. I really like Nasturtium and need to find a sunnier place to grow them. I had a small patch, but it died out over the last few years. Sun, sun, sun is always the problem. I enjoy this large patch whenever I walk past. It is on my usual 2-mile path and mainly in an empty, unkempt lot, running between the street and the sidewalk.


Question: Would you use recycled wine bottle edging around your garden beds?

Click to answer on the AGN Facebook Page…

Fb wine ottle

Examples of wine bottle edging from Google Images

Photo: Talking gardens and gardening at Troy-Bilt Saturday6 event

I love talking garden (heck, I like talking in general) and I think you can see that demonstrated in this photo taken by wife. This woman brought in a sample of a rose covered with aphids. I knew immediately what it was and gave her a few ideas for reducing their population. As I do in my own garden, I first recommended physical controls — such as wiping them off with gloves or blasting them off the plant with the hose.

When I first moved in to my home 25 years I was dismayed by all the aphids, but just as I was thinking of applying some pesticide, I noticed a ladybug here, a ladybug larvae there. Sure enough, after blasting off the aphids for a few days the ladybugs moved in in force and took care of any remaining problem.


Other questions from the day included soil amendments, composting and one couple bought the Japanese Maple I had chosen to decorate our display for the day. I guess I have better taste than I though. (LAUGH)

My Troy-Bilt area rep, Vince was a good companion for the day had everything set up by the time I arrived. We both took turns approaching customers and handing out the specially printed booklet of gardening tips, introductions of all the Saturday6 bloggers and even a paper heart on the back, imprinted with wildflower seeds.

Three more of the Satuday6 will have their local events on Saturday, June 5, so keep your eye out for announcements of names and locations here.

See a slide show of photos from the day on my Flickr Photostream


Disclosure: This post is in conjunction with my paid partnership as one of the Saturday6 from Troy-Bilt. All thoughts are my own.