Friday, June 30, 2017

Is There Time To Both Garden And Blog?

I ran into an old UAA colleague at the botanical garden yesterday and she asked what kind of plants I was looking for.  Shade.  I need things that grow in the shade.

Monk's Hood

M is a botanist and asked if I wanted some monks' hood.  They're one of my favorite Alaska
wildflowers so I said yes!  Today I went over with my granddaughter to get some monk's hood.  I ended up with a ton of different plants from M's amazing garden.  She needed to pull things out, she said, so I rationalized I was helping her thin out her garden.  Even after a mom and two calf moose pruned her garden and spent the night last night.

But then I got home and had to plant and water everything.

My yard is essentially wild.  Part of it is natural Alaskan wild - spruce, birch, cottonwood with an undergrowth of high bush cranberry.  Other parts are pretty scraggly looking.  I'm not a fan of lawns and ours is a mix of grass, clover, moss, and dandelions.  And there are a few beds that I've tended to that look like a garden that's not totally wild.

But as I tried to find places to plant all of M's gifts, I realized there were places on the sides of the house that I'd just given up on.  We don't usually go that way and when I tried to put raspberries in, they didn't do well at all.  I found one sprouting as I was seeking out spots I could at least give the plants a temporary home until I figured out where I wanted them.  I also thought I'd test different locations to see which ones thrived where.

And as I did all this, I realized how much I like digging in the dirt but also how much time it takes to keep everything in tip top shape.  M's garden is truly amazing.  There are beds everywhere and everything is blooming.  Or at least it seems that way.  I still have to move the sprinkler to water some of the out of the way spots I planted.  And I have to do an inventory of where I planted everything so I'll know what didn't make it.  (I'm assuming I'll know what did survive.)

A couple of discoveries while I was wandering the yard.
1.  My flax plants that I started from seed and looked so terribly frail when I planted outside, are still alive several weeks later.   This is exciting because the last time I planted flax, they survived and receded about 16 years.  Last year I realized I was down to my last surviving cluster of flax plants so I got more seeds.  The flax flowers are about dime sized and the bloom all summer long.

2.  The choke-cherry (May Day tree) whose branches I cut off earlier this spring to keep the flowers from sending seeds all over is totally gone!  I had just cut off all the branches.  It was just over the fence in the alley.  I couldn't even see a trace of the trunk - it was about four or five inches in diameter.  I'm guessing the electric utility must have taken it because it was growing under the power line.  I thought I was going to have to do away with the rest of the tree.  Whoever took it down, thanks.  I still have another one in the yard to deal with.  I cut off all the flowers, but left it because the leaves are doing a good job of screening the neighbor's yard.

Ok, back to the original question.  Yes, I think one can do both, especially if one is a garden blogger, which I am on occasion.  The key to the garden, I'm trying to convince myself, is to regularly spend 30-60 minutes in the garden doing stuff and occasionally taking on longer projects.

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