Let's Get Dirty
A gardening blog for adults who still love to play in the dirt.
Send stories and pictures of your horticultural adventures to firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Carol Clark
Monday, March 26, 2012
One of my all time favorite flowers, daffodils, symbolize friendship, spring and new birth. I do love tulips, but they are sometimes a little late for the Easter scene. Of course, I love the crocus because it is the first, hardy even in the cold freezes, but nothing says it's spring like clusters of daffodils with their yellow bonnets. Every morning I look out the front door and they are facing east like they can't wait to welcome the rising sun.
"And then my heart with pleasure fills and dances with the daffodiles."
In Elizabethan times they called them daffadowndillys.
She wore her yellow sun-bonnet,
She wore her greenest gown;
She turned to the south wind
And cursied up and down.
She turned to the sunlight
And shook her yellow head,
And wispered to her neighbor,
"Winter is dead."
by A.A. Milne.
By Penny Stine
Tuesday, March 20, 2012
Last year, I thought I hated my compost bin, because it was too tall for me to work the compost with a shovel. My husband was gracious enough to build me a lower, open compost bin last spring, which works well in the summer when the weather's hot. I also broke down and bought a pitchfork, which is the real secret to compost success. I emptied this bin at the end of last summer & spread compost all over my garden. Then I promptly filled it with leaves, a little grass and other yard debris. I've been tossing kitchen scraps (especially coffee grounds) in it all winter and trying to go turn it once every week or two.
The result of my winter diligence? Compost! Lovely, lovely compost, which I worked into the soil before I planted peas.
OK, so I didn't get much. I'm working on quality, not quantity.
Adding compost to garden soil is ALWAYS a good idea here in the Grand Valley with our alkaline clay soil. Right now, the Mesa County Landfill is having a March sale. You can get a truckload of Mesa Magic (and pay tax, too) for $25. Such a deal!
Even if you put a yard of compost on your garden last year, put another yard on again this year. Your garden will thank you.
By Penny Stine
Monday, March 19, 2012
Men know that the secret to success is having the right tools, so anytime they do anything, it's an excuse to go buy a new tool. Preferably one that makes a lot of noise and is capable of destruction. Women (or at least this particular woman) will often make do using whatever tool is on hand, on sale or otherwise convenient. I have learned the error of my ways. Look what I bought this spring, thanks to my master gardening class:
These are some seriously awesome tools. The hand shovel is a nice, sturdy little tool. The middle tool (sorry, I don't know the right name. A hacker/chopper/slasher?) is awesome. It slices, it dices and it really cuts stubborn roots from your neighbors' trees that insist on spreading into your garden. The long-handled hand-shovel is great at digging up grass, which tends to have long, spreading, annoying roots that are trying to stake a claim in your flower beds.
Last year, I discovered a pitchfork was essential for making compost. More on that tomorrow.
By Carol Clark
Friday, March 16, 2012
While we are waiting for planting season to arrive, I thought you might enjoy a few pictures of vintage seed packets that I found on Pinterest.
I am always disappointed when I receive packets in the mail and they are white envelopes with black lettering and no artwork. I know this saves me money but wouldn't you love to get some of these beautiful works of art in the mail?
It would be a treasure to own a collection of these packets from the past.
By Penny Stine
Wednesday, March 14, 2012
Ok, so it doesn't roll off the tongue like John Denver's more famous song, but anyone who's lived here in the Grand Valley of western Colorado for more than a couple of years understands what I mean. I was out taking pics the other day and I saw these:
Now, I don't want a globe willow tree in my yard, nor do I want my next-door neighbor to have one, since its leaves and branches would end up in my yard. But I do love seeing them in early spring. Crocuses start blooming in late winter, but once I see the fuzzy, greenish yellow willows, I know that spring is here.
I think this photo this yard has both a weeping willow and a globe willow in it. These homeowners must enjoy picking up branches. The first year we lived here, I was convinced that I wanted a globe willow tree in my yard. I'm glad we never got around to planting one, but I do appreciate the ones that are in somebody else's yard. (Who lives at least three houses down from me!)