Thursday, January 8, 2009

Happy New Year Gardeners!

Whew! The holidays have passed and the best way for me to deal with stress is to escape into the garden. There was an unusual amount of drama this season so, instead of blogging I was outside in the wild-hot then cold then windy then rainy then cold then hot again crazy Texas weather, which laid me up with more than a few days with cold symptoms...which later I realized were allergies! Anyway, I did a lot of planing, cleaning, pruning, planting and moving in the yard and there are a few things I'd like to share with you. This first shot is of my raised onion bed. I planted 250 baby onions that we have ordered now for 3 years from Brown's Omaha Plant Farms Inc. and I highly recommend them! They are based in Omaha Texas and we just love their famous Vidalia, which is extremely sweet and is known outside of Georgia as Yellow Granex. This year we also ordered the Red Burgandy and Yellow Spanish varieties. If you've never tried onions you should! They are easy-easy to grow and if you're a cook you'll truly enjoy having a fresh variety of flavors and greens for months straight out of the ground and they keep in their paper skins for months after.
I hope my big fake metal grasshopper will keep the squirrels out of my beds!
Here's what the onion starts look like right out of the box!
The directions say to plant the starts 4-6 inches apart for full growth or 3 inches apart if you plan to pull every other one for greens when you like...I've got an aversion to straight lines so I just stick 'em in wherever, with plenty of room to grow! Onions are hardy to 20 degrees F. and should be planted about a month before your average last frost.
This is a "before" shot for my own documentation of a mound idea that I've started with the dirt from the demolition of a raised bed that I moved because it wasn't getting enough sun. I've been wanting to do this for some time now...we saw mounds at Peckerwood Gardens and the Utility Research Garden last year and then yesterday, Randy and I were tooling around after the Green Garden Certification class and saw a fantastic yard in the Travis Heights area that had more like 'miniature mountains.' They were covered with some sort of chunky grass and reminded me of Russian Hats...mounds are the rage...apparently so I'm gonna play with my own design!
This is another 'before' shot of an upcoming rose garden. All the roses are gifts or discarded transplants from friends gardens. I love roses but haven't developed the delicate touch at home. Howson Library is one of my regular gardening gigs and I love the Martha Gonzalez roses there. I've been singing to them and popping heads weakly and I'm just amazed at the non-stop bloomage! I put a few of these gal's in at the Green Garden at Zilker as they will be featured in the up coming Grow Green Guide coming out soon!
This is the last shot of winter sprucing and there is a little story that goes along with it. I love mushrooms! When I crochet, I try to make each hat in the shape of a mushroom, they are the necessary ingredient to several meals a week and I think they are adorable. According to one strand of Pagen thought, the idea of wrapping Christmas gifts comes from the red and white mushrooms that grow beneath pine trees which resembling gifts under the Christmas Tree. My neighbors a few houses down lost their Ash tree and I managed to roll several pieces down to my place to create children's toad stools...sure enough, little ones can't pass by without sitting down!
I also cleared the east side of my house and created a potting area in preparation for an upcoming cedar fence and rainwater collection site. So much work still needs to be done before the spring planting season begins!
My gardening New Year's resolution: know my weeds!
Happy Gardening and may the new year be filled with wondrous green growth!


Annie in Austin said...

Happy 2009 with wishes for a good harvest, Conscious Gardener - you've sure been busy!

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

spookydragonfly said...

We're having crazy weather here in Ohio, too. This spring we will attempt to build a mounded bed. We needed to repair a leak in our damn, resulting in a huge leftover dirtpile, which is nothing but an eyesore! I just love your mushrooms, great idea. Happy New Year to you and yours!