Wednesday, April 4, 2012

A Gardening Weekend

It was 80 degrees F. last Saturday.  80 degrees.  Crazy.  Sunday was not nearly so warm, but that was just fine by me.  Spring is the season of perfect temperature...not blazing hot.  I mean if its already 80 in springtime what will summer have in store!?  We took advantage of the glorious weather both days though and got much gardening done.
It was the Spring Work Day at the community garden.  Over 40 people came to pitch in and the work went quick and easy.  We got so much done and it looks so great.  I am really excited to be a more active member of the garden this year.  I am even going to take minutes at the garden committee meetings.  I am excited.  They are great people to work with and, as I told Matt, we actually DO stuff at the meetings.  I am sick of meeting that are all talk and no action.
Sunday was spent working at the new house.  The flowerbeds, once uncovered from dead leaves and other debris is home to quite a number of perennials.  We've never really had room for flowers before.  I'm going to have to do some research to learn all about them  I know a thing or two about vegetable gardening, but flower gardening is whole different story.
There is a flowering bush at the end of the driveway.  When we moved in the bush was nothing but sticks and buds.  In a matter of literally one day a majority of the buds opened revealing the pale pink glory.  The bush is a buzz with bees of all shapes and sizes.  I tried to take the photo of a enormous bumble bee, but I was too slow.  While we were watching and listening at the bush I learned that those mammoth bumble bees are among Matt's favorite in the insect kingdom.
Bless Derek's heart!  He volunteered to come over and double dig with Matt.  We didn't ask.  We weren't even hinting around for help.  It was all him.  What a great friend.  

And I am sure that Matt is loving having Derek and his brother, Ryan, to talk to about gardening.  To share in his excitement.   They each put in a garden space last year. 
We planted strawberries and peas, several varieties of each.  We've never grown fruit before.  It was one of those things we said we were always going to do when we finally settled into our own place.  And now we have!

The previous owner left us a wee row of onions...they were about the only part of the garden space that looked anything like a garden, you know, as opposed to a dumping grounds for grass clippings and debris.
It looked pretty good once we were through.  The soil looked inviting and felt nice....a vast improvement that will only continue to improve as we work to make the soil better than it was each and every year.  I make no attempt to disguise the fact that the fellas did all the really "hard" parts.  I basically planted things in the wake of their double digging, and brought out water and beer to drink while they labored.
The bed on the left is peas and the previously mentioned onions.  The bed on the right is strawberries and rhubarb.  One of these beds is not much smaller than all of our space at the rental.  We are delighted!
Then, while I finished up dinner the boys left for the store, returning with a couple of season spring/summer six-packs--one quite appropriate for the day, don't you think?
I've specifically not shown many photos of the garden space because I've got the mind to do a side-by-side before and after here in a few months.  There is still much to do, but great progress is being made. 

We met the next-door neighbors while we were out working in the yard.  The tell us the garden used to be a real gem, until the previous owner and that they were really excited that gardener-types had moved into the place.  Well, that makes two of us.  We're up for the challenge.

11 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Matt was just reading an article about gardening elevating serotonin levels in the brain. So, digging really does make you happy! But, we already knew that anecdotally.

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  2. I think you'll find flowers to be much easier than vegetables. They pretty much do their own thing without all the assistance and babysitting that vegetables need.

    I'm exactly the opposite. I always flower-gardened. I only started vegetable gardening after reading "No Impact Man." I started a compost heap because of that book. Then I was looking around for something to do with all that great dirt and read "The New Square Foot Garden." I thought that might be doable. Last year was my first vegetable garden ever.

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    1. So far you seem to be spot on. The flowers are poking up all on their own without water or even clearing away the build up of fallen leaves and stuff. They are really starting to take off now. The bleeding hearts opened. My mom always grew those when I was a kid so I even identified them all on my own!

      Even if you've found veggies more challenging than flowers, how did you like your first year gardening? I learned so much that first year, and really, every year since, but that first year for me was both a supreme challenge as we figure out what the heck we were doing and sheer excitement as we finally ate what we worked on for so long.

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    2. Oh, and man! Everyone should read that book! It inspires in so many directions.

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    3. I liked it a lot. I learned a huge amount. (I just didn't harvest much.) I have expanded the garden this year, moved it to a sunnier location, read about 40 gardening books to try to get this to go and I prayed for that garden.

      I think this year will be much better.

      And you are so right. I think everyone should read that book. Even if they can't do all of the things he did, it inspires to do something. (Just because you can't do everything is no excuse to do nothing.)

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  3. Nice work! It's so great that you have space for fruit now! How about a raspberry bush?
    -Jaime

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    1. We just put in a nice bed of raspberry canes, too. Three difference varieties. We are beyond stoked. Raspberries are probably my favorite fruit of all time...and they are SO expensive to purchase. Hopefully in a few years time I shan't need to anymore!

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  4. My hubby and I have one plant in our apartment, but we've kept it growing for over a year now. That's major progress for us, LOL!

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    1. : ) Its good to start small and manageable! The first thing I learned to grow and care for was a philodendron.

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  5. I love the garden photos! Your rhubarb is much bigger than ours (no surprise!)
    I wanted to tell you that I buried my bokashi compost in my raised beds last fall and the soil is lovely.
    David dug for fishing bait on Sunday and he found what I think are red wiggler composting worms under the compost. Their castings are supposed to be primo.
    Your local extension office may have some info about perennial flowers that grow in your area.
    We have lots of daffodils in Choteau. I found out it is because the deer don't like to eat them.
    I'm looking forward to more garden photos!............Denise

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Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts and ideas. I value the advice and friendship that you share with me!