Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Welcome Gardening Friends

I write the newsletter for the Gardening Friends garden club. If you got here from the link in the newsletter, welcome. If you know me well that’s not a typo, that is garden, not genealogy.

I have a brown thumb. I do not consider myself a gardener. My first house had almost no landscaping when I moved in and despite my best efforts it didn’t look any better five years later when I moved out. My next house was already landscaped very nicely, except for tall weeds that seemed to take over the entire length of the garage. I waited until well into July and finally ripped them all out. The next day my next door neighbor asked me why I had ripped out an entire bed of mums. We bought a camp in Sylvan Beach with big oaks and lots of hostas. I never got anything else to grow there and I’ve loved hostas ever since. My next house was new, not even a lawn. Yikes! I took pictures and my survey to a local garden center and they developed a plan for me (all shrubs) and charged me a small fortune for plants. The holly grew way too high. The choke cherry was pretty but kept sending up suckers. I learned that a PeeGee hydrangea does not mean PeeWee. The front was a constant battle that I was never happy with. In the back yard I planted hostas. I watched in amazement as one got bigger each year. After six years it was over three feet tall and almost five feet wide. I never new what variety it was but I loved it. My last house was 100 years old and surrounded by beautiful perennial beds that I had enough common sense not to mess with!

So how did I end up in a garden club? My sister had joined and invited me to the club’s annual Tea Party. This was the summer I had just moved back to CNY and was renovating my fixer-upper. I had a good time and decided to join last year as my acre had a few pines, some grass here and there and not much else. I figure I can use all the help I can get.

I write about my family, my job, genealogy and anything else that’s on my mind. I tend to use initials rather than names for privacy. Hopefully with the weather warming up I’ll write more about my struggles to become a gardener. Feel free to leave to leave a comment. If you want to contact me by email, the email address in the newsletter will get you a quicker response than the email address here which I only check every week or two.

Here’s where I’m at right now:

The front faces north. The picture was taken late in the day. Because of the way the snow comes off the metal roof I can't plant any woody shrubs. Two days ago there were still ice crystals in the mulch in the afternoon. Now that it has thawed out I'm waiting to see if anything comes back up before I buy more plants.

The back is sunny all day. Don't the fuel tanks and septic cover look attractive? I will try to plant a butterfly garden to the left. I'm going to paint both tanks so that hopefully they blend in better. Any sugestions as to how to hide them better but still have access to them?

Side yard, afternoon sun. All I have there right now are some irises.

Shed. Did you notice that the house is beige, the garage is white and here the shed is yet a third color? What you can't see in the picture is that the other two sides have no siding of any kind. Not sure what I'm going to do about that. Hollyhocks get big and hide things don't they?

Old willow stump smack in the middle of the front yard. I can't afford to have it ground out right now. Anyone have a suggestion?

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