You know the old saying, “The shoemaker’s children always go barefoot?” I feel that way about my garden and my gardening blog. When I’m busy writing about gardening, I am inside and not outside working in the garden. This week has seen me working outside more than writing inside.
Random Gardening Observations
- If all my flowers grew as abundantly as clover, wild blackberry canes, and sumac trees, my garden would OVERFLOW with abundance. As it is, I’m weeding out more than I care to say….
- If you plant gaillardia, dandelions will sneak in, because the new foliage of gaillardia looks EXACTLY like baby dandelions and I swear to you, the dandelions know it. They hide around gaillardia until they’re sure you won’t see them. They POW they’ll grow a seed head overnight and spread throughout the garden.
- Crows take revenge when the bird nets go over the strawberries. I think they are plotting to take their revenge on the tomatoes come July and August.
- Junipers are not to be trifled with when you are allergic to their oils (see photo below of my arm, complete with juniper-rash).
Why yes, that’s my beautiful arm, thank you. Complete with juniper rash. Approximately 20% of the population is allergic to the oils secreted by junipers. When I weed around the blue rug juniper, this is the result. I was wearing gloves. It was too hot for long sleeves. I will wear long sleeves next time!
This rash goes away in less than a day, but it itches like crazy until it disappears. And unlike a poison ivy rash, you don’t get the big, ugly, scary blisters.
- Crows may be smart, but bluebirds are dumb. When the cats stalk around the garden and get too close to the nest boxes, the bluebirds dive bomb them and set up such a raucous squawk that the cats suddenly notice the nesting boxes. If the bluebirds would just remain quiet, the cats would stalk off in boredom. But give a cat a screeching bird and it’s game on.
- Microclimates are your friend and will help annuals, like the orange calendula below, behave as perennials when they are supposed to be annuals.
- No matter where you plant anything in the mint family, it will grow where it wants to.
And last, but not least: Spring is too short. The flowers of spring – peonies, iris – last but a week or two but oh, how beautiful they are. If I could bottle up spring to last forever, it would be in these blooms.
Happy gardening! Keep growing!
Jeanne Grunert is a certified Virginia Master Gardener and the author of several gardening books. Her garden articles, photographs, and interviews have been featured in The Herb Companion, Virginia Gardener, and Cultivate, the magazine of the National Farm Bureau. She is the founder of The Christian Herbalists group and a popular local lecturer on culinary herbs and herbs for health, raised bed gardening, and horticulture therapy.