ONE MILLION DAISIESBy Marilyn Kendall
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million daisies have invaded my mother’s garden. They grow rampant among the phlox and delphinium, the lilies and the roses. She doesn’t want their scraggly disorder in her picture-perfect beds, but she cannot stand to kill anything, especially a flower. In her stronger—or weaker—moments she attempts to eradicate them, but they always find their way back into her garden. Into her heart.
On this early morning of my summer visit, while my mother sleeps, I am deadheading these daisies—a million times a million of them, it seems—and thinking of her. At 86, she is still sturdy, and stalwart—and stubborn, at times. She wants the flowers but not their mess, so I must tread carefully in her beloved garden.
I hate this job. Capture a dead bloom, separate it from its confederates, and follow its stem down several inches (so the stub won’t show), taking care not to cut too many leaves and deplete the plant. Then snip, toss the stem into the refuse bin, find another, and start again. I mustn’t falter in my attention and sacrifice a live bloom.
Snip, snip, snip. I must have cut ten thousand at least. I look the length of the garden at the multitudes remaining. After half an hour, the beauty of the early morning no longer compensates for my aching back. I stand. She doesn’t need all these, I think. Why not just pull half out by their roots? Or cut the old heads by the fistful, rather than singly? No one would notice from a few feet away.
But I know I won’t, and I wonder why. My mother doesn’t expect this fussiness. Somehow, without reason, I expect it for her, knowing how she loves every petal and leaf. Just as she loved her children, I suddenly reflect: perfectly, proudly, with attention to every detail, every emotion, every need. In spite of our flaws. I am struck by the thought: If my mother didn’t love daisies, would she have loved me so well?
Back on my knees, I recall the lunches packed, the clothes sewed, the hair curled, the ruffles ironed. I think of the eons of advice, of comfort, of concern. I snip and I count. Snip and count. The morning passes.
A million daisies may not be enough.
Mulching is an essential part of good garden practices. And if you’ve ever done any landscaping around your home, you know that a generous layer of mulch around your plants can give your garden a nice finished look. But it’s about a lot more than just looks.
Mulch is very functional. It can keep moisture in and weeds out. And with the fall and winter ahead, it can offer your plants some measure of protection. I’ve actually brought things through that weren’t regarded as cold hardy by putting an extra layer of mulch on them.
Now there is a whole range of mulches to choose from – various kinds of straws, wood chips, even newspapers. But what I like to use in my flowerbeds is a ground up pine bark. I like it because it looks natural in my garden. And while eventually it will decompose and work itself into the soil, because it’s a bark, it’s very durable. Let me explain what I mean by this.
You see, the outer covering or bark of a tree acts as a protective layer. It’s actually waterproof and it’s made waterproof by waxes and suberant, which don’t exist in the core of the tree. So it just makes sense that bark products will be longer lasting in your flowerbed.
The longevity of bark as a mulch has actually been studied and found that it only decomposed by about thirty percent having been on the ground for up to two years. Of course the larger the chip, the longer it lasts. If you’re looking for something very long lasting, you might give bark a try.
From the garden, I’m Allen Smith.
P. Allen Smith Gardens
Duration : 0:1:46
Patti Moreno, the Garden Girl, shows you techniques to get more out of limited landspace, by growing up.
Check out her website at http://www.gardengirltv.com
This video is available through closed caption(cc) enjoy in any language.
Vertical Gardening Part 1
As urban gardeners, we have a limited amount of space to grow our vegetables and flowers. What I have done is I have employed verticle gardening.
Right here as you can see, I have a variety of different cucumber plants. Now, a cucumber is vining crop, which means that with vertical support like this one, you can train it to grow up and the fruit,
Take a look right here, can grow perfectly fine on the vine.
Different types of crops that work well in a vertical garden are watermelon and pumpkin. Let us go take a look.
Here, as you can see, my pumpkin plants are thriving. Pumpkin plants are also vining crops. Now, in the country, where you have a lot of space, you can just let this grow along the ground, but here in a city environment, we do not have all that space.
So, what I have done here is, I put together a dog kennel. This is actually really nifty. It is exactly 4 x 4 so it fits perfectly in your raise beds. And, these vines just slough on themselves eventually. You do not have to continuously train them.
Okay, so you can go vining crops on vertical supports, but there are other types of plants that also need support like my heirloom tomatoes here, this are Tiffin Mennonite tomatoes, and it grows to be a huge plant.
So what I have done is I have installed this vertical support where the plant has basically grown through the vertical support. I do not even have to train it through; it is growing through on its own.
I have my garden pea. These garden peas have pretty much attached on this vertical support on their own, and as you can see, I have a bunch of pea pods growing through. Let me show you how to build one of this, it is really super easy.
Great, this is nice and sturdy. And, all I have to do is unscrew it from the raise bed and move it anywhere I need it.
I am Patti the Garden Girl, thanks for watching.
Duration : 0:2:48