Posted by: morrowsl | May 25, 2018

Getting My Grow Groove Going

When we moved out here to Remote, I had so many plans for the things I would do!  I wanted a garden, of course, for vegetables and flowers.  I wanted the existing flowerbeds to overflow with colors and shapes and fragrances.  I wanted an herb bed.  A worm bed.  And possibly a berry patch.

A year here has taught me that something will always want exactly what I want.  And will get it no matter how hard I try to keep things protected.

The first menace, of course, was the transitory herd of wild hogs.  They blow through a couple of times a year, usually in spring and fall, tearing up the lawn and gardens at will.  Then they move on with the promise to return as soon as we’ve got things replanted and pretty again.

Then there are the ants.  EVERYWHERE.  Big ones.  Little ones.  Red.  Black.  Brown.  They bite and sting and get into the sugar bowl.  They march across the floor to the dog’s food bowl with little dinner napkins tied around their necks.  They have a six-lane interstate built across our driveway.  In TWO PLACES.  They are immune to poison.  And my tricks.

We also have an occasional armadillo.  A bunch of bunnies.  Captain and Mrs. Neighbor Boy’s Marauder Chicken Flock, plus a now solo guinea hen.  Pansy-eating deer.  Those pesky squirrels who can’t find anything on 21 acres except what I’ve planted.

Nothing much surprises me when I open my doors to go out to tend the green stuff.

In spite of it all, I am going forward with most of my plans.  I’ve made adjustments.  I’m staying flexible.

The existing flowerbeds are already filled with what appears to be the former homeowner’s version of pest-proofing.  She anchored the beds with Rose of Sharon and quince, dwarf crape myrtles, rosebushes, garden amaryllis, Texas sage, and a glorious Desert Willow.  For filler she used marigolds, purple jew, several kinds of garden lilies, and gladiolas.  I’ve added iris and rosemary, flame acanthus, coneflowers, day lilies, milkweed, coreopsis, thyme, and hands full of larkspur and zinnias.  Turk’s Cap in red and pink.  And sunflowers.
This mix will evolve as things either take or die.  I planted bluebonnets and none came back the second year.  I dug up glads and they just came back up a foot away from where they’d been.  I have cannas and yarrow and Gregg’s Mistflower.  And three lemons on the bush this year.  The blackfoot daisy didn’t make it.  But the Widow’s Tears I transplanted from the yard did.
All in all, the beds still look bare in places.  And like a jungle in others.  It needs balance.

Where last year I had zinnias almost four feet tall, this year there’s a huge sunflower.


Mammoth sunflower getting ready to open.

There are multiple flowers on this one stalk.  The stalk is almost as tall as I am!


Existing lilac tree

Half the fun of having so much bed space is figuring out how to fill it.  I’m not anywhere near finished.  And, since most of it is likely to get eaten anyway, I’ll just start over again next season!

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