Saturday, April 28, 2012

Mom's Blaze Climber

In 1981, I purchased two Blaze Climber roses from the Jackson and Perkins Company. One I planted where I was living in Texas, the other I gave to my Mother. Thirty-one years later, that rose is still going strong. At the end of 2010 I pruned it back severely. It spent last summer growing new canes, but look at it bloom now! I love this rose.

Saturday, April 21, 2012


My effort at planting potatoes in the washtub didn't work. The tub wasn't well enough drained and sitting directly on the ground. The heavy rains we have had this month flooded the tub. There have been INCHES of standing water that just don't go away. I'm going to empty the tub, spread the dirt around the yard and try again another day.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Spring! I love Spring!

          Every March, even if there is a dusting of snow on the ground, I have to plant potatoes by St. Patrick's Day. We made it -- just! -- this year. I wasn't going to plant potatoes, but my daughter found some in the house that had started to sprout. I didn't want to put them in my raised beds, so I tried something different. I planted them in one of the washtubs that are decorative planters in the back yard. Now it is April. I don't see any sprouts yet. I wonder if they have survived?
          Ah! but a lot of things did winter over. Most of my herb garden came through intact. We had a particularly mild winter (only a couple of light snows), so they may never have realized we had winter. I did have to replace the rosemary and lavender. They didn't come through. The tarragon didn't either. I have enough dried tarragon and basil in the cupboard that I won't be planting those herbs this year. Instead I put chamomile in the square where the tarragon was last year. The basil was always planted with the tomatoes. This year I put marigolds with the tomatoes. I don't know if any companion plant thing will go on from it, but the marigolds will be cheerful!
This week I have been outside whenever I could be. I spent all day Easter Sunday working with the herb and flower beds. I installed a new raised bed next to the dog pen, and dug it up. I dug up a small flower bed in front for cut flowers. Then I dug both sides of the circle bed for more flowers. After doing all that digging, I grabbed the trowel and dug some more, making trenches to place the plastic edging that divides my raised beds into squares. Do you know, after all that digging, the things that hurts most are my wrists? They just about scream when I do a turning motion like tossing dirt off a trowel. I expected my back to be tired from all the digging.
Just about everything is planted now. I have two more beds to complete. The strawberries didn't survive the heat last summer. Or was it the drought? Anyway, only 5 plants out of three 4' beds survived.  They are now resting their toes in one of my ornamental wash tubs. I took this opportunity to move the beds.
The painted pine boards that the first beds were made from didn't last past three seasons. I am framing the new beds from landscape timbers. The new beds will be located between my keyhole garden and the asparagus beds. That looks better and will make mowing by the blackberries easier. After the timbers are secured I will dig the beds inside (oh, no! More digging!) and enrich the soil with manure, peat and top soil. When that is done, I'll find more strawberries and get the bed started for next year.