A Quiet Day
This has been a lovely quiet day. My parents, who have been staying with us for just over week, got on their way early this morning…it was wonderful having them visit, and getting to spend so much time with them and having them able to spend so much time with their grandchildren whom they only see about three times a year was just awesome. Still, I have to admit…it’s sort of nice to be all by myself in my house for a day. (And I’m sure they’ll feel the same way when they are back in their own digs!)
Today I did something I’ve never done before in all my years of pretending to grow vegetables: I actually made a garden plan. Like, I opened Microsoft Publisher and started playing with the shapes and stuff to make a diagram of our backyard and actually planning what would go where, companioned with what other plants. I’m absolutely stoked. Brand new ground, brand new garden, almost a tabula rasa on which anything that makes both the ground and me happy can be planted.
Another thing I’ve never done before is order an insane number of plants–all perennials–from Richters Herbs online. I’ve gotten a few plants from them before, and they have always done me really well, but never this many before. I ordered a bunch of starter ground cover plants–some periwinkle for up front under the crabapple tree where there’s not enough sun for most other plants, some creeping orange spice thyme for along the house ( a double-duty plant, since it makes nice tea also), and some roman chamomile for the front yard. I’m also getting a bunch of small bushy lavender plants to plant under another window along the house, so I can hopefully get enough flowers to actually do something with them–and I can’t help imagining the lovely smell that will waft into the family room on breezy evenings.
In the too-damp area to the back of the yard, behind the shed, we’ll put tall wildflowery perennials like bergamot, marsh mallow, and anise hyssop–all three also powerful medicinal herbs. Across the back with the existing red twig dogwoods and pussy willow, we’ll put some lobelia and some shorter echinacea around the larger plants. I’ll also put in some comfrey, which is like Magic Plant Compost Maker Fertilizer on a stem–great stuff. Then I’ll have my berry bushes–two elderberry, two blueberry, and one (on sale!) raspberry. General tomatoes and squashes and cukes intermixed with radishes and other small veggies. Pole beans and snap peas trellised on the sunny side of the shed.
The beauty of all this is that only about 20-30% of these plants are annuals, i.e. the veggies, and the rest are perennials that will hopefully keep coming back year after year…
This will be a buttload of work. But I can’t wait…