Saturday, October 20, 2007

Seven Random Facts

I have been away from Gardendogs for too long. Fiona from Cottage Smallholder tagged me for the Seven Random facts meme back in July and I'm only getting it posted now, here goes:

The rules:Each player starts with 7 random facts/habits about themselves. People who are tagged need to then report this on their own blog with their 7 random facts as well as these rules. They then need to tag 7 other garden blogs and list their names on their blog. They are also asked to leave a comment for each of the tagged, letting them know they have been tagged and to read the blog.

1. My garden is full of memories of friends and family. The Clematis jackmanii was given to me by my grandmother many years ago, it somehow survived in a window box at rental house for several years, now it is thriving in the ground growing up a lilac tree. Its purple blooms remind me of my grandmother.

The hydrangea climbing on the shed was rescued from my friend Mary Jo’s garden after she died suddenly, way too young. I also have Casablanca lilies, a fuchsia, and a gentian (that I still haven’t found it a location where it is happy), and hypertuffa troughs MJ and I made together. I moved into this new garden only a few weeks before she died…I wish she could see it today.

St. Francis was an anniversary gift from my dear husband…the statue sits next to where we have buried 3 kitties…crocus and iris bloom in their spots each spring.

2. I like lawn. Many of my friends and colleagues don’t like lawn, they don’t like all of the resources a lush lawn uses up. I reduce the “wastefulness” of the lawn by lowering my expectations…I tolerate some weeds, the sloped front lawn is hard to water in the summer so it is allowed to go brown; but the back lawn is watered modestly and stays somewhat green. Eventually we will remove some of the back lawn to expand the planting beds, but I think we will always have a large lawn…our house is quite small so we do most of our large entertaining in the summer when we can set up tables on the lawn. Dinner with friends, surrounded by our garden, is bliss.

3. I don’t waste my time with plants I don’t like or that don’t like my garden. My busiest time at work is in the spring when the garden needs the most attention, so any plants that won’t behave through the spring rush are removed…some are potted up for donation to neighborhood plant sales…but if they really are a problem plant they are sent off with the yard debris for composting. My favorite low maintenance plant is the Western Sword Fern (Polystichum munitum) it looks great all year, will adapt to sun or shade, and the only maintenance needed is to cut it back early each spring.

4. I like a challenge. I have failed with a lot of tropical’s…many of them need a lot of heat to really get growing in the spring, and it doesn’t really heat up here until early July. I wish I could grow Princess Flower (Tibouchina), after several tries, I have given up…it just start to flower and look good as the fall rains and chill sets in; I could buy it as an annual each year, but I’m too cheap.
I grow lemons and a gardenia in my garden, neither of them should survive the winter here (USDA Zone 8b), but I grow them in pots and move them into the garage on the coldest nights. I find it thrilling to share organic home-grown lemons with my friends; plus the humming birds and honey bees love the flowers. The gardenia’s fragrance spreads through out the garden, intoxicating. I have failed with a lot of tropical’s…many of them need a lot of heat to really get growing in the spring, and it doesn’t really heat up here until early July.

5. I get a lot of satisfaction from growing food. I love picking vegetables and transforming them into a meal. We have set up our vegetable garden to produce year round; we don’t get much in the dead of winter, but it is nice to be able to pick a few herbs or greens to brighten up a winter dinner. Our freezer and cupboards are filling up with stuff from our garden, so far we have blueberry-lavender jam, grape jelly, dried tomatoes, frozen beans, pickled beans, frozen blueberries, and basil pesto; plus a few casseroles made from the ancho peppers frozen for a quick but gourmet meal!

6. I do more than garden…I love to sew and wish I had more time for it. I suppose sewing is truly my hobby; gardening is a hobby, but it is also my job. Sewing is just for fun. A friend of my sisters gave me a sewing machine almost a year ago; I had thought that I would have a whole new wardrobe by now, but not yet. The dogs have new winter coats, the cats have new beds, the couch has new pillows, and the man of the house has a new robe…I think I’m next!

7. My favorite plant changes by the season, if not by the minute. A few that I particularly enjoy are Toadlily (Tricyrtis), Snow Drops (Galanthus), Viola, Mops Mugo Pine, Little Gem Magnolia, and Gladwin Iris (Iris foetidissima)


Cottage Smallholder said...

What a great post, Sarah. Thanks.

It is strange but I think that you can get to know a gardener just by looking at their garden.

I love your shed!

Sarah said...

Thanks for reading. The shed is a nice secure place to store all of the garden things away from the Min Pins; they love to get into stuff!