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Wednesday, June 02, 2004

The mood strikes...

As is often the case, I ended up doing some gardening this evening without really thinking about it.

I was called out to the garage to put some air in a basketball and before you know it I was attending to some long neglected tasks. First, I repaired the little hose stub that connects the big hose reel to the spigot. It is merely a piece of old hose stubbed out with replacement ends. One of the collars that holds the hose end place had split. Whenever there was a buildup of pressure in the hose, it would shoot off in a dramatic fashion, soaking anyone nearby.

With the hose fixed, I could easily mix upa few gallons of liquid fertilizer that I picked up a week or more ago. I have found that when using drip irrigation and saoker hoses, the traditional ganular fertilizers don't break down fast enough. It is ok when we have some rain, but during the summer months I have decided to switch over to liquid fertilizers to get more of the food into the ground right away. As is my typical, low-tech want, I use an old (but well marked) 1-gallon milk jug to make mixing and application a cinch. I fed all the roses, some other bedding plants and the entire patio bed before I was done. It took about 5 gallons of the mixture (1 tsp to 1 gallon of water) to do it all. Now I will watch to see if this makes a difference.

Finally, we inherited a large, but somewhat sad looking, aloe plant from a friend when she moved to Hawaii. I had been neglecting it for a while, but I knew it needed a bigger pot. It kept tipping over at the slightest touch. Sure enough, the plant was entirely rootbound. I potted it up, with the last of my potting soil, in a larger recycled nursury pot and soaked it down throughly to seat it in the pot. I'll keep an eye on this one, as well, in the coming weeks.

Sometimes the slightest nudge can get me gardening. I just need to listen more often to the little voices pushing me out into the garden

RHS Chelsea Garden Show 2004

Even if you didn't arrange to get to London for the RHS Chelsea Garden Show, you can still experience the wide variety of gardens using the 360-degree panoramas provided on this site. Information is provided on the awards, as well as detailed layouts and lists of the plants used in each garden.

Today is a good day to dream a little gardening dream!

Via Gardening.About.com

Monday, May 31, 2004

Taking advantage of the holiday

After book signings on Saturday and visiting friends on Sunday, today is a chance to get a little garden work done.

Rosanne and Joe deadheaded all the roses, planted some California Poppy seeds and generally cleaned up the back garden. When I got up, I attacked the rosebed that was torn apart during our sewer line repair. Of the 5 roses that were pulled up, 3 have survived. I removed the 2 dead plants and then use my hoe to remove all the new, and vigourous grass that has sprouted since we turned over the soil.

That done, I turned to the front bed, trimming the sprawling lantana and pulled more grass. The nut grass in this bed is horribly tenacious. If you leave one small bit of root, it will come back again within days. I use a light solution of Roundup on some areas of the gardens, mainly the paths and the driveway to keep it in check, but even then it only seems to slow it down, not kill it outright.

I am sitting in the garden at the moment, coffee at my elbow, enjoying the fruits of my labors. Sometimes I am so overwhelmed with tasks that need to be done, I don't take the time to just enoy it. I am sure most of you have experienced the same thing from time to time. This is one reason I always try to have at least one garden party every year. This is one day were I get to see the garden through someone else's eyes. It really helps to give me some perspective.

My garden time also teaches me just how much time I spend in front of the computer. It is embarrassing to say that I can only work about an hour in the garden before I need to take a rest. Since the garden doesn't need much tending, the work is always a bit sporadic. Perhaps if I had to do something every day I might develop a bit more stamina. Instead, I end up wiping myself out doing one particular job. I can always comfort myself in the fact that I don't have to spend $50-$100 dollars a week on a gardener, like some of our friends. I save the money and get a little exercise in the bargain.

So, now I sit and watch the squirrels and birds and do a little thinking about what needs to be done next.