Mudcat Café message #3066318 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #134670   Message #3066318
Posted By: Dorothy Parshall
03-Jan-11 - 12:46 PM
Thread Name: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat Gardeners report - 2011
Plants/gardening have been such an important part of my life prior to Montreal. The full carload of house plants I took across the country from near Phila. to Whidbey Island, had to be left behind when I crossed the border into Canada. I managed to retain some of the planters and look forward to re-filling them. I also rejoiced with a friend who adopted some of the larger ones. I especially miss the four foot jasmine tree which delighted me two years ago when I could actually SMELL it for the first time - a sign that my MCS was less severe at that time. I had not even been able to smell lilacs for ten years.

Replacements are coming slowly: a Clivia miniata which is just finishing a month of bloom at the darkest time of the year! It had finished blloming last pring at Home Depot so I got it for a reduced price - willing to wait for the next go-round. Offices and industrial buildings becoming defunct have donated several large foliage plants which brighten our LR. And broken pieces of aloe vera and Christmas Cactus which are rooting - as I root for them!

I spent tremendous effort in the back yard last summer, restoring beds which had been unused for years. The yard included two truck loads of trash and lots of old bricks and chunks of concrete from when it was a horse stable. Considerable digging unearthed a 3x6 foot piece of concrete which is immovable and about 8 inches lower than the beds adjacent. At that point (August), I fell and injured my back for the season; I am still considering the better way of dealing with this object - get someone to break it up? utilize it as a feature? In what way? I am still waiting for a garden shed "near" there. Actually considering the possibility of one made of concrete blocks with the capacity of having a waterfall coming off the roof into a pond - about where this concrete pad is??? This may be a fantasy?

Anyway, around the edge of three sides of the yard, I planted shrubs and perennials, bought and donated, in profusion, knowing that "next year" they would fill in beautifully.
Found some heritage tomato plants at a co-op and learned which ones did well and also that they could have been planted MUCH sooner and done better. Also planted a round herb bed in a round wooden frame found on the street on trash day. I painted it and it provides separate compartments for four kinds of thyme, oregano, sage and two lavenders. from the wonderful Richter's Herb Farm. The 25x40 space is walled on all sides and probably offers a zone 5 micro-climate. It gets more sun than I expected.

I have a shade bed which includes a Solomon's seal (I hope it comes up again) dug from amongst the poison ivy at a deserted, falling down property in Ontario. The sunny side is reserved for vegies, including rescued rhubarb, so stunted the leaves were smaller than my hand! I dug a trench, sifted the soil and put manure in the bottom. Maybe this year...

I keep in mind the mantra of my 85 year old gardening friend: "The first year they sleep, the second year they creep, the third year they leap."