After thirty years with my daughter, I am pleasantly surprised to learn that we have a love of gardening in common!
My daughter, grandson and I visited a country garden center this past weekend. Not pictured are acres of landscape plants that you drive through, put want you want in your vehicle, and then pay for before leaving.
My 85 year old mother's vegetable garden:
She tends this garden using a rolling walker with a seat. The plastic chairs are positioned so she can sit in them when she needs to. (those are grape vines behind the chairs) One of my brothers used a tractor to make the garden rows. The rows were made extra wide so she could roll the walker between them. Another brother has been tilling the garden to help her keep the weeds down. Other than that, she has been doing the work herself. I'm sure I will soon be the recipient of lots of garden goodies such as yellow squash, fresh potatoes and tomatoes. Thanks Mama!
Here are some things I've been doing this Spring:
1. I always, always, hit the plant clearance isle at Lowes and Walmart, every time I go, especially this time of year. Both stores have way more spring plants than they can sell, both annuals and perennials. I typically find nice plants for a dollar or less.
To further sweeten the deal, look for plants that have more than one plant in the pot which you can divide before planting.
This is a nice pot of oregano I bought for $1.00. I used it along with a pink geranium and a little basil in a large pot.
2. The public library is absolutely full of gardening books. So if you can't get enough gardening during the day, at night you can study about gardening all you want. These books are great for learning how to propagate plants for free, what plants are easy to grow in your area and many other ideas. Right now I am really interested in heirloom southern plants and have found many books that address this subject.
3. Growing plants from seeds is very frugal, you just have to be patient. I especially LOVE plants that reseed themselves. Impatiens are great for this. I currently have three pots full of them that self-sowed last year.
Here is the progress of one of the pots of Impatiens.
4. You can order free seed/plant catalogs online from Park Seeds and Burpee Seeds. These companies often have sales and you can also get plants that aren't available locally. Its also fun to look through these catalogs at all the plants and you can learn about planting timetables as well as other information.
5. I am always open to "pass along plants" from friends and family. My mother has a hydrangea bush that I am planning to either take a cutting from or dig a small piece from. Also, I have become proficient at rooting roses, so I am on the lookout for roses that are easy to grow.
These are some Indian Summer Rudbeckia plants I dug up from my former home and transplanted to the side bed of the farmhouse. I planted them from seed last summer, not realizing that since they were perennials, they would not bloom until the following year. Once they are established I will have "black eyed susans" blooming all summer.
I plan to plant more perennial flowers from seed later this summer so that I will have blooms next year and for years to come.
6. I try to always wear gloves and closed in shoes (not flip flops) when gardening. I regularly see Black Widow Spiders in dark damp places underneath rocks, tree roots and plants. AND Sunday my good friend's sister-in-law was bitten by a copperhead snake when she reached down to pull a weed from a flower bed. This happened about 60 miles from my home. Thankfully her husband was nearby and was able to take her and the, by then dead, snake to the hospital at about 100 mph. She has received anti-venom, but is still hospitalized. I'm not sure if we have copperheads around here, but I do know there are water moccasins (cotton mouths). We don't have any water near our home, so hopefully I won't see any of them either!