Loving it…

I’m loving these cool mornings and cool late afternoons.  I can get out early in the morning and gets lots done in the yard, then take a break in the hotter hours.  Then back out for a few hours as the sun goes behind the trees.  As I get older, I get more and more pleasure from my gardens, but I also get more and more pains in my joints.  I do believe, though, that staying active in the yard keeps me from slowing down when I’m inside.

This morning I finished moving the sidewalk.  Now it’s where I should have put it to begin with.  Since I opened up a little space, I plowed it up and put in the beginnings of an herb garden, starting with some wonderful lavender and sage.  Next there will be parslI ey, basil and thyme.  I just got to thinking about how expensive dried spices are, when I could very easily grow my own.  I did that at one time, but the bed finally got shaded out.  Now, I’ll start harvesting my own fresh herbs for coooking and drying.

I rescued some of our native orchids, Lady’s tresses, on a dig last week.  Today I put in a small bog garden, using a sweater box filled with a sand/peatmoss mixture.  Filled the box with water, added some soil on top, then popped in the orchids.  They are blooming right now, so I hope the second upheaval in a week’s time won’t hurt them.

I made a handy dandy watering tube to go down the center of my strawberry bags.  I’m growing my strawberries in hanging bags so I don’t have to deal with weeds and runners that have to be clipped.  They did okay this summer, but the ones at the bottom of the bag didn’t get enough water.  It ran out of the upper holes before it could make it to the bottom.  I used a piece of PVC pipe, drilled holes up the sides at the level of the holes, inserted a cotton string, then caulked around the string so water wouldn’t leak from the holes.  As I replanted the strawberries, I made sure a cotton string was pulled across from the pipe to each plant.  The theory is that I’ll fill the pipe from the top and it will wick out the string to the plants.  We’ll see how this little experiment works out.  If it works like it should, I’ll be doing all my container pots like this to help with getting water down into the root zone.

Lowe’s had a great deal on bedding pansies and snapdragons, so looks like my front bed will be filled with them this year.  Can’t refuse a six pack of pansies for 47 cents, and a nine pack of snaps for 97 cents.  Cheap way to make a pretty fall bed.

And at the end of a long, hardworking day, I ask myself why I do this.  When I’m too decrepit to work in the flower beds, they’ll all go to seed.  But I also answer myself.  I do it for me, for the satisfaction I get, for the peace and serenity I find in the garden, and for my neighbors who tell me when they pass by how much they enjoy all my blooms.  And if the beds all go to seed, well, the native look is what I’m going for, so let Mother Nature make it native!

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