Tuesday, June 5, 2007

time flies in the garden

you spend some time in the garden and, lo and behold, a month has gone by since my last posting. i've been doing other things, too, but mainly weeding, preparing the garden, and watering. and more weeding. and shopping for plants. and gardening for my parents. here are a few things of note:
-the plants at garden retail look pretty good. even in wal-mart and home depot, surprise surprise. my one shopping experience at wal-mart (with my mom) was ok. a rainy dreary day and everything was wet, and the outside check-out wasn't open, which meant carting wet plants through the store and onto the regular check-out. the cashier didn't appreciate that.
-mulch: i see more and more people purchasing it, so that means they know all the benefits of mulch. however, what's with the colored mulches? i got some for my parents - the first time ever in 50+ years - and my only choices were the big thick wood chunks and a red-colored and black-colored pine-bark mulch. my hands were stained. i just don't think it is necessary to add coloring.
-more on mulch: i LOVE buckwheat hull mulch. it has such a classic, finished look to it. really creates some nice texture to the ground and plants really do jump out against that background. it's not cheap - i paid $17.50 per standard-sized bag (2 cu.ft. i believe), and i got 3 bags. that put a nice 2-inch or so dressing over my 10x20ft veggie garden. i could use another bag. my veggie garden's first year - 3 summers ago - i put down 5 bags worth, and last year I didn't really have to put down any additional mulch (you're right, i didn't turn my soil over the beginning of the second year!). anyway, i highly recommend it if you can find it.
-i spoke with someone the other day about her hydrangea paniculata. her husband had cut down the "bunch of sticks" in early spring because he thought they were dead. they now have a small bush growing with no hope for flowers this year. and i told them don't worry, i bet the garden center has more that will indeed bloom this summer, so why not just replace it? i don't think some gardeners consider that as an option - replacing plants. they'll try to nurse plants back to health meanwhile they have an unsuitable plant in their yard or home. i think of that Lay's potato chip ad - "eat all you want, we'll make more."
-more people need to experience rhubarb!! i have 4 huge plants and i am trying desparately to share it with folks. many people my age never had it. crazy. it's fabulous, especially made into a sauce and spooned over vanilla ice cream. yum.
-marigolds are my go-to annual. i edged my tomato plot with 18 plants this year. i like the safari bolero i think it is, 3 different colors. they did really well for me the last two years, they really fill the gaps well. and they always remind me of the movie monsoon wedding.
that's it for now! if you don't hear from me i'm out watering the garden...