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 letsgetdirty@gjsentinel.com.

Page 91 of 117


Yet another reason to love hanging out in the garden

By Penny Stine
Friday, April 8, 2011

The kiss of the sun for pardon
The song of a bird for mirth
One is nearer God’s heart in a garden than anywhere else on earth


D.F. Gurney
 

1 comments

Those poor country folk

By Carol Clark
Wednesday, April 6, 2011

One day , the father of a very wealthy family took his son on a trip to the country with the express purpose of showing him how poor people live.
They spent a couple of days and nights on the ranch of what would be considered a very poor family.

On their return from their trip , the father asked his son, "How was the trip?"

 

"It was great , Dad."
"Did you see how poor people live?" the father asked.
"Oh yeah, " said the son.
"So, tell me, what did you learn from the trip?" asked the father.
The son answered:
"I saw that we have one dog and they had four.
We have a pool that reaches to the middle of our garden and they have a creek that has no end.
We have imported lanterns in our garden and they have the stars at night.
Our patio reaches to the front yard and they have the whole horizon.
We have a small piece of land to live on and they have fields that go beyond our sight.
We have servants who serve us, but they serve others.
We buy our food, but they grow theirs.
We have walls around our property to protect us, they have friends to protect them."
The boy's father was speechless.
Then his son added, "Thanks, Dad, for showing me how poor we are."


 

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Potager design pays off in the spring

By Penny Stine
Friday, April 1, 2011

See these itty bitty plants? See the tiger lilies sprouting in between the snapdragons?

 

 

The peas sprouting in the garlic? The alyssum compacta that’s flourishing with the spinach? 

 

 

Actually, you can't see the spinach from this photo - it's still too tiny. You probably can't see the peas, either. As I was strolling through my garden the other day and checking to see if my spinach had gotten any bigger, (sadly, no) the sight of the perennials popping up made me happy I’d decided to turn my growing efforts into a potager, which is just a French term for a kitchen garden that mixes veggies, flower, herbs, annuals and perennials in the same beds.


Before last year, I’d always planted a somewhat traditional garden in rows. I’d have a row of beans or peas or tomatoes, separated by straight pathways, which invariably got filled with weeds. I didn’t do too many flowers, and the garden was visually interesting for just a few months out of the year, when the vegetables finally got big enough to be noticeable.

Last year I experimented with potager gardening and liked the results, even though I started everything from seed, including perennials like lavendar, blanketflower and hollyhocks. Most of the perennials were so small they didn’t bloom.


I’m pleased that most of the perennials are back and looking good. I’m planning to mix in even more flowers in my new garden, just ‘cuz I like the way it looks. I’ve got a few columbines, some lavender and a couple coral bells that I started from seed, all of which will remain ridiculously small and probably won’t flower this year. So I’ll rely on zinnias, marigolds, nasturtium and my new fave plant, amaranth, for color this year. As the photo below shows, the amaranth is no slouch when it comes to adding visual appeal to a garden!

 

I collected seeds from the amaranth in this picture last fall before I cleaned up the garden. If anyone wants a few, send me an E-mail and I'll share. 
 

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You know it’s spring when…

By Carol Clark
Wednesday, March 30, 2011


The dog poo is so deep in the back yard you can't get to the garden without stepping in it.

You're walking down the road at a 45 degree angle.

You can't stop sneezing, have an allergy attack in church and have to leave.

Sunny one minute, propping up the fence in a horizontal snow storm the next, sunny that afternoon.



You are awakened in the morning by a bird singing at the top of it's lungs.

The grass in the yard is brown but the grass in the garden is green.

The dog is shedding ALL OVER!

You are excited about camping but there is still 4 feet of snow on the Mesa.

Cars around ditch banks are driving slow and erratically while the driver is looking for asparagus.

You have an irresistible urge to clean out closets and wear spring clothes even though the morning lows are still in the twenties.

Neighbors catch you kneeling in the garden staring at the dirt while you search for the first blade of spinach.

Apricot trees are bravely blooming.

Birds are busy building nests. I once saw a HUGE dead weed being tugged into one of our small birdhouse openings.

You smell the smokey burning fields.

Please add your own, "You Know It's Spring When".... comment.


"It's spring fever. You don't quite know what it is you want, but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so bad."
              Mark Twain

 

2 comments

This Year Will be Different

By Patty Hoisington
Monday, March 28, 2011

To me, gardening is a daunting endeavor. I've always loved the idea of having a garden, but never really got into the gardening part. The Zen of gardening always escaped me. It never was relaxing. Perhaps I'm just lazy and would rather have the beautiful vegetables from our garden magically appear on the kitchen counter, ready to be arranged into an artful soup or colorful stir fry.
This year will be different, though. In years past, we (my husband Jason and I) always started with the best intentions, doing everything we could to make our garden grow – and every year, sometime around the end of July, gardening lost its charm. The lovely greens faded, the unpicked vegetables fell to the ground, and the prairie dogs and raccoons feasted. I must say, though, our past gardens gave us some nice produce, and we were able to enjoy our veggies, flowers and herbs for a few months, at least (this being predominately the result of Jason's hard work).
This time, we are trying something new and different with our garden. This year, we planted seed rather than buying established plants. I bought some of the supplies, and a majority of the seeds, which I helped plant. I am now watching closely for the first signs of seedlings peeking through the soil, stretching toward the sun. I believe this is giving me a closer connection to the plants, thus to gardening. The whole process has given me a desire to see the plants live and thrive and give us food. In fact, I'm looking forward to planting herbs – and taking them on as my responsibility. I've enjoyed taking care of herbs in previous gardens, likely because I know what most of them are, and what they are used for.
My short history of past garden successes and failures has inspired me to get in the dirt, which I don't mind – except for the earthworms!
 

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Page 91 of 117




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