23 November 2010

My New Edger

When it comes to gardening, I wanted to do things as cheaply as I can. I have trouble spending a lot of money on things - that has caused problems for me recently - I've been wanting to lay out some new beds and spruce up the yard a little bit, but it all seems like a lot of work for little reward.

Take edging, for example - after we bought our house, I needed to make sure I kept the yard looking nice, so I decided to buy an edger. The last thing I wanted was another noisy tool. At one time, leaf blowers were possibly my biggest pet peeve. No, I was going to buy an old-fashioned half-moon edger. Actually, I was lucky to find one. I thought it would be good for me, the environment, etc. It was fine for the first couple of years, but it's gotten to the point where I edge 3-4 times a year - that's become a lot of tedious work. It's also how I spent edging and laying out all of those beds the last couple of years. So when it came time for me to get off my butt and start this shade garden, I needed a real edger.

Gas-powered was out of my price range. I've had other yard tools that were either corded or have a rechargeable battery. I wasn't sure which one I might want. My experience with hedge trimmers is that the battery might die before I finished with the hedges, but the electric, we've cut the cord a number of times. It turns out my only choice was one with a cord.

I took it out of the box and tried it out on Sunday - laying out the new shade garden and edging the driveway and walkway. It has three different depths, 1/2 inch to 1&1/2 inch, calling the deepest "trenching". Not much of a trench, but probably the only one I'll be using it on, especially to get through tough sod.

22 November 2010

The Winter Vegetable Garden

I've been pondering the winter vegetable garden recently - rethinking it. I planted two beds of broccoli, two beds of onions, and a bed of greens - lettuce and spinach. We rarely eat broccoli - especially from the garden, I haven't successfully grown a really good onion, and our greens are nonexistent - the spinach never came up and something must have eaten our lettuce - I don't think it just died.

I need to rethink our fall planting more - I don't want to give up on onions, but I may limit myself to a half of a bed, and only one type of onion - yellow granex hybrid, also know as a Vidalia. I'll stick with the broccoli, though I'll try to grow more from seed. Robin says she's trying to sneak more vegetables into meals. I think my focus during the winter ought to be on greens. We will get the most out of them - they're usually easy to grow, cheap, replenish-able and I really enjoyed all the salads I ate last spring.

R.I.P. Dream Gardens

I was off work last Wednesday and decided I would visit Dream Gardens and take some photos - and maybe even buy something. If you have never heard of Dream Gardens, you missed a heck of a place. Cultivated over the years on what I'm told was a former car lot, it became an Eden in a world of pavement and just as elusive - its frontage on Rivers Avenue was the size of a storefront.

Once past the front gate, you felt like nature had reclaimed this part of town. You couldn't walk down the winding paths without brushing against every plant - especially in the late summer / early fall. I have to admit I didn't go there as often as I would have liked, so I was disappointed to find that they are moving their operation to Hollywood. Gone is the jungle that occupied that small part of Rivers Avenue. It will be missed.

Ennui de jardin

When it comes to gardening, I'm not inspired right now. The summer was so hot and long that I just stayed inside. Now that it is turning cold - in fits and starts - I can see only work - landscaping, edging, laying out beds, digging up grass.

I've put off planting our large bed until spring - I have ideas about what to put there, but nothing definite yet. My plan is still evolving. Since I'm not doing that, I told myself I need to put in the shade garden under the oak tree. I have all of the plants and I need to do it before it gets too cold. Unfortunately, all I need is to dig up grass and put in lots of topsoil/compost. That just sounds like back-breaking work to me, and right now my back isn't feeling up to it.

Recently, I had some back pain, enough to keep me out of work for two days and to a chiropractor three times in a week - a first for me. So, I'm a little hesitant to dive back into gardening just yet.