Saturday, January 9, 2010


You know, it doesn’t matter where you live – well, I guess if you lived on a tropical garden it might matter – gardening in the winter either is non-existent or non-fun. But there are many things that you can do in the heights of the gardening season that will make your winter gardening more fun, more colorful, and grab compliments from all those neighbors who will be so envious of your creativity!!
After the vegetable garden was in last spring – see previous blogs – and with a little energy left, I decided I wanted to reduce the grass in the back yard by half. We have an electric mower, and while it made a huge difference in my mowing – I could never get the gas one started, and I didn’t want to deal with a cord, so I just didn’t do it – just grass, a plain, green, flat yard of grass was pretty boring to look at. So, did I start with a plan – now you know that would not be the Queenly way to garden, so of course I had no plan – but –
The Maiden Grass over behind the garage was huge, I couldn’t see around it, I couldn’t see over it, and it was clogging up my view of what the neighbors were doing, sooooo I divided half of it into 6 clumps and took them to the other side of the yard, tilled about 4 feet out from the fence over there and plunked them in the ground in a wave-ish pattern. That neighbor is boring and nothing to watch anyway, so it also blocked a little of the view.
Next step, I went to visit my sister, and with spades and garden trugs, we went to the family cemetery plots all over the county and instead of digging up the peonies this year away from the stones and tossing them, we put them in the trugs (and only for a few minutes did I feel like a grave robber) and back home they came with me. I put those in between the clumps of grass.
Back to my sisters for boxes of lilac starts - she already had the dug where they were invading her yard, and fit perfecting in the space I didn't know what to do with in the front yard.
My sister-in-law had Bachelor’s Buttons taking over her beds in Vail. One summer visit and a week later I had dug up 4 boxes of the Bachelor’s Buttons and brought them home with me and yes, they too went along the fence.
My nephew had dug all the Iris in his yard and given it to his mother. She had other plans for the area where it was, so another trip to her house and I came home with three banana boxes of Iris – against the house on the other side of the gate. I actually thought planting all those might be the death of me. I have no idea what color any of them will be, so am waiting for my surprise this coming summer and hoping that they aren’t all the same color.
Wish I had more relatives that wanted to get rid of plants, I could about finish my yard, but have ran out of family resources for the time being.
I tilled in around the back side of the yard two rows wide, and have hopes for a wave of Hibiscus there this Spring.
As I look out the patio doors and squint hard I can see a row of burning bushes along the back fence – this will require another big-time massacre of the yew that is growing there, but I cut it down from 15’ to 5’ last winter, so I think I can manage to finish it this winter. I also see a dogwood and a smoke tree in my plans; I just need to squint hard enough to see where they might go.
If you have snow on the ground, put on your boots, button up your coat and tromp around in the yard, I can guarantee you; more ideas will pop into your head than you will have energy to do when the weather improves. Get a garden hose, and don’t hook it up, just take it to that problem spot in your yard and give it a toss, now does that look like an outline for a flowerbed or what!!!
And, when you are tired and it’s time to come in and get toasty, there are always piles of seed catalogs to go thru for next summer!

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