Sunday, February 28, 2010

Gardening: Random thoughts. Partly about vegetables.

All righty, then. I haven't written anything to speak of about gardening for quite some time, so it's time for desperate measures: Random Garden Thoughts.

Thought One: I want bigger clumps. I have a tendency to plant my garden with one each of far too many fascinating plants. This can produce a perfectly nice cottage garden style, but it turns out that I'm only a moderate fan of cottage gardens. When I look at other people's gardens, it's the big clumps that I admire. There's a roughly ten foot by twenty foot clump of Shasta daisies down the road; it's gorgeous when it's in bloom.

We (me, Himself, and Gardener Artist/Miss Mosaic) are slowly adding larger clumps to the garden, by adding more of what's succeeding and yanking odd sad singles of what isn't. But it may be time for some more aggressive rearranging.

Thought Two: It turns out that bush snap beans require far less sun than shallots do. This is a good thing to know, because our vegetable garden doesn't have enough sun to really justify the name. It produces a halfhearted-to-moderate crop of snap beans, while last year's shallot crop wasn't big enough to be worth harvesting.

However, this means that I'll have to yank out the shallots that I didn't bother harvesting last year, that are already putting out heartbreakingly optimistic little green shoots this year. Maybe the neighbors would like to grow them on.

Thought Three: What are those things that I'm calling shallots? I call them shallots, whoever sold them to me calls them shallots, and the grocery calls them shallots, but I suspect that they're really potato onions.

Not that I object to potato onions. But I'd like to grow the classic gray French shallots, and so would Himself. So we may break down and plop some in the middle of a prime full-sun flower bed. However, that plan requires that I remember to order them in the fall, when they ship. Maybe next year I'll be blogging about our successful crop.

Thought Four: I've (briefly) discussed the idea that areas of the garden should have a purpose - a place to sit, a vegetable garden, a cutting garden, and so on. Most of the spaces in the garden have one or more purposes, but the space between the north side of the house and the neighbors' fence is an exception.

Himself has ceded this space to me, for my exclusive enjoyment, while we share most of the rest of the garden. That's where I grow the plants that I love and he hates with a fiery passion, like David Viburnums and lilies. I enjoy my exclusive domain, but Plants Himself Hates is a bad mission statement for a garden. Finding a clearer purpose for this space remains an open garden issue.

Thought Five: We have a bed in front of the garage that's waiting patiently for three roses. We have the trellises for the roses, all built and installed. But I can't seem to choose the roses. The bed remains a low sea of ivy.

It's not that there aren't any roses that I like. There are thousands. But these three spaces are the last three spaces for roses in the garden. Once those three roses go in, there will be no more until something dies or is evicted. Apparently I can't handle the pressure of picking the Last Roses.

Photo: Mine.


  1. I'm one of those people who just wants to plant one of everything that I think is cool. I try to refrain from doing that...I have nice clumps of daffodils and irises. Other than that, there are no clumps. Now I have clump envy, thanks a lot lol.

  2. Sorry about that. :) (There is no Nervous Guilty Smiley, is there?)

    My biggest clump is also of irises. They seem to enforce their clumping rights more vehemently than other plants.

  3. I'll be starting my first garden this spring ( which is essentially upon us! ). I'll keep an eye on your blog for tips. Thanks again for everything CF. You're a good person.

  4. Hey, Axiom Wolf! Welcome to the blog! And thanks. :)