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First let me start by saying this was one of the best birthday presents I have ever received. My friend and co-blog writer Chris, gave me time to help me in my garden. These days I value time more than I have ever in my life.
Plus spring is a busy season for us dirt diggers. Here is what we did with that time in the garden. Two gardeners are always better than one.
Check out the before and after pictures: Incredible.
Here is the to do list:
- We started with one bed at a time. We weeded, added fertilizer and cut back all the perennials.
- Then we assessed if plants were happy in their spots. We moved 4 shrubs into new homes. WARNING: be careful how many you move in the spring. You must water them religiously during the summer.
- We moved pots and furniture around. Chris has vision…I haven’t developed mine yet.
- We stopped, had some wine and celebrated our accomplishments. We scheduled next session.
- We planted the shrubs and trees I got from various plant sales and swaps- another 5 in total.
- We added soil conditioner and mushroom compost to my soil…it was a little dense. Good tip to remember.
- We planted my fruit bushes – blueberries and blackberries.
- We turned the rest of the veggie bed to prep for tomatoes and other summer goodies.
AFTERNOON 3: …which was a bonus and not really part of my present
Chris showed up with her wonder-man husband Bill to help limb up some trees to offer more sunshine. It is a amazing what one can do with a bow saw, tree pruners and a ladder. NOTE…I held the ladder – it was a very important job!
WOW…it was transformative. Thanks Chris. Thanks Bill. Best gift ever…
You should find a pal and help each other in each garden. It’s more fun and you get soooooo much more done.
I must admit, I have been totally uninspired to garden or to blog about gardening, despite some gloriously beautiful weather this winter season. I finally figured out why. There were no flowers in my garden.
Co-blog partner Christine Ramsey, always said that it is much easier to have a beautiful garden in the spring, but to have a beautiful garden in the winter…now that is a feat.
She is totally right.
Here are 5 lessons I have learned about inspiration and winter gardening.
- Don’t put you best winter flowers out of sight. That’s right. These Hellebores have been blooming since the first of January, but they are on the side of my house I never go. You can’t see them from a window inside, but they are beautiful. Note to self and others…move these in a place you can see every day.
- Early daffodils can do wonders to your garden mood. As soon as these February Golds bloomed, I was instantly inspired to get back in the garden. Even if it was to only weed…it made me want to be out there.
- Blooming winter shrubs with fresh fragrance can transport you to memories of spring. This Wintersweet in the front of my house, is not only beautiful, but when I go to the mail box I smell the sweet aroma and instantly get excited of the blooming season to come.
- Plant more evergreens. That’s right…often evergreens don’t have showy blossoms, but they will make all the difference when your deciduous plants have died back in your garden. I definitely need to plant more evergreens to provide needed structure to my garden, but also to keep it from looking so barren.
- Don’t skip the annuals. I made a conscience choice this season to skip the annuals. I was way too busy and just decided I didn’t have it in me to plant them. Bad mistake. Because I don’t have some of those lovely pansies by my mailbox or in some of my beds, I miss the winter flowering treat they provide.
Take it from me. It is important to plan for a winter garden to keep your inspiration mojo pumped. Review these 5 lessons and take pictures now of your garden, so you can prepare your game plan for the spring planting seasons.
Fall is the best time for planting In the South —
Check out the back of her mini van after our latest shopping trip.
Our purchases may look a little beat up now, but no worries. We’ll plant, mulch, and cut these plants back in the next few weeks. Next spring and summer–lots of new flowers will grace our gardens. What a deal!
Were do you find your best plant bargains?
Tis the season for tomatoes. Now I hate the heat (shocking thing for a southerner to say, but it is true), but I love tomatoes and you need the heat to produce the best ones.
Here are the 7 things you need to make the perfect tomato sandwich:
- Tomatoes (this time of year they are abundant and flavorful–check local farmer’s markets or even your grocery store that supplies local produce might be an option)
- Serrated Knife – a serrated knife is best to cut through the tomato skin
- Cutting board – keep your counters intact
- White bread – I cheat and have “white wheat” but for some reason it isn’t a traditional tomato sandwich without it
- Mayonnaise – you know I am partial to Duke’s but you can use your favorite, I will look the other way.
That’s it. This time of year, I eat them as much as possible because come fall, tomatoes won’t be worth eating, especially as the featured ingredient in a dish.
So I gave my grandmother some plants for Mother’s Day. We had a great southern cook out to celebrate the mothers’ in our family. Note that my grandmother was the one who first inspired me to love gardening. So naturally, I thought I was so brilliant to offer her a variety of plants for mothers’ day…the gift that keeps on giving, right?
Keep in mind my family were former famers. My mom and all her siblings grew up “barning tobacca” as well as other farming chores. And as my grandma looked through her plant assortment…everyone chuckled and almost booed the morning glories I gave her. I was lost…I didn’t understand.
They were quick to respond to my confusion. Well Melissa, Morning Glories mean work for us…when you were assigned a row to work on the farm….if there were Morning Glories in your row, you had 3-4 times more work. They had to be pulled and they were stubborn plants. Because they were vines they would get caught up on your hoe or shovel….they were sticky and it was so much work to get rid of them. After they explained, I got it.
But now that they don’t really farm anymore…the idea of introducing Morning Glories into a garden on a trellis that can be controlled was actually an interesting prospect.
So for all you former farmers….my advice, try some Morning Glories or any of the other decorative annual vines. They just might delight you.