May 22, 2016

The Cure for Epimedium Deficit Disorder - Garden Vision Epimediums

Let me start with this statement - one will never truly appreciate the presence of an epidemium in the garden unless one plants one in the ground and waits 3 years. There are reason why we have passed them over at nurseries or in catalogs, either the flowers are oddly spider like, or the potted specimens looks less-than-exciting, but see one established in a garden, and suddenly they move to the top of ones must-have list. Few see specimens in our garden without asking "wow, what is that?". 

May 17, 2016

Time for a Rototiller Smackdown

Time for a new garden! So, an excuse for a Rototiller smack-down. Troy bilt's in the shed emerged for a one-on-one race to see who could tackle our 'back 40' better, faster and deeper. Dahlias and cucumbers await in the greenhouse!

Nope - NOT a paid or even a sponsored post.  We simple needed a new garden, and with 4 rototillers in our shed, (one not working), why not haul em out and use them to create a new garden in practically virgin soil, or 'virgin' at least for the past few decades. With little time nor energy to hand dig a thousand square feet or two, the sometimes necessary rototiller (or tiller) was needed.

With at least 200 dahlia tubers started in 6 inch pots in the greenhouse, and even more tomatoes this year, plus plans for eight or so cucumber varieties, we needed the extra room.  Mostly, this space will be planted with dahlias, as we helped start a new dahlia society (the New England Dahlia Society - join if you can! There is a meeting this Sunday, and we'll be hosting our first show in September at Tower Hill Botanic Garden).

Joe has been eager to find a spot for his AA (or dinner plate) dahlias, and I will need more room for cucumbers and tomatoes (not to mention some of my dahlias). So we decided to regenerate part of our 'back 40', a piece of land way back in our back yard where my parents used to grow squash, potatoes and beans in the 1980's, and before that, red raspberries and celery. It's been neglected for about 20 years now, so the rototillers had to be called in (or dusted off from the shed). Time for a road rally.

The Gardener's Full Plate Season

I presume that most of us suffer the same plight  during these spring days - that of little time, and lots of chores. Once one factors in the obligatory plant sales, treks to the garden center and garden tours - the idea of spreading mulch or repotting dahlias can get pushed out to another weekend. If you are anything like me, returning home from a plant sale often means that even more plants arrive - why is it that we often forget the entire second part of the process? That each of these plants needs to be planted, the containers washed and repurposed or recycled? Each plant well watered and tended to.

But, really, I 'get' it - you can't risk ignoring that very special rare salvia species or afford the slightest delay in grabbing that giant cassia or spikey solanum just discovered at the nursery (unless we really want to place another order with Annies Annuals and wait...). In some way, this is a sport - not unlike a mobile game, complete with the thrill of the hunt and the delight of 'scoring' high when the cart is full of treasures (sometimes even if the perfect container has yet to be claimed).


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