Thursday, December 29, 2011

Resolutions Redux

I can't believe I'm saying this, but a new year is just about to arrive! Having been caught up in Christmas hoopla, I haven't had much time to think about gardening lately (other than noticing the increasing stream of seed catalogs arriving in my mailbox and making a mental note to peruse them more closely in the near future).

But before the year ends, I want to look back on my gardening resolutions for 2011. How did I do? Let's see...

(Look closely and you'll see a little fence holding back these goldenrods.)

1. Define the borders.

Eh, I sort of accomplished this one. I finally added wire fencing to demarcate my front border. Despite its dainty size, I think the fence helps to more clearly separate the garden from the lawn. And I like the curvy pattern too.

Unfortunately I did nothing to define the border on the south side of my back yard. It's as rag-tag as ever; in fact it may be worse because a bunch of the plants here really took off (yellow coneflower, I'm looking at you!). I'm of course happy the plants are doing so well--prairie/savannah natives are flourishing happily in this part sun border. But in 2012, really, seriously, I've got to get some large rocks and properly separate this part of the garden from the ever-creeping lawn grass.

2. Fix this other %@!$# border.

As I've stated many times, the north border in the back yard has confounded me for years now. Terrible soil, low sunlight, and distance from the hose create the perfect storm of garden mediocrity in this area. So I resolved to do something about it! I planted lots of lovely tulips (Rembrandt's Favorite, Negrita, and Dordogne). Then I got tired of having to labor through this hellish mix of clay and lava rocks, so in the fall I planted Darwin tulips (Ad Rem and Jaap Groot) so they will (hopefully) return for multiple years.

I also planted some savannah natives which will (hopefully) be able to withstand the challenging conditions. Harebells (Campanula rotundifolia), brown-eyed susans (Rudbeckia subtomentosa), and Callirhoe bushii were added in the hope that they can light up the place with a mix of blue, yellow, and bright pink. The harebells bloomed delicate bobbing flowers with ferny foliage...I have high hopes they can repeat this in their sophomore year. Even the Rudbeckias bloomed a little...

...and I moved some pale purple coneflowers (Echinacea pallida) here from a too-shady spot where they had languished. But transplanting didn't go well. Maybe I'll see them again, maybe not.

Either way, this was another half-accomplished resolution, but more on that later...

3. Clean up the composting operation.

Done! In late summer my extremely helpful husband turned the wooden skid from my Troy Bilt snow blower into a large compost bin. It's open at the top but wide enough to essentially have two piles; one to add to while the first one decomposes. Wire surrounds the framing to let in air and moisture but keep the leaves and kitchen scraps from falling out. It's even got a little door to scoop out the finished compost. Despite my lack of photographic evidence, I promise you it's great!

So that's kind of 1 1/2-for-3...not great but not terrible. It mirrors my .500 record last year. But what about resolutions for 2012? More coming soon...

1 comment:

Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...

Wow, you are brave to make resolutions, then review whether you achieved them. I'd say you did very well last year. For that troublesome bed, the problem may be that it's too narrow. Some of those prairie plants like to spread out.

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