Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Worth the Wait

This azalea was on the opposite side of our yard six and a half years ago.  I moved it ... ahem ... I told my father and my husband to move it the week after I gave birth to Rosie.  For some post-partum, hormone-influenced reason, it had to happen.  In August.  During the worst drought in years.  No one dared to voice any complaint.  We had a delicate balance to maintain.

After they lifted it out of the ground, my mother directed them to a spot under the oak tree and instructed them to dig a hole large enough to accommodate the huge root ball.  She followed behind them planting all the small, spindly suckers that she had removed from around the larger azalea.  None of us thought any of them would live but why not try.

The large azalea and all the little babies have survived, and survived with style.  The spindly suckers are now 2' by 2' shrubs.   And the flowers are breathtaking.  However, this azalea family seems to have developed the biennial habit of blooming every other year.  Last year none of the transplanted azaleas bloomed.  Not one bud developed.  This year however ...

It was worth the wait.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Making a List

Lunchtime in the garden

My favorite plant sale is fast approaching and this year I will be ready.  I typically procrastinate and go plant shopping without a list and without a clue.  I wander through the stalls completely overwhelmed and without any funds because I haven't prepared.

But this year will be different.  I have cleared out the beds and noted holes.  I am getting rid of plants that having been lingering for too long in the garden (wild daylilies, black-eyed susans, blackberry lilies) taking up valuable real estate.  I have researched and made a list.  And most importantly, I have squirreled away some money.

Here's the list so far:
Lavender "Grosso" (5)
tomato transplants
Lady in Red hydrangea
hybrid daylilies
Thornless raspberries 

Of course there will be other purchases - the kids and Peter will pick out some veggies and I'll probably fall for something pretty and cheerful for the shade.  I can't wait!  If you're in Richmond this Saturday, grab a wagon for your plants and head to Maymont!

25th Anniversary
Herbs Galore & More
Saturday, April 25
Maymont, Carriage House Lawn
$3 fee, free for members and children 12 and under

Friday, April 17, 2009


These May flowers will become July blueberries:  Climax, a southern type variety.

I am a big fan of the print media.  I love devouring a new issue of a favorite magazine - either skipping from article to article regardless of order or respectfully combing through the issue one page at a time.  Either way, within a matter of hours the magazine is finished.

This past week, I read a column in Organic Gardening by Maria Rodale that I've been coming back to again and again.  It was short, simple, and put a name to what I've been trying to do in my garden:  Snackscaping.  

I can't farm even on a small scale.  I have .15 acres in the city.  I can barely grow tomatoes because I have chosen to fill my sunniest spots with lilies, roses, and ornamental grasses.  But I sure as hell can snackscape!

We've got figs, blueberries, alpine strawberries, sugar snaps, and lettuces that we all (and especially the children) eat just as a matter of course when out in the garden.  One day when our fruit trees mature, we'll add apples and plums to the list.  And later this spring, we'll plant cucumbers and peas.  And yes, tomatoes.  Sun Gold tomatoes.  After reading Rodale's article, I hope to add raspberries and grapes to our list of garden snacks.  

We belong to a CSA, so there's no pressure to harvest enough from the garden for meals (I am a lousy weeder/waterer in August when the weather is beastly) so snackscaping is perfect for me.

To read Maria Rodale's article on snackscaping please see the May 2009 issue of Organic Gardening (her blog - Maria's Farm Country Kitchen - is here).  Also, to visit my favorite snackscaping supplier, click here to browse the Edible Landscaping catalogue (a fabulous Afton, VA supplier). 


I'm going to just start posting again and completely ignore the fact that I took, ahem, 5 months off of garden blogging.  Let's just say, I was dormant and now it's spring.