Wednesday, July 14, 2010

How Does Your Garden Grow?

Literally... how do you get it to grow?

I've talked before about our yard and garden... even at times, sounded ridiculously proud of it. Sure, we have shrubs that we lovingly prune each year and they (thankfully) flower again and again. A bed of your typical perennials also continues to grace us with their presence. Of course there are herbs... can any "cook" live without them, after all? And my mom has helped me over the seasons to arrange a mean container.

But... (a very big) but... this hydrangea (that I now know could be a beautiful pink flower!!!)... this glorious little (wimpy in comparison to its sister and brothers I'm seeing everywhere) flower has stumped me from day one. I know hydrangeas flower from old wood and thus need to be pruned very early... so after having no success the first year when I cut it back immediately after flowering, I haven't pruned her for the past two years. You read that right... not one snip (which these folks say shouldn't matter). As a result, we got a healthy looking shrub... with vibrant, dark green leaves - but no buds, or flowers. And this year - what can only be attributed to the heavy snowfall - four or five buds appeared on our once again otherwise-flourishing hydrangea. While I'm as grateful as can be for these blossoms, I would love to know how we got so lucky and moreso, how I can duplicate this effort (and then some) next year.

In the meantime, my gardening satisfaction for the year will have to come from the other side of our yard... in the form of vegetables. After a successful spinach and still burgeoning green leaf lettuce crop, we've started digging up our sweet baby carrots and enjoying our fresh tomatoes (while waiting on our pole beans, zucchini, and bell peppers). There's just nothing more fun than pulling a grown-from-seed real-live vegetable from your own (compost and all) garden.

Thus, as you might expect, we're already thinking about what to grow in the kitchen garden this fall and again, next spring! Besides conquering a finicky hydrangea, any recommendations for another season of fresh, homegrown, veggies?


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