Vegetables, yarn, and yarns: all of my passions all in one place.

Monday, May 6, 2013

A Garden of my Very Own: Work in Progress

Things have been busy at our new home. While it was cold, we focused more on fixing up the interior, but then, warmth slowly returned to the Cleveland area and with it, life came to the garden. I learned that I have several Yucca plants, three magnolia tress, a dogwood, a redbud, hyacinths, hygrangeas, clover, violets, daffodils, lilly of the valley, ferns, a very tall Japanese maple. The list goes on and on. Of course, you may notice that missing among this list is those plants that would be considered edible.

At first, we just noticed the faint traces of green peaking out through the winter detritus and the old downed birds nest in the honeysuckle(?) vine. 

Then, the green began popping up in earnest. The magnolias blossomed in gorgeous blooms of white and pink. Just like that, a frost hit and took out all the blooms. Two days of magnolia and that was about it. Flowers gone until next year. Inevitably, though, warmth took root, seemed to want to stay.

I got out my hoe and gardening gloves and I got to work. Our short-sale purchase was left without caretakers for a year. That's a year in which the crabgrass had a chance to take hold over what seems to have been the annuals bed in the front garden. It was so thick, I could hardly make out the few nonweed plants hidden in the tangle. I begin the slow, week-long process of clearing away the weeds. 

Over a dozen bags full of crabgrass and an entire saturday (and a nasty sunburn to boot) later, the bed was clear for what I have planned. And what I have planned is an herb and ornamental edibles garden.

Of course, to make my plan a reality, I needed the plants, so we piled in the Subaru and headed out to Chagrin Falls, where my favorite greenhouse is located, Lowe's Greenhouse. Next year, of course, we'll search for one that's closer to home, but this year, I wanted to stick with what I know to ease the stress of the process a bit. We've had plenty of newness already this year.

I must admit I went a bit crazy during the plant selection process. And while we still have an apple tree, a cherry tree, and raspberry and currant bushes to find, I think I got us plenty to deal with in the meantime, including several tomato plants, cucumbers, zucchini, lettuce, peppers, strawberries, kale, chard, spinach, arugula, and beets for the veggies/fruits and basil, cilantro, rosemary, thyme, savory, climbing mint, chocolate mint, chamomile, parsley, catnip, and lavender seeds for the herbs. I may be forgetting a few.

Of course, now I can't plant any of them yet, because there will likely be another frost on mother's day. Thus, I will be spending the next week or so bringing my two pallets of plants onto the indoor porch at night and taking them out again in the morning with a good watering to get them through the day on the front walk in the sun. That crabgrass had so better not grow back before I get this all planted.

Now, I need to tackle the backyard bed that the veggies will go in. Currently, it is covered in a gardening cloth and in that cloth, the only plant hardy enough to break through its sturdy fabric has colonized: pricker bushes. All over. I'm going to need thicker gloves.

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