life begins

And So It Begins

life begins

It’s been an interesting few years in my gardens – and indeed in my life – as the Internet morphed, the creative clock ticked and the gardens struggled against the weather and environment.

Let me say right up front I really love plants.

Don’t ask me why but there’s something about seeing them grow that speaks to something deep within me.

I had my first garden in early public school. I dug a plot about 4’X4′ and planted several packs of vegetable seed. What I remember is harvesting a few beets (nothing else) from that clay soil and proudly giving them to my mother to cook for dinner that night.

I then took a well deserved break from gardening until I bought a farm.

In my nursery, I would routinely grow several hundred new species from seed every year just to see what might survive in our Canadian garden. Seed from the Ural mountains to the South African velds (some of which was interestingly hardy) and other far-flung spots all wound up in my gardens and test beds.

Those were on top of the 1600 varieties of perennials and 600 varieties of annuals that we produced every year for sale.

It was the economics of modern plant production that made it impossible for me to compete.

But I gladly moved on to full time writing and have been happily churning out the words since 1998. Quite happily I note.

But You Don’t Get Younger

I had another of those zero birthdays this year and after a bout of deconditioning in January, it’s been a struggle to regain enthusiasm for hours of weeding and digging. If I was being honest, I’d say I never had much of that enthusiasm to begin with (my kids will attest to that) and now it’s evident. 😉

The Voles Destroyed More Than Their Share

I’ve written about our winter damage and after the dead plants were removed, I had to take a serious look at what was left behind (hint: lots and lots of bare ground).

I Planted Annuals

I planted several hundred dollars of annuals in the bare spaces and several things happened.

  • The first was a virtual explosion of grass and weed seeds and invasion of quack grass seedlings sprouting up. Give a weed seed a bit of sunlight and that’s what happens.
  • The second was the poverty and challenge of the clay soil was fully exposed. Perennials can survive or thrive on this soil but annuals really can’t. Or, at least they can’t in my books compared to gardening on decent soil.

I’m spending far too much time weeding and trying to hold everything under control.

But Most Importantly

This is not how I want to spend my time.

Hey, I’m of an age where I get to list the things I want to do and the things I do not want to do.

Spending hours in the sun trying to eliminate weeds from a garden that’s been decimated is clearly not one of the things I want to do.

I have other projects and challenges on my bucket list.

Moving Forward

  • I’m killing the shade garden out the back. It’s too big and too much work. And the soil – to put it bluntly – is clay crap – and I’m not interested in doing the work or spending the money to fix it.
  • The plants will be moved to the front garden and sited under trees and near shrubs to provide them with the protection they need. That will happen this fall. If I don’t get it all done this fall, I’ll finish it in spring ’20.
  • I will continue to build the dry stone wall around this front garden to help limit my “one-more-plant-itis.” Nothing like having to move several tons of rock to limit a garden expansion.
  • I’ll let the gold-leaf variegated Vinca minor continue to expand unimpeded as a ground cover in the old shade garden. In fact, I’ll help it by transplanting clumps into the empty spaces. A single weeding or maybe two in a season should take care of any invaders.
  • The sun lovers will be given their spot in the sun out front.
  • My garden size will be cut in half. And I’ll play in what’s left with new plants, interesting plants and my favorites.
  • I will have a small perennial garden and my sweetie will have her vegetable garden.

And The Websites?

By the time you read this, all of the posts from the vegetable and perennial website will have been moved to this website. Those two websites are now electronic mulch somewhere.

I will continue to improve this single site, add images etc to those moved-in posts but on a much slower and relaxed pace.

I also appreciate it greatly when you purchase my ebooks as a way to improve specific parts of your garden.

And so begins a new chapter in my garden adventures.

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