July 16, 2009

"One-of-Each-itis" - That's it!

I have identified my affliction: "One-of-Each-itis".
(as defined by Billy Goodnick here)

The purpose of me creating a garden, even though we are only temporarily renting our home and money is not exactly pouring from our pockets right now, is to gain first-hand experience and "personal history" in the gardening world. I am a student in a field that I have no experience in thus far and am trying to gain said experience.

In this new venture I am becoming increasingly aware that my new garden - filled with lovely plants of many colors and shapes - doesn't have any order to it. I went into the project knowing in my head the general direction in which I wanted to go, but had no plan of execution. This is mainly because it's had to be a work in progress that began as "I'll just put a few plants in so I can at least have a garden", but developed into "I'll just add one of these - last plant! Except for this one.. and this one too." Now I have this odd conglomeration that just doesn't make much sense.

I'm not entirely disappointed though. The purpose of this project was to learn, and that is being accomplished. A lot of these plants are still small and I think will have more effect next year when they actually begin the season in the garden and will fill out the space more. However, I think I would still like to attempt some rearranging this year to create a bit more flow to the area. I really liked the article by Billy Goodnick referenced above, and will look to it for inspiration. I want to balance my "collector" tendencies with some "arranger" tendencies!

July 15, 2009

Volunteer Day - Mustard Pull

The volunteer day I participated in with the DNR at the end of June went great! We pulled seven garbage bags worth of invasive garlic mustard. I hadn't known what garlic mustard was before the volunteer day. Now that I am able to identify it, I see it ALL OVER!

Here's a video on garlic mustard from the Stewardship Network:

July 06, 2009

A Weekend of Woods and Wildflowers

I went for a hike this weekend at a nearby state park.
So many flowers in bloom!
I haven't identified these two yet:
I have found one of my new favorite wildflowers!
It's a Deptford Pink (Dianthus armeria). It's not native, but is naturalized. So delicate and vibrant! (See below)Mother nature is the best gardener! :)

July 01, 2009

Somebunny Has Been Eating My Garden

I was furious last evening when I stepped out to take a look at my garden and found that the bunnies, which I love to see hopping along in the yard, have eaten nearly ALL of my beautiful Asters that were doing so well. They have also eaten my Liriope that were finally starting to take off. Grrr!

I have heard that Marigolds repel rabbits. I don't know if this works, but it was late and I was desparate to protect what little was left so I ran up to the garden center and grabbed some Marigolds to plant along that section of bed.

I have also heard of using pepper spray, which I found at the garden center for nearly $20 a bottle. I found a recipe for homemade pepper spray that I may try:

Pepper Spray
(Found at The Natural Gardener)

1 Tbs Tabasco or habaƱero juice
1 Garlic bulb
2 Tsp Dishsoap
1 Gallon water
Optional: 1 Tbs cayenne pepper

I'll see if the Marigolds work first and go from there. One night down and no additional damage. I hope it doesn't come down to trapping and relocating these little guys, because I really do enjoy seeing them in the yard!

**UPDATE** 7/31/09
I would like to report that no further damage has occured to my Liriope or Asters. I know there are conflicting opinions as to weather or not Marigolds actually keep rabbits away, but so far it seems to be working in my garden!

Now to go after the little guy making lunch of my hostas!