Sunday, April 15, 2012

Gardening: a horror story

Let's face it: I am a neglectful gardener who follows a very predictable pattern.

Every spring, I get all excited about plants and gardens and fun stuff like that, and every spring I go all gung-ho into planting edible things thinking we're going to save mother lodes on grocery bills by eating our own fresh produce.  By summer, I have forgotten to weed and prune and pluck and give the poor beds the TLC they so desperately need and deserve, and every summer I wind up with a ginormous weed bed out of which you can sort out the following:

  • enough basil to make a container of pesto sauce
  • enough chives to last a family of 4 a year or more, even if they use them heavily
  • some strawberries that haven't been eaten by rodents
  • a handful each of raspberries and blueberries
  • unidentifiable piles of herbs that have either been choked by weeks or overgrown to the point that I don't recognize them anymore and don't know what to do with them.
  • The Monster Weed that has the huge long taproot, grows anywhere, and is impossible to get rid of.  I don't know what it is, I don't want to know what it is, because it is so strong and so horrible.  I have named it Audrey II.
Every year, I say it's going to be different, and every year the weeds overtake me.

This year, it IS going to be different, because I have a new strategy: mulch with Preen built into it.  Plus, I'm actually going to get out there and do things to my garden.  Really. I promise, because I want to love the yard we have and be proud to show off my garden to visitors instead of sheepishly saying that I have a black thumb and shrugging when they tell me that they remember me being all excited in the spring...

I can't do that anymore.

So this year IS going to be different.  Yesterday we laid a sidewalk going from the patio to the fence gate and dug out the weeds from the garden beds to reveal really good soil.  Today, I planted and mulched the beds and have the following ready to go, and I hope it will work this time:
  • strawberries in their own 4'x8' bed.  Hopefully they spread like weeds and take over so that weeds cannot.
  • 2 raspberry bushes from last year, and 2 blueberry bushes from last year, with lots of strawberry plants around and between them to see if they'll grow.
  • enough chives to... well, you know.
  • leeks - 1 "set"
  • 3 basil plants, big ones
  • a single sage plant that I hope will grow into a perennial sage bush like I had in our previous dwelling
  • German thyme - single plant
  • parsley - a single plant, because I learned last year that a single plant will most certainly "do ya."
  • a single rosemary plant that is in the ground, that I hope to dig up and save before winter this year.  I kill rosemary in pots, and I don't live in a zone where rosemary survives the winter.  More's the pity.
  • oregano - single plant
My hopes are to have a nice herb garden that lets me USE the herbs in my cooking (oh boy!).  I apologize for a lack of photos, but it is blissfully raining out right now (saved me from having to water my plants as I planted them only an hour or two ago!) and gently drenching the soil of my sweet baby plants that I keep hoping will grow into something spectacular.

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