A Gardening Year

The adventures and misadventures of an heirloom gardener

Monday, May 02, 2005

New World Garden

I'm taking a week off from work with the intention of getting as many of my gardens planted as possible. Weather permitting. The first garden I am working on is the New World garden. Aside from the Kong sunflowers, all of the plants in this garden originated in the New World. The Kong sunflowers (12' high!) are necessary as a screen with the advantage that they will also provide food for the birds and squirrels. I'm trying to screen the neighbor's dogs. They have six small dogs. They used to have seven large dogs. They seem to have different dogs each year. I have never had the courage to ask them what happens to the dogs from the prior years.

First I have to widen the bed. I am on a mission to widen all of the beds every year. My goal is to eventually eliminate the lawn completely. Then I have to finish emptying it out. I have already moved the hollyhocks into the new Medieval Garden. I am moving the Johnny Jump Ups there also. They were called "Heartsease" and are the ancestors of all of our pansies. I love both. There also a few pansies that wintered over from last year. I am moving them down near the composter where I have been growing Balsam. The mystery plants will stay until I determine what they are and where they will fit in in my gardening scheme. At least for this year.

The bed is along a fence that is conveniently divided into sections. Along the first section I am planting Candy Cane zinnias. I remember these from my childhood. Does that make me an heirloom? Zinnias originated in Mexico. Then there will be four o'clocks, originally from Peru and finally Texas Bluebonnets. From Texas, of course.

The next section will be my pumpkin patch. I am trying Connecticut Field pumpkins this year. Interspersed with the vines will be Scarlet Runner beans on poles. These are from seeds I saved last year. I grew them in hopes of attracting hummingbirds. No hummingbirds, but I liked the beans. As decoration, of course. I would never do anything so practical as grow something to eat! They were grown by Native Americans who did eat them.

In the last section, I am trying Cempoalxochitl marigolds again. These are wild marigolds from Oaxaca, Mexico. They have single blossoms and grow to be 4' or 5' tall. They didn't do well for me last year in another bed, so I am trying them here to see if they do any better. In the same section will also be Aztec sunflowers. I've grown them before successfully and really love them. I read recently that hummingbirds also love them so I have my fingers crossed.

There is one more section of fence before the composter and shed. In that section I have Alpine strawberries which I grew from seed years ago. They should be in the medieval garden, but don't like to transplanted. I have been growing balsam there for the past two years and will again this year. I threw some California poppy seeds in in March and they seem to be germinating. I have my fingers crossed there also. I have never been able to successfully grow poppies.

Tomorrow I will be working on the Medieval Garden.


At 9:08 PM, Blogger crazygramma said...

Wow what fun and I thought taking Friday off was a treat. I have heard that Hummingbirds love red flowers, but I have not seen any in my garden yet, I think my dog and the neighbourhood cats scare them away.
And don't you just love Johnny Jumps Ups the are so inevasive in the garden and keep coming back.

At 9:44 PM, Blogger Sylvana said...

My goal is to eventually eliminate the lawn completely.
Ha! I laughed out loud! I can not say how many times I have said that very thing.

At 10:10 PM, Blogger crazygramma said...

When I kept digging and adding more gardens my old neighbor said to me "You soon won't have any grass" I replied back Bingo!

At 4:50 PM, Blogger OldRoses said...

Being an organic gardener, a lawn is a huge problem for me. I have no way to keep the weeds completely out. Several landscapers live on my street. Their lawns look manicured. Mine is a mess. I know I shouldn't let it affect me because I know what they do to keep their grass so green and weed- and bug-free, but I still get depressed. So the obvious solution is to eliminate my lawn. Problem solved!


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