Saturday, March 26, 2011

The Adventures of a Girl Who Decided She Might Do a Little Gardening This Spring

I 've been trying to only blog during the week lately, but I had such an interesting day today; so, I thought I would share...or I would forget.  There are many really clever blog posts that have never gotten written, because I wasn't in front of the computer when the thoughts occurred.  When it was time to sit down and write - the thoughts were long gone....but I digress.

Last year, the landscape people came and planted some pentas and knock out roses. The pentas took a while to get going, because by the time I could make up my mind to have the landscaper come put something in those beds, the heat of the summer was in full force. I figured out that extra watering was in order, and they limped along and finally took hold. Two of the knock out roses plants had to be replaced, because they just flat out died on me.

Here's the issue: The landscapers come. They plant. They leave...and the care of those poor defenseless flowers and shrubs is left to me. In my defense though, it was stinkin' hot most of last summer.

Also last year, I noticed some bald spots in front of my shrubs that are great places for a pop of color. I do like to look at plants and flowers, but I just don't know a whole lot about gardening. That was when I thought that I would start earlier next year.  I figured I should start thinking about gardening in March andI filed the thought away.

Next year is now upon us, and I actually remembered the thought! So, last week, I enlisted the help of my friend who was my genetics teacher before I got into PA school. She knows how to garden, likes to and is good at it.  The first thing I had to do, she told me, was prepare my beds. I came away with homework such as, figure out how much shade different areas get after the leaves on the trees start coming out and think about whether I want annuals or perinneals.  I also came away with a list of things that I need like rose food, soil conditioner, weed block, a tiller...just to name a few.  We went to Home Depot together and looked at flowers...Oh my, I got so excited.

I came home and told The Husb about all the stuff I learned, and what we needed, and what I wanted to acccomplish, and he had the strangest look on his face.  I went on to say that I would rent a small tiller and have The Kid do the tilling...when I noticed that he looked a little relieved.  "Oh, that makes more sense...I was thinking you didn't realize that it all wouldn't be as easy as you were making it sound," he said.

Today was the big day...The Kid and I got ready and went to Home Depot to purchase soil conditioner and rent the tiller.  The Husb ended up going with us because he needed some things.  We got home with all the stuff and the fun began...It was a beautiful day, and I really enjoyed being outside. 


We quickly figured out that we had bitten off more than we can chew, since 1. the soil around here is predominantly clay, 2. the beds for which we had rented the tiller had not been worked in a few years, and 3. it hadn't rained in a while and the dirt was v.e.r.y hard.

While some of the areas were being watered and given some time for the water to soak down and soften things up a bit, I turned my attention to the wall:

That was where the pentas lived last year.  Since I've had something planted there for the last few years, the soil was fairly easy to work and I got busy hoeing, weeding and working in the soil conditioner.  I also hand tilled around the knock outs.

After a while, The Kid managed to get a couple of areas tilled.

(I remember when Mommy and Me activities were things like going to Gymboree.  Now, they involve potentially dangerous equipment.)

All of this happened in the span of three and a half hours.  While we were taking a little water break, The Kid and I reflected a little about the gardening plan. While it was a great day to be outside and we did like spending some time together,  I remembered that I don't really like playing in the dirt all that much. He thought it was too much work, especially because we have too much garden.  We are planning to buy a few flowers to plant, since we did this much already, but we decided that the scope of the plan is going to be narrowed a bit.

To tide you over until the garden gets planted, here's  a picture of the knock out roses:

And here are some vintage pictures from when I started this blog in 2007:

Those zinnias had slug issues.  Ewww...

MK out.


Knitrageous said...

Great post! I hate to get dirt on my hands. We have 5 or so pots that have tomatoes and various other items (or will later anyway) and that's the extent of my gardening!

Lorette said...

You've got more enthusiasm for gardening than I ever will. I have a dozen herb pots on the patio, and that's too much work for me.

RoamingKnitter said...

I don't mind the dirt, just don't like having to keep up with the plants all season. They are as demanding as a kid!