I have been wanting to do more blogging about gardening here. I think my interests are a bit too varied, wondering if I should split my blogs off more. Or just categorize well. I’ll start with categorizing.
Anyway, this year we got a very welcome new addition to the backyard: a privacy fence!
I’m pretty excited about this. Gardening is a solitary activity for me – either I am listening to the sounds of the birds or drowning out barking dogs and neighbor’s radio with my own music, and I’m intently doing absorbing work. But without a privacy fence… well, many of the neighbors behind me love to chat, and especially tell us how bad our yard looks or used to look.
Speaking of, here’s a brief history. We’ve been slow getting started, but it’s shaping up.
July 2009, a month after we moved in. The backyard is just a rectangle of grass and weeds. I really like all the clover, though.
September of 2010 – the back fence is overrun with grape vine and bind weed. Eventually, the top part (which is just sort of strapped on) will fall over into the alley. The dirt patch in back is overrun with weeds, which makes the vegetable boxes hard to see.
May of last year. Started to smother the side garden, but before we mulched the hell out of the yard.
Last year we built the arbor, and have a clematis growing up one side and a porcelain berry vine (invasive in the east, but I don’t think so here) on the other side. If the porcelain berry does really well, we may move the clematis nearer to the house.
Yesterday, I bought a bunch of plants at the Spring Affair and put them in the ground. So far, my way of dealing with planting is to put a bunch of stuff in the ground, see what lives, and then move the plants later if I need to. I know that’s not the best. I am getting a little better at picking plants. I like native plants (mostly because they don’t need me to baby them) but I don’t stick exclusively to them. One nice thing about my “system” is that the hardy plants just do my choosing for me – once I know which ones lived, I can pick up more.
We have two rhubarb plants this year- we planted three last year and only 1 survived (the tiny, scrawny one.) Geoff’s dad gave us another and I think I’m going to build one more box for another two rhubarbs. Besides the fact that I love rhubarb and it freezes well, I just love the plant itself. Pretty red stalks and gorgeous leaves. And this year, I should be able to make this lavender rhubarb crumble, since I have lavender too.
I thought about moving the rhubarb, since I chose a kind of awkward place for it, but Geoff pointed out that if we move it, we won’t be able to harvest for yet another year. (You can’t harvest the year you plant, and sometimes not till two years later depending on how well it “takes.”) So it’ll stay, awkwardly placed between the tomatoes, peppers and basil on one side, and zucchini, lettuce, and other stuff (to be determined) on the other.
I am also trying to decide how much grass to get rid of. I like having a lawn occasionally – like when friends bring their dogs over and we play fetch. But most of the time it’s just sitting there. So we’ll see.