Posts Tagged ‘garden’

barbara1 by rent-a-moose.
(rent-a-moose’s cool photo)

OK, so I went to a basic organic gardening class today. This was at the same place I recently went to learn how to make jelly from scratch and can it in glass jars (yes, I am feeling ambitious lately so it must be spring).

So, I thought this would be a pleasant little gathering of like-minded people. People who, like me, wanted to grow backyard veggies but were completely clueless or, in my case, just completely hapless.

My usual spring garden cycle goes like this:

  1. Garden catalogs arrive with their sweet siren song in late winter.
  2. Blinded by pretty colors and big ambitions, I order seeds & plants.
  3. Seeds arrive and I dutifully tend them in their teeny planter.
  4. Yea, they sprouted! Look at them go!
  5. Well, crap! Over half of them bit the dust.
  6. Double crap! More are dying…no worries, I have some that made it.
  7. Plant the ones that made it and care for them.
  8. Aaaagh! Why did they die?! OK, I’ll focus on the few left…
  9. Weed garden, tend plants.
  10. Weed garden, tend plants.
  11. Get lazy, go on vacation, see something shiny…
  12. Blkkkrk! Where did all these weeds come from suddenly?!
  13. Renew weeding with vengeance.
  14. Realize the weeds are winning no matter what I do.
  15. Rationalize failure (well, I’m just being a very natural gardener, yeah…uh, I’m returning valuable nutrients to the soil by letting them all rot there…right, and I am helping out all those groundhogs and rabbits).

In order to break this cycle, I decided to take the intro to organic gardening class. Again, I thought, “Hey, maybe we can all share some silly gardening stories and bond over our interest in organic thingies and whatnot.” But, alas, it was not to be.

Maybe it was the gloomy,¬†cold weather, but the majority of the people were none too friendly. Now, I’m not altogether a great people person…well, if you are above age 20 that is. I am much more comfortable around kids (hence the children’s librarian…) and although I can do great stuff when I am in “Librarian” mode at work, I really suck at interpersonal skills.

I really tried to make an effort to be outgoing. I smiled (but not TOO smiley…don’t want to give off that stalker vibe) and attempted to make conversation with my fellow classmates. And I even showered before the class ūüėČ

This is about how it went:

Me: “So, how did your soil sample turn out?” ::said companionably::

     ==stony silence==

Me: “Er…so, is your soil very alkaline?” ::said louder::

     ==stony silence AND cold glare==

And then there was OOOTBPG (Obviously One Of The Beautiful People Girl). I mean, who comes to a hands-on gardening class wearing ultra-low jeans (we all saw way more of her than we wanted), designer shoes and expensive shades tilted back on their head?!¬†OOOTBPG clearly felt she was just so darn cute that she could cut in front of everyone waiting in line (OK, it was a line for worms and not a bread line…but still!).

OOOTBP also annoyingly kept saying POE-tash instead of POT-ash like all the rest of us Midwesterners. I will, however, give her credit for at least willingly handling worms and dirt. There were several ladies there who were aghast at the mere thought. So, what kind of gardening were they planning on doing exactly?

The results of my soil sample from the backyard were pretty horrid:

highest possible alkalinity, lowest possible nitrogen, potash and phosphorus and clay soil

Hmmm, maybe I should just stick to making jelly….

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Gardens Gone Wild!

weed patch

OK, maybe, just maybe, it’s time for me to consider weeding the patch out back. This was meant to be either a vegetable or native plant garden this past year. As you can see, um, that didn’t exactly happen. I’m using the term “garden” very loosely here, although it does have a wooden boundary around it so that’s a good start ūüėČ

Lately, it’s become a dumping ground for grass clippings, twigs, and pulled weeds. A few¬†mildly good¬†free plants¬†popped up, though. I have a small clump of columbine, a weedy bit of yarrow, some straggling Virginia creeper and an indestructible pile of pokeweed. I’m trying to get rid of the pokeweed, as it gives me contact dermatitis (I know, it’s good food for wildlife but they can look elsewhere).

I have moved “the grand plan” back to next year. What grows well beneath a pine tree anyway? I’m taking all suggestions.

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