Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Learning, Edge style

I have learned a few things after my (few) years of Gardening here on The Edge.  No, I'm not talking about the typical things like what kind of fertilizer to use [fertilizer?  Only for the roses] or where to buy plants [depends on the plant].  These are...  odd things.

1.  Non-Gardeners Do Not Believe Gardening is Easy [even some people who have gardens don't believe this one] Try this one - tell a Non-Gardener that you don't fertilize, you just put down a fresh layer of compost and/or mulch every year.  They will still insist on buying fertilizer.  And putting it on plants that don't look good.  Because it has to be a nutrient problem.  See the pictures below.  Guess when they were last fertilized [hint:  I amended the soil when I constructed the beds and since then have added only mulch.  I guess that wasn't much of a hint, was it?  It was kind of the answer...]

Toomanus tolistus

2.  No one will believe you when you tell them your "secrets."  You might as well tell them that you use composted unicorn poop.  [hmmm... I may try that.]  During a single conversation they will praise your garden (or lawn) and refuse to believe you when you say you don't fertilize your lawn or rake leaves - really, you just mow the leaves in situ [that's "in place" for all you normal, non-science-geek types.  I just threw in the Latin to see if you're still awake out there.]

For example.  Wow.  Your grass grows really thick in the backyard, despite your dogs.  What's your secret?  No, really, I don't believe you.  I can recommend something to get rid of those broad leaf weeds you have, though.

 Lawnus grassus  and Trifolium repens

[I am proud to admit that I ORDERED CLOVER SEEDS since the lawn was a major chem-lawn when we moved in.]

2b.  No one wants to believe The Biologist [that's me] about Biology.  For example they want to know how to attract butterflies but not bees [can't do it] and they flap their skirts when they see the garter snakes in the garden [even the guys do this] and you try to explain that it's a BENEFICIAL snake, it's GOOD for the garden.  [Dammit, neighbors, quit killing my snakes!  Heck, dammit, formerly-feral dog, quit killing my snakes.  And while you're at it can you try to shed only when you're outside?  Thx]

Centaurea montana and friends

3.  Pay attention to what kind of underwear you put on in the morning.  Seriously.  You will bend over or squat down in the garden and your underwear will show.  So don't wear the black lace thong when you're gardening in the front yard where your Neighborhood Little Old Church Lady can see.  And don't wear the white granny panties when the Cute Single Neighbor's Brother-Cousin-Whatever is around [assuming you're single and/or interested].

[Sorry, no photos.  The Husband refused to take the pictures of me crouched in the garden, showing the undies.  He's old fashioned that way.  Plus I teach at a public college and that sort of stuff can come back to haunt a professor who doesn't have tenure yet!]

4.  The people who are most concerned about individual plants are not the best gardeners.  My neighbors' won't plant tomatoes until after there is no chance of frost.  I plant them early unless the weather is bad and figure if we get a late frost I'm only out $10 or so.  I'm the first in the neighborhood to get tomatoes.  Wonder why [sarcasm!]

Begonia x tuberhybrida

I put out these begonias two weeks ago.  The average date of last frost is early May so I was right on schedule for me.  My neighbors?  Not till after Memorial Day.  Seriously.

Real Gardeners who loose a plant discover...  a new place to plant something!  Let's try something new and different!  [this is the Boo-Hoo, Woo-Hoo Trait and it is only found in Real Gardeners]

Last up...  Well, not a surprise to me.  My Aquilegia got badly infected by sawfly larvae.  These buggers look like small caterpillars and will eat up the spring leaves of Columbines.  Mine are blooming anyway.  I picked the larvae off, left them on the deck railing near the bird feeder [snacks for breeding birds who need the extra protein!] and now my Aquilegia have new growth coming in.  They didn't bother to wait before blooming.

5.  You don't need chemicals to have a nice lawn and garden.  I promise.

Aqueligia -don't-remember-planting-that!

[Maybe I need to learn 6 - keep better notes....]

1 comment:

  1. Your flower beds are beautiful, exactly the style I like. And I agree with all of your lessons learned. The Centaurea montana flowers are so pretty. Are they in bloom now? They look a lot like what grows in my front yard, Monarda fistulosa (also called wild bergamot or bee balm).

    Here's to Keeping Better Notes!