How does your Garden grow?

  1. Astronuc

    Staff: Mentor

    I don't know how many PFer's garden, but I have done gardening ever since I could walk. My father and my maternal grandfather both gardened. I helped my dad in the garden, mostly planting, watering and weeding (and harvesting) at first. When I was old enough to handle a shovel, I would help cultivate.

    The first four years of childhood, we lived in rural areas, so gardening was quite natural. My father was a minister with a low salary, so the garden provided fresh fruit and vegetables for low cost.

    Anyway, I have always enjoyed gardening, which for me is a spiritual experience. I use organic methods without herbicides or pesticides, in favor of natural insects and manual methods.

    As of now, the perennials - Blueberries, Raspberries, Blackberries, Strawberries and Rhubard have come back to life. I was pleased to find that my meager efforts at propagating the blackberries seem to be finall working. I have done it incorrectly for 2 years, so I am hopeful now that they will finally take off. The raspberries need no help in this regard.

    I am preparing one plot for a vegetable garden - my wifes tomato plants and lettuce. I will add some hot pepper plants.

    I am preparing another plot for an herb garden for my wife.

    Then I will be preparing a terraced area on the back hill - I am thinking tomatos, squash, zucchini, and whatever hits my fancy.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Kerrie

    Kerrie 1,203
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    Gold Member

    Astro, I want to garden like you wouldn't believe it! Unfortunately, I am in the apartment rut for now, but I do have a patio with flowers and herbs growing big as we speak. I have several kinds of houseplants growing, and I take great pride in growing plants. The small bit I do gives me joy, and I look forward to having a home that has dirt outside that I can play in someday.

    My father and his wife are master gardners and work for a state prison system in teaching inmates landscaping and gardening skills as a way to enhance their overall being. (Yes, they both have the same job, but at different prisons).

    My dream garden consists of a "salsa garden", where I would grow cilantro, green onion, tomatoes, tomatillas and peppers to make my own, have several lilac trees and bushes (my most favorite scent in the world), eggplant, all kinds of herbs, and of course various unusual flowers for color.
     
  4. Danger

    Danger 9,878
    Gold Member

    Sorry, dude; my approach to gardening (and lawn mowing) is that when I catch something growing in my yard, I park something on it. :approve:

    Anybody need parts for a '79 Matador wagon?
     
  5. enigma

    enigma 1,815
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    Pave it with concrete. _Maybe_ spraypaint the concrete green.
     
  6. haha I've never understood how people can live in a house with no lawn.
    My family rents and has always done so we've seen a lot of houses where there is absolutely no lawn at all.
    There is just concrete and there usually isn't a garden...just a couple of pot plants dotted around the place.
    Besides the fact that you can't just go out and garden on a sunny day, it's just plain dull and lifeless to look outside and see concrete.
    That's for me personally though. Obvisouly people don't mind that because there are houses that are designed like that.
     
  7. Danger

    Danger 9,878
    Gold Member

    My ideal approach, although I can't afford it, would be to rip the whole thing out, sterilize it, and lay down Astroturf. (Except for the large carpet of moss growing under my perimeter trees. I like moss.)
    You have, by the way, the most appropriate name that I've seen for a particular thread.
     
  8. You guys are missing out on the joys of the chainsaw. :tongue:

    I've been a pretty avid gardener at times but not for eating, just for looking.

    When my wife & I lived in an apartment (back in the olden days, when "The Dark Side of the Moon" was young) we got very heavily involved with houseplants. We even had a Dept. of Agriculture importing permit so we could bring plants into the country. Ultimately we had over 400 plants, many begonias and various aroids (anthuriums, alocasias, dieffenbachias, philodendrons, etc.) plus an assortment of miscellaneous others. When we went on vacations, we put them (each one individually) in plastic bags so they wouldn't dry out while we were away. It looked very sci-fi.

    When we bought our first house (which was the ultimate "handyman special" -- we had to totally renovate), for the first year we spent more time fixing up the garden than the house. Dirt is much nicer than plaster dust.

    At our place out on the island, gardening has been very frustrating. When we first bought it, I remember saying: "Oh, look at the deer right over there. Isn't it great to look out the back window & see deer!" Hah. Little did we know. Eastern Long Island is infested with deer. And what they don't eat, they break with their antlers. We've made some progress, trying to plant things that they don't damage, but they're pretty unpredictable. Finally, a year & a half ago, we put deer fencing around part of the property, so at least our azaleas & rhododendrons have now made it through 2 winters without being grazed. And now we finally have daylilies (a great favorite of the deer). It's a start...
     
  9. BobG

    BobG 2,364
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    Homework Helper

    With the water restrictions they've had here the last few years, it's a challenge just to grow grass. The smart folk use a lot of colored rock to reduce how much yard needs watering.

    I am trying to get some wildflowers to grow by our back fence (it slopes down at the back end of the yard and is a pain to mow). Provided we get any rain, those seem to do okay.
     
  10. Moonbear

    Moonbear 12,265
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    I wish I could get a vegetable garden growing. I love the taste of just-picked tomatoes ripe from the garden. I finally got some to grow last year when the nice, orange tomato I was drooling over, and knew was only a few days from being perfectly ripe, suddenly disappeared! A squirrel stole it! :cry: I just can't keep up with the vegetable garden since I wind up traveling frequently during the driest part of summer, so all the fruits dry up.

    So, I'm contenting myself with flowers this year. Ever since I moved in, I've been slowly building on the flower gardens, constantly fighting back the overgrown columbine, cut out some ugly old bushes, added more daffodils and tulips (thankfully I planted new ones last fall, because it seems the ones I had when I bought the house didn't come up this year...I have some great tulip varieties now that I just love...a nice cream colored one with just the thinnest of red borders on each petal and a dark purple center, another that's a bright purple, and then the dark purplish red ones that look nearly black...those are amazing in a garden...plus some other reds and yellows; my goal in tulips is to get a huge variety of color since they come in shouting that spring is on the way!), and included gladioli and dahlias. I had some of those dinner plate dahlias, which I loved as accents around my front porch, but I didn't get to the bulbs in time in the fall to save them for another year. Oh, and I've been slowly adding clematis along the fenceline. Though, this year I need to figure out how to extricate the old fence from the clematis without damaging it, because the fence needs to be taken out and replaced (or maybe I'll just get rid of the fence completely and go with an arbor).

    I have seeds to plant in the former vegetable garden to attempt a cutting garden this year. I should get out and work on that tomorrow (I've traditionally always used Mother's Day as the day when I decide the threat of frost has passed and it's safe to plant seeds and seedlings outdoors).

    A big part of my decision to buy a house rather than move into another apartment was that I really wanted gardens and flowers. I used to grow a lot of flowers on my apt balcony, which served the dual purpose of providing me a bright sanctuary of color in a dreary apt complex, and of providing a little privacy (I even planted sweet peas to run up the balcony railings from the pots).
     
  11. Clausius2

    Clausius2 1,479
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    Maybe this is out of the aim of this thread, but I think it is a good thought to know by an american.

    The culture of having a house with a small garden is not instaured for instance in Spain. Here we watch usa films where everybody can buy a decent house with a small garden by a relatively low cost. Here you only would buy a flat of 60m2 in Madrid outskirts with the same money (I am referring "money" as the price relative to american salary, it is not an absolute figure). Here there is the culture of the flat. Everybody except those who make money larger than the average, lives in a flat. I don't know what is the reason for this, maybe this is the corrupt's kingdom where every constructor wants to maximize his profits and there is nobody to avoid it.

    I have been living in a flat in a city of 70.000 inhabbitants, which is one of those large cities near Madrid. We have never had and never will have such a house with a garden or so, no matter my father has worked as a high ejecutive at an important enterprise. Here there are such a high prices that the majority of us have to live in small flats (which are also too expensive).

    You are lucky folks.
     
  12. The strawberries are blooming, and the asparagus is up too. The herb garden is a mess, but most seemed to winter over ok{new rosemary and basil get planted every year}. It has thyme, 2 kinds of sage, parsley and lemon grass.
    Onion sets went in 2 weeks ago. Today I got the potato plot ready, next week I'll plant those along with{beefsteak, betterboys and cherry} tomatos, peppers, cukes and watermelon. I use to start them al by seed, but the local garden shop has such nice plants I just get them from there.
     
  13. BobG

    BobG 2,364
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    Rather than corruption, it might have more to do with the fact that Europe (at least the European Union members) have 455 million people in 4 million square kilometers. The US has 295 million people in over 9 million square kilometers.
     
  14. JamesU

    JamesU 745
    Gold Member

    I don't know if I like my garden. Everything is oversized in a small space, and sometimes I find plants under other plants :grumpy: :tongue2:
     
  15. Pengwuino

    Pengwuino 7,118
    Gold Member

    No that cant really be it. That'd be true if the US was just one huge open landscape of personal homes but of course we have cities like NY or chicago or LA. The densities related to those figures also dont near any real densities. My neighborhood has some big houses and the lots are about 1/3-1/2 acre and the density is about 800 homes per square kilometer Which means probably like a density of 2400 people. With those figures, given, Europe has a density of 113 people per km^2. Do all your cuts for commercial building, large public domain facilities, agriculture, etc and i still doubt you could lower that 2400 down to anything near what Europe's density is.

    And i wish we had a garden but we have too many trees. It'd be great to be able to make sandwhiches from stuff from the garden (too bad theres no turkey plant....) and all you had to do to 'restock' was to go outside.
     
  16. I like pine forests. I don't get the point of lawns. Why not just plant a bunch of pine trees in your yard? They're probably lower-maintenance and they smell better, and in ten years they are shady. Thick pine needles are softer than grass.
     
  17. matthyaouw

    matthyaouw 1,216
    Gold Member

    I quite like my garden. Its not big, and the plants aren't spectacular. Its the animal life that I love. We have a small pond with a few fish, and at least 5 frogs plus tadpoles. We did have some newts too, but they've not been spotted for a while. My guinea pigs can be found grazing the lawn most days (pine trees aren't as grazable). We have a pair of blackbirds and a pair of robins nesting in the ivy (the blackbirds' nest is visible, and soon I hope to get a view of the young, but I don't want to disturb them in case the parents abandon the nest) and there are sparrows and greenfinches nesting around the place too. The other day I even had a sparrowhawk, which was eyeing up my guinea pigs. Not seen it since though.
     
  18. I love watching guinea pigs play outside. Years ago some of mine had babies, which ran choo-choo style around the yard.
    This morning I saw a small redheaded woodpecker haveing a dust bath.
     
  19. Clausius2

    Clausius2 1,479
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    I don't agree. We have millions of m2 without any inhabbitant in Spain. As you may check, the ratio population/ground surface is one of the lowest of all Europe. For example, Spain is much bigger than Germany but they have the double of population than us.

    I assure you it has to do with corruption. I am ashamed of this fact but we live in country where there is a bubble business with this stuff. In the last statistics it is one of the major afraids of spanish population: how the hell could we pay a house. And government does nothing to avoid it.

    I would like to have one of this houses and discuss with you about what on earth could I plant in my garden, but I think I could never have one here.
     
  20. matthyaouw

    matthyaouw 1,216
    Gold Member

    I love it when they do that! I only have two and they don't do that. I love watching the 4 that my brother and his girlfriend have do it though. So cute!
    Mine aren't so energetic and bouncy as they used to be. They are getting to be quite old now.
     
  21. Kerrie

    Kerrie 1,203
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    Not all of us are "lucky". Home prices where I live are way out of reach, but I choose to live where I do because of the job I choose to work at, and I choose to like the area I live in. Since I have made these choices, I settle for growing houseplants and a patio garden instead.

    Fantastic idea! I might steal your idea of the sweet peas!
     
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