Each year it seems we attract new friends to the garden center. This little guy is looking a bit bloated after consuming two bags of koi food. And I suspect, from his size, that momma and siblings may be nearby.
Primary Earth-friendly Gardening Tenents:
*Tolerate minimal damage to plants and lawn from pests. *Build and maintain healthy soil by using compost and natural soil amendments. *Use chemicals as a last resort. *Use native plants when possible. They are adapted to the climate, soil and area pests. *Attract Beneficial Insects to increase pollination and decrease harmful pests. *Conserve water by using responsible watering methods.
Saturday, May 16, 2015
Just two years ago I took a photo in front of my azalea in full bloom in March, the past two years this same azalea has not bloomed until May.
You may have heard the saying, "when the forsythia bloom it is time to prune (roses, specifically)."
For centuries farmers have taken their cues from nature. Watching these natural indicators has evolved into the use of soil themometers, greenhouses, and cold frames to extend the natural growing window.
One of the first things I learned after moving from Zone 8 to Zone 5 was that I now have 100 fewer growing days. Wow. That has a lot of impact on seed selection and planting dates, as well as being more aware of days to maturity.
Peas, onion sets and lettuce follow forsythia bloom, whether you are watching the bloom or the soil temperature for germination.
Beets, carrots and chards follow your daffodils. And plant your bush beans following your apple blossoms. Peppers and eggplant may be transplanted out with your Iris blooms.
What cues from nature do you follow in your garden?
Saturday, May 2, 2015
I have gained a new appreciation for bulbs here in Zone 5. In Zone 8 bulbs were often lost in the burst of Spring that presented an orchestra of colors in one maddening show following early rains.
Here in Zone 5 Spring emerges so slowly, following months of snow and sub freezing temperatures. There is not only an excitement that builds in the gardener, but a deep anxiety tracking night time temperatures hovering at freezing with alerts for freeze and hard frost.
Often bulbs emerge well before trees and shrubs break dormancy, waiting for the rain and welcome temperatures. Early bulbs push up through the still cold soils, and withstand those finally dustings of snow.
Saturday, October 11, 2014
Sunday, August 31, 2014
There was no path from the driveway to the back door, so we added a walkway
We used 24" river rock pavers that would match the use of river rock in the overall plan.
There was no usable patio space, so we deconstructed the old patio and reset a new patio in a more usable location. We reclaimed the sand from the old site, and initially reused the canopy frame.
The new plan has the back deck, sidewalk along the house and new pathway from the driveway all intersecting near the new patio space to improve flow.
The drainage areas were covered with river rock.
Next we filled the area with river rock to connect the overall look with the drainage plan.
We brought in river rock to fill in the french drains and border areas that needed additional drainage.
Cuttings and starts filled pots, awaiting their new homes.