Monday, February 4, 2008

Operation Dog Storm

After a weekend with temperatures hitting 60 and a Saturday filled with fabulous gardeners (I met Helen Dillon!), I am inspired!

Sunday found me outside pruning the fig tree, finally painting the back fence, and putting into effect phase one of Operation Dog Storm. Everyday, 2-3 times a day I walk with Luna around the garden and spray her with bitter apple if she steps foot in the garden. I put up some really ugly fencing (temporary!) to show her the border (since I will admit, with the lack of turf and winter garden, it's hard to tell).

I'm doing some research on dwarf conifers (Richard Bitner spoke on Saturday and was just amazing) and am interested in getting some asian pears to espalier (Hosui?). I know that I'll be dealt a seasonal smack-down in a few days when temperatures drop, but for now I'm just thrilled that Spring is on it's way!

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Ready for Inspiration

Luna looks innocent, but I know better

I head off this morning for the Down to Earth Gardening Horticulture Symposium at Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens. Speakers include Helen Dillon and David Howard. I am desperate for some inspiration.

Friday, February 1, 2008

On How I Got Here

... or Things were looking pretty good around here until the dog showed up.

I became the proud owner of a rescued Golden Retriever, Luna, last August. She turned one in November and is frenetic force in the garden. My garden is approximately .15 acres in the Westover Hills neighborhood of Richmond, Virginia (zone 7). I live with my husband (the BackBou) and two young children.

My garden July 2007

The BackBou's pride and joy: his earth oven

We moved into this house right after my oldest was born and I have worked hard to train them to walk on the paths and to treat the plants with great respect. My eldest has her own garden square and my youngest get hers this year. We have a mulched area for their swing set and a small patch of lawn, ... well, I guess that should be "we had a small patch of lawn."

The dry conditions over the summer, my lack of enthusiasm for watering turf, the arrival of the dog with her crazed runs and, deep sigh, digging just about ruined any chance of a lawn by September. And then we host a 100+ person party in October (which this past year followed 3 days of drenching rain). We had to put hay down for the party -- the yard had turned into a mud bowl.

Now I can't blame this all on Luna. But my biggest gardening struggle right now is learning how to garden with this beast. I'm having to learn a different way to garden -- I have to garden tougher. This blog will chronicle my journey ...