garden notes

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While our growing season here is shorter than in other parts of the country, I for one am just tickled that it starts getting warmer by March!  After living in northeastern Montana (60 miles south of Canada!), our growing season here in the high desert seems like a true luxury.  I have never boasted having a green thumb by any stretch of the imagination and in fact have come to terms with having a brown one instead.  Last year was the first time I was truly able to grow anything successfully and I honestly have to give credit to the previous owners of our home for that one.  They did a magnificent job landscaping and placed a lot of “black gold” in the planting beds.  Anything grows!  Having an irrigation system doesn’t hurt either (we’ve never had one until now!).

Yet, our food production this year is still going to be quite minimal.  While I admire those of you who can plant to feed the family all year long, that just isn’t a reality for us right now.  Most of our travel time to see family is in the summer (most are on either the West coast or East coast and hardly anywhere in between) which means we aren’t around to tend to an enormous garden.  Instead, we’ll take advantage of living in this great fringe rural area and patronize our orchards, farmer’s market, and natural grocers.  Our garden will be mostly a salad garden with some beans and pumpkins thrown in there as well.  And I’ve expanded our herb garden since it was a huge success last year.  (The parsley actually wintered under the snow blanket and never died.  Amazing.)  I’ve added cilantro, chives, and lavender to the mix.  My philosophy is that as long as we are making steps towards becoming more environmentally friendly and self sufficient, we are doing enough. In the meantime, I already have my sights set on experimenting with Fall gardening!  (Does anyone have some sage advice regarding cold frames?)

our English style garden attracts bees and butterflies....maybe we'll get a hive or two next year?
our English style garden attracts bees and butterflies….maybe we’ll get a hive or two next year?

 

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our strawberry gnome stands guard at the strawberry patch
our strawberry gnome stands guard at the strawberry patch

 

the greatest suggestion I stumbled upon this spring in regards to gardening is the use a mini muffin pan to place impressions in the soil to mark the placement of seeds....its easy and cheap!
the greatest suggestion I stumbled upon this spring in regards to gardening is to use a mini muffin pan to place impressions in the soil to mark the placement of seeds….its easy and cheap!

 

our wee salad garden is a work in progress...the old fencing wood marks where we will place a stone pathway (our neighbor gave us flat stones he didn't need!)
our wee salad garden is a work in progress…the old fencing wood marks where we will place a stone pathway (our neighbor gave us flat stones he didn’t need!)

 

instead of fancy garden markers, large craft sticks and a Sharpie work just fine
instead of fancy garden markers, large craft sticks and a Sharpie work just fine
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