Friday, November 23, 2007

Gardening part 1

I never thought for one moment that I'd ever be interested in gardening. I am not an outdoors-y person and I'm not into getting my hands dirty. My parents weren't big gardeners and we never spent time in our yards except to swim in the pool and BBQ.

When Kurt and I bought our home, I was secretly happy that it had a very tiny backyard. When we were looking at the house, I asked Kurt if it bothered him and he said "no, less grass to mow."

We looked at the house in April, when the front yard was in bloom. There is a beautiful dark pink dogwood tree in the landscape and I was thrilled to have some mature trees in the yard.

We moved in July and had a busy, but sad summer (Kurt's father died less than a month of us moving in) and I changed jobs in October and then again in January.

In the early spring, I saw a lot of daffodils in the side yard. We also had that dogwood tree and some iris. I thought it was cool and wondered what other surprises awaited us. In June my patience was rewarded with peonies, white like the ones in my wedding bouquet. They smelled incredible! I was becoming interested.

Our house is over 80 years old now. It has some tall mature trees. Oddly enough, when I looked at the overall landscape, there really wasn't very many evergreens and perennials and no real landscaping plan. The backyard was a disaster in terms of planning. We had an old rusted swingset and white rocks by the garage. And we had an old flagstone patio that was narrow and pushing up. It wasn't fun.

The one thing we did have in the backyard was "Audrey" a very old twisted wisteria. The scent of the flowers was heaven, but the bees loved it more than I did. Combined with the ancient lilac trees, it was Bee Heaven...rough for Kurt who has an allergy to bees. Audrey, was a menace in the tangled landscape of our small backyard...I would have never called it a garden then.

We decided to kill Audrey (named for the plant from Little Shop of Flowers, not my Aunt) She didn't go easy. We cut off all her branches and it sprouted new ones the next day. We were frustrated. Audrey had these long shoots that went under the weeds/grass and came up on the other side of the yard. Audrey finally met her demise after cutting off all her limbs down to her stubbly stump and then pouring boric acid all over her. We also poked holes in the dirt all around her and poured the boric acid in there as well. It worked.

Meantime, I began to realize that I wanted a pretty little garden. Our backyard in less than 10 feet wide in some places (we have a large brook - almost a river in our backyard and our property extends halfway into the brook) I bought a book about plants and began to read Better Homes and Gardens in earnest. We couldn't afford a landscaper and honestly I began to itch to do it hard could it be?

Seven years later, I'm still working on it ;)

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