I made my biannual trip to the municipal compost pile Saturday. I usually get a cubic yard of their “bio-compost” and I split it between me and a couple neighbors. As they describe it on their website: “Our best compost. Made up of bio-solids, leaves, Christmas trees, grass, tree limbs, flowers and clean lumber.” Aww, it’s made of Christmas trees and flowers...
It's in the Bag
A few days ago, I got a big, early Christmas present via Lucile Whitman’s tree farm in Oregon. Her nursery specializes in rare varieties, but is also a mail order business. But rather than receiving hacked off twigs, you get decent sized little trees of about a one-inch caliper. They can ship trees this size because they grow them in “root control bags.” Apparently it’s a...
House and Garden Foreclosure
I would love to re-landscape my front yard. It would remove all the grass and replace it with a low growing, water sipping variety like the ones in the High Country Gardens catalog. I would also a short dry stack retaining wall along the front, reorient the path to the front door to lead from the sidewalk, and install deep planting beds with water thrifty, low growing varieties that require no...
May my words, like vegetables, be sweet for tomorrow I may have to eat them.– Anon
Confessions of a Worm Killer
I expanded my south borders last year and extended the mixed border into the back yard. The extension of the perennial side came to a full stop as a gate was in the way. Since the gate was moved this spring, the expansion continues. My husband calls it the “1st law of conservation of planting beds: planting beds can never diminish.” Expanding the bed has meant tearing up sod. Last...
Today Cat Is A Four-Letter Word
Cats are welcome in my yard when the are catching mice, warming themselves on the rock paths, entertaining children—generally, when they work for the common good. When they dig up the peas I sowed in early March, which are growing miraculously despite drying winds and a few snows, I’m tempted to patrol with a slingshot and a fractious dog. I’ve always wondered about winter...
I’ve been cleaning up my perennial borders today. I don’t “put the garden to bed” in the fall, as many plants I grow such as grasses, penstemons, agastaches, etc., shouldn’t be cut back until the spring. Why create unnecessary work for yourself? This of course means that I always have too much to do in the Spring. The neighbors never seem as stressed or as busy as I...
The Other Side Really Is Greener
I’ve slowly been converting over to organic lawn care over the past year. This spring marks the first anniversary of our organic lawn. Last fall, I conducted a little experiment where I applied a layer of compost to one area of the front lawn and not to the other. This spring, the verdict is in. I don’t think I need to tell you which area was fed with compost.
Gardening au Naturel-ly
I’m always up for unconventional gardening, but it seems there are those determined to take it to extremes. At least she was wearing gloves. Seriously, I don’t know how this woman can be gardening this way. Given that this article was published last week, I presume this happened recently. Was she really out there semi-nude in early March? Can you imagine pruning rose bushes wearing...
This Land Ain't Your Land
Utah doesn’t like to be gardened. Most people who move here from elsewhere discover this quickly. Almost all of the state is desert. For you, this probably conjures images of intense heat and scorching sun, rangy shrubs, bunch grasses, and sand; for the most part, you’re right. But we also have freezing sub-zero winters that are usually wet and snowy, but can be so arid that more water...