Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Fall cleanup

I'm not one to do a thorough fall cleanup, but this year I did less than usual while waiting for plants to go dormant. By the time they did, the holidays were upon us, so that job fell by the wayside. Today was not a particularly nice day to be outside, but I needed some fresh air. The 'Betty Corning' clematis is now cut back to about a foot off the ground.

My gardening ennui is lifting. Today I actually placed an order with Pinetree Garden Seeds for the vegetable garden. As for the rest of the yard, I am thinking and rethinking this idea and that. I expect to flipflop more than a politician by the time I finally make up my mind.

For example, last summer I was gung ho on moving the above mentioned clematis from the corners of the den to the base of two redbud trees. Now I'm thinking I'd rather leave them in situ and build a sturdy trellis for each. Then I can plant annual vining flowers like morning glories (or something) to climb the redbuds.

Another idea rolling around in my brain is to add a small, screened-in gazebo to the backyard, so I can sit outside in the evening without being eaten alive by mosquitoes. The exact location is in flux, but currently I favor tucking it into the orchard area.

A definite "must" is to get some help with designing all this. Another "must" is to hire out the heavy lifting. Despite the help my SO provides, to get things into shape in a relatively short amount of time will take more brawn than we two sixty-somethings can muster.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Not feeling it

Usually this time of year I am pawing through seed and plant catalogs, drooling over the saturated photographs of all things gardening. This year, my gardening mojo seems to be on hiatus. It feels very strange, and I'm not quite sure what to do about it.

During the summer, I feel this way about knitting, but once the weather turns cool and crisp, the needles start to fly. So maybe, once spring begins in earnest, the urge to get down and dirty will return. The only problem with patiently waiting for that to happen is I need to be at least thinking about ordering what needs to go into the ground NOW.

As I mentioned before, I have been contemplating reducing the vegetable garden. Maybe I should take the whole year off, grow nothing but green manure in my raised beds. There are farmers markets almost every day of the week around here, so I anticipate no shortage of fresh produce. AND I would not have to do battle with sparrows, rabbits, and woodchucks.

What has been brewing in the back of my mind is a total redesign of the backyard, to introduce that "charm" I have also mentioned recently. And I may even outsource the heavy lifting - I'm getting too old to dig holes in solid clay. This will require some thought.