Letting Life Lead
This is our second season in the new house and this year I wanted to do something other than rake leaves, shovel snow, chip ice, and kill poison ivy. Removing bushes and taming some overgrown evergreens near the house wasn’t exactly my idea of that something. I’ve been missing our first house and my flower gardens. I had very good luck with perennials, and very bad luck with growing vegetables. However, I did manage one year to get a squash before the groundhog, almost got to harvest a dozen cucumbers, and managed to get a handful of tomatoes.
Half my problem, I know, involves not following a plan. A quarter the direct mauling by critters, and the last quarter lots, and lots, and lots of shade. Hence, the agony of raking.
I rolled up my sleeves, found my gardening tools, and scoured the markdown items at my local garden and farm centers. This past month, I have had three cucumbers eaten, my cabbage leaves stolen, my parsley nibbled, my dill trampled, and my strawberry flowers purloined. Curses!
A huge hosta colony that was relocated and replaced with rhubarb.
The brand new rhubarb area. I put the plants in triangle formation. They are a little less than three feet apart. They won’t be ready or large until next season so I planted some onions, a couple of peppers, and herbs in the open ares in the meant time to utilize the space.
Side Garden I started last year with strawberries in a sunny sliver at the front of the house using cement blocks that were lying in a corner of the property. My plants didn’t do so well last year. I had some sweet potatoes in the tires that were doing really well, but then it snowed before I could harvest them and I forgot. Let’s just say that the dirt in there is well fertilized with rotted sweet potatoes! I’m letting some oxalis (wood sorrel) on the right of the blocks do it’s thing and a few dandelions have taken up root in the shade. Those will be left alone until I am ready to eat them. I am hoping they will hide some of my vegetable plants and give them a fighting chance since bugs and rodents seem to leave them alone. Strawberries are trying to grow in the tire tower now.
Pot herbs. Haha. Pot.
New rear garden I made yesterday at the back of the house in a sun spotlight. There was a large golden–spirea? That had a lot of green leaves on it and it was easily six feet around. I cut it way back and it left a lot of exposed, rich, mulchy dirt. I am hoping all the allium, garlic, and cilantro will confuse the nibblers.
Some squash plants I planted in sunny spots near some trees. I am hoping the existing ground cover will deter theft. I don’t know what the ground cover is. One half of the yard near the rock wall is this stuff, the other half has been invaded by Lily of the Valley. I would prefer to have ramps over there, but those are really hard to find.
I removed all this pachysandra, but I am not sure what will ultimately go here in this super shaded part of the property. As you can see it does get some sun at a certain times of the day, this is the north side of the house and the trees on our property, including a 100 year old maple, keep it in a lot of shade.
I do know that I want a productive yard with a lot of useful perennials, so it’s going to take me a while to get it right. I’m hoping to have some money next year to get some native trees like persimmons, paw paws, and chinquapins. It is unfortunate that we have SCORES and SCORES of ferns, but I am not sure if they are edible or not. In the spring I could have fiddle head ferns for days if they were edible!
Oh, and I have left this beauty grow where it decided to stay. It’s a thistle, but I am not sure what. It is four feet tall and it has an impressive array of spikes that seem to be giving the finger to the wild rabbits.
playing by my own rules
We take the heat 'cause we gotta eat.
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