A Gardening Notebook.

Anemones bloom late July through October.

Beginning in March, Larry and I spend a great amount of our at-home time outside. Because winter here is so mild, mild relative to freezing temperatures, the grass never stops growing and weeds never stop invading the landscape. Spring gardening is mostly about playing in the dirt; that is to say, it is an exercise in weed control and soil amendment. I'm not saying that spring weather is normally pleasant. Spring comes in like a lion and goes out in the same way. But shot weed, wild morning glory vine, buttercup and other unwanted noxious intruders pay it no mind.

During the summer months however, the tidy ornamental gardens and raised vegetable beds say thank you to us for the late winter/spring care. There are flowers to admire and edibles for harvest.

For the past few mornings I have been strolling about the yard taking pictures, because I enjoy the softer morning light and the clean smell of the breeze.

The overpopulation of hydrangeas around our home is evidence that I really, really enjoy them. And perhaps from a design sense I have gone too far. But for us, gardening is part perfect planning and part simple pleasure. 

Some are grown in pots. The above French hydrangea is especially well suited for containers.

I have a confession though. I am really struggling with a fungus that has spread aggressively throughout our hydrangea collection. This disease presents in a variety of unsightly ways among the plants. Some plants have rusty leaves, some spotted leaves, and the most heartbreaking is the brown and dried up petals on others. 

I am limping along until mid fall, at which time I will be forced to prune them severely and spray them with organic Neem oil throughout the dormant months. Sadly, I have to prepare myself for having few if any blooms next year. Usually after a severe pruning there is no profusion of bloom for a couple of growing seasons. 

Thankfully, some of the landscape is less vulnerable.

I also have low maintenance and draught tolerant plants such as chives, nasturtium, and sedum. They provide warm, happy color.

Alstrtomeria is not quite as carefree but it's lovely and reliably hardy.

The vegetable garden is progressing at a steady pace.

Larry planted magic beans and we are at risk of the stalks taking over! We are still awaiting pods.



Kale and beautiful lettuce.

Maybe some of you are gardeners and can relate to the labor intensiveness of this pastime. You might agree with me that a relationship with the soil is love-hate. No matter where we live, we have weeds, pests, and various forms of blight; too much water and/or draught.

So, one of my goals for this season is to harvest and freeze some of the edible yield. Can you provide ideas? What do you grow and store? Even though I have exercised a little more control this year by avoiding mass planting, we already have more than we can comfortably eat. 

If you 'dig' gardening as much as I do, I would love to hear from you. And wherever you find yourself on the gardening spectrum, from container enthusiast to farmer, I hope your gardening season has been good to you so far.

Remember, the art of gardening is trowel and error.


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