My Adk Gardens

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Plasticized the Veggie Garden

While much of the country has been having severe weather this past week, in this area we've been having unseasonably mild weather.

Usually at this time of year, our yard is either buried under snow, or at the very least, everything is brown and frozen. Not this year! It's November 30th but, it was in the high 60's today, the lawn is still green and I spent most of the day working outside.

My vegetable garden used to be part of our woodland. All I ever did to prepare the area to become a garden was have the trees cut down and removed, weedwhack the remaining brush down to ground level, and form planting beds by covering 7x4 foot areas with newspaper and compost.

Now, several years later, there are still some good sized stumps in the vegetable garden. A lot of the roots and smaller stumps have rotted though, so I think in the spring I'll try rototilling the garden. Meanwhile however, I'm trying to get a head start by letting the voles do some winter rototilling for me! I've covered the garden with black plastic, which will provide a cozy winter home for the voles. Hopefully, they'll "rototill" the area for me this winter as they burrow under the plastic, looking for food. If I can't get rid of the critters, I may as well try putting them to work for me!

Late this afternoon we had some rain, but the really wild weather isn't due to arrive until tomorrow. We're supposed to have rain, sleet, snow and high winds. If the weathermen are right, the voles should appreciate that I got their new winter home ready for them just in the nick of time.

Check back in the spring, to see if my "vole rototillers" worked!

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Leaf Envy

When we go into the city, I can't help but notice the huge piles of leaves along the sides of the streets. Everyone has been busy raking their leaves to the side of the street, because the city will come along and pick them up to dispose of them.

"If only we still had a truck!", I say out loud when I see the piles. My husband raises an eyebrow and gives me a look that says, he's glad we don't still have a truck.

Years ago, we used to spend every fall evening picking up other people's leaves. My husband never quite understood my glee when we came home with more "fall gold", but he obligingly accompanied me on the leaf gathering trips. When we'd see a perfect leaf pile (perfect piles are 99% leaves, with no-to-few sticks and/or debris mixed in), my husband would stop the truck and I'd go to the door of the homeowner, to ask permission to take their leaf pile. I used to get some strange looks, but no one ever denied me!

After the bed of our pickup truck was full, we'd come home and start shredding the leaves in our leaf shredder. Once shredded, the leaves would be stored in a huge chicken wire cage for the winter. Then, in the spring, they'd be used on my gardens as mulch. I've tried many different types of organic mulch on my gardens, but shredded leaves are still my all-time favorite.

As we drive through the city in our small car at this time of year, and I see the unappreciated piles of leaves about to be discarded, I can't help myself...I develop leaf envy.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Seed Catalogs Have Been Arriving

Some 2007 seed catalogs started arriving close to a month ago. I used to always wonder who would look at seed catalogs for the following year, before it was even Halloween. I normally would stack any gardening catalogs I wanted to keep in an out-of-the way spot, and not even glance through them until after Christmas. This year is different though!

I have a Thompson & Morgan 2007 seed catalog that has been sitting on an end table in my living room for the past couple of weeks and I can't bring myself to put it away. Perhaps it's because foxgloves are one of my favorite flowers, but I've been totally sucked in by the cover of the Thompson & Morgan catalog this year. They boast that their cover flower, Digitalis purpurea 'Candy Mountain', is the first upward facing foxglove from seed. I don't know if that statement is true or not, but I do know that I want to grow this flower.

Not only is the Thompson & Morgan 2007 seed catalog going to stay in my living room for awhile longer, but I might even order from it before Christmas!

Although last week-end we had the horrible weather that the weathermen had promised, yesterday was a gorgeous day here and today is almost as nice. I'm still cutting back the dead foliage from perennials, and this afternoon I also started clearing an area to plant some Foxglove 'Candy Mountain' in the spring.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Top Gardens on the Internet

I'm creating a topsites list for the top gardens on the Internet. If anyone reading this has a gardening web site and it has pictures of your gardens on it, I hope you'll consider joining Top Gardens. My hope is that eventually it will have a long list of the top gardens on the Internet!

Adding your link to Top Gardens is FREE! Only gardening-related web sites will be added to the list though, you must have at least one easy-to-find picture of your garden on your site, and you must link back to "Top Gardens". When you join, you will be given the vote code to add to your site.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Gardening Season is Almost Over

I accomplished quite a bit today. We had a very heavy frost last night, so I spent most of the day outdoors, cutting back the dead growth on many of my perennials. Now my arms and legs hurt, and my right hand & wrist hurt even more (from using the pruners), but it's a good hurt. It's the type of hurt that says, "I worked in the garden today!".

According to the Weather Channel, "A powerful storm system will create havoc across the Northeast this weekend." Hmmm. I don't like the sounds of that!

Our local weatherman says it should start raining here shortly after midnight tonight and all day tomorrow we'll have heavy rain, and possible flooding. We're also going to be under a high wind advisory all day tomorrow and downed trees and power lines are expected. Sunday, colder air is supposed to come in and the rain will change to snow. I think the gardening season is almost over!

On the bright side of things, this week-end is the Fall Cyber Crop at Memory Book Inspirations! Hopefully, I'll get some pages done for my Garden Album!

Thursday, October 26, 2006

What Not to Plant

I was just reading "Scourge of the garden" over at Happy Hobby Habit and it got me to wondering, what plant is more invasive than Aegopodium?

My vote goes for the herb Comfrey (Symphytum). Although it appears innocent enough when it's planted in a permanent location, never try moving it. Every little piece of root you leave behind will develop into a new plant and heaven help you if you rototill the plot where it once grew! When a friend gave me a division from her Comfrey plant (she swears by the external use of comfrey leaves for bruises, sprains and arthritis), I unsuspectingly planted it in a temporary location. Years later, I'm still digging baby Comfrey plants out of that garden, and each time I do, the roots I leave behind from them create NEW baby Comfrey plants!

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Thoughts of Spring

I love daffodils! They're hardy, they're easy to plant, once planted they require little to no care and, after a long northern winter, they shout "Spring!". Perhaps best of all though, rodents and deer (both of which are major pests in my gardens), don't eat daffodils! :)

A couple of years ago, we had a section of our rocky woodland bulldozed and graded. Part of the resulting landscape is a large slope that can be viewed from all the back windows of our house. Last fall I planted a couple of hundred daffodils on that slope, and today I planted some more. My plan is to continue planting daffodils on that slope every fall, until the entire hill is covered.

It may have been a chilly and cloudy fall day today, but my thoughts were of a bright & sunny spring!