Thursday, April 10, 2014

Working in Dirt

It has been a good, long while since I've dug in the dirt.  I had a little bit of an herb garden (wow… I typed 'harden' for 'garden'… it's been that sort of a week) last year, but with the exception of the rosemary, it didn't do very well.  Part of the reason is the spot where there is a ready-made garden is just too shady and moist for most herbs.  They like the heat and the dry a lot more than a lot of other plants, ya know?  So when they died, I didn't bother to replace them.  I just pulled them up and sighed and said, "Maybe next year."

It's next year now.  After the herb debacle, I got on Ye Olde Interwebs and hunted down some good shade garden plans.  After looking through so many my head was starting to spin, I ran across this one (and no, Better Homes & Gardens doesn't know I exist, so don't consider this an endorsement):  Cold-Climate Shade Garden Plan.  There were two reasons that I liked this plan.  #1 was that it looked like it was ready-made to fit the space that I had.  #2 was PERENNIALS.  I {heart} perennials.  Anything that will come back season after season without being repurchased and replanted makes my black-thumbed gardening heart sing.

The only thing that caught my attention, as I'm sure it caught some of yours, was that the garden said it was a 'cold-climate' garden.  But I looked closer and most of the plants were hardy to Zone 8 or 9.  I live in Zone 7.  The only one that might have been a bit iffy was the plant right down in front, lady's mantle.  I just shrugged and mentally (and now physically) swapped it out for Roman chamomile.  Every other plant had at least one version that would work quite well around here, and I suspected I could find most of the plants at a local nursery.

So today that is exactly what I did.  The kids and I piled into the car and went plant shopping.  I didn't exactly stick with the original garden plan, but it's close.  The kids begged for a few plants of their own, too, and I'll take a few pictures of those in the coming days.  Doodlebug was especially keen, and he even requested (and got) a curry plant, among others.  My hands reeked for hours after touching that thing.

Anyway, we got home, and I dug right in.  It was a beautiful afternoon, around 85 degrees, and it's supposed to rain this weekend, which makes it a perfect time to plant.  I picked up three bags of potting soil and already had a couple bags of mulch on hand, as well as some plant food, so I went to town digging up soil, moving rocks (in the photo below, you can see the rocks behind the drainpipe… they used to be smack dab in the middle of the garden), adding potting mix, planting, feeding/watering, and mulching.  It felt so good to get a little bit dirty, and now I have a very nice garden to show for it:

How it will fare, of course, remains to be seen, but I have some lavender, chamomile, geraniums, hostas, astilbes, bleeding hearts, and snapdragons (which aren't very good perennials but were too pretty to pass up).

I have a garden again.

1 comment:

Gillian said...

I love this little garden! It looks like it will fill in beautifully, and you chose a lot of my favorite plants.