Ever-Blooming Garden Ideas

 

My maternal grandfather started his garden every year in the basement with grow lamps. When the Farmers Almanac said the time was right, the plants went into well-prepared soil. Weeds dared not grow there.

My mother inherited the green thumb. My father, who grew up in the country, before it was swallowed by suburbs, is not so much of a gardener but very handy with the tools needed to garden. So, between them, their home has always been alive with all manner of plants.

Every year there are catalog orders and visits to plant nurseries. For some years, they even made an annual road trip to visit the family boy, me, and a series of their favorite gardens along the way. The homeward leg always included a stop at a particularly good nursery in northern California.

The house, in the Pacific Northwest, is surrounded with all manner of plants, both annual and perennial. Every season reveals different colors and textures. There are beds of herbs, vegetables, flowers, and berries. Consider this vertical arrangement of potted plants, on one edge of the patio.

Yes, that is a sun shed in the left background. I helped build that one summer a couple of decades back. It was that well constructed as to hold up to this day. Beyond storage, it provides a head start for plants, leading into the spring planting.

Oh, look!

No, I don’t know what it is, but it sure is pretty, and my mother was rightly proud of it. Now I do know what these are:

My father, while not much into planning the flower beds, is quite the fruit pie maker. He grows his own apples. Over the years, he has also had plum trees, as you can see. Beyond pies, the folks make and can relishes and fruit sauce. Dad built sturdy shelves in the garage to hold the year’s production.

Oh, did I mention the roses? No? Yes. Here is a photograph my mother took some years ago. I like the composition and the roses themselves. This is Jude the Obscure, an English rose from David Austin. Sadly, there is no scratch-and-sniff feature, yet, in HTML 5, because this rose smells even better than it looks.

So, how does your garden grow? Do you have your own favorite family garden? Perhaps you treasure visiting a friend or neighbor for their garden.

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There are 14 comments.

  1. Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown Post author

    From the Desert Southwest to the Pacific Northwest, how does your garden grow?


    This conversation is part of our Group Writing Series under the May 2019 Group Writing Theme: Blooming Ideas. Do stop by and sign up!

    • #1
    • May 5, 2019, at 5:43 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  2. Member

    Stunning photographs.

    From your top photograph, I can tell that your mother and I both love begonias. I got this one last summer, and it just kept blooming all summer:

    • #2
    • May 5, 2019, at 6:25 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  3. Member

    Clifford A. Brown: My maternal grandfather started his garden every year in the basement with grow lamps.

    Sounds like a line from Cheech and Chong.

    • #3
    • May 5, 2019, at 6:55 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  4. Member

    Clifford A. Brown:

    Oh, look!

    No, I don’t know what it is, but it sure is pretty, and my mother was rightly proud of it.

    It is an Oriental Lily. Given the size of it compared to your mother’s hand and the shape, it looks like it could be an Orienpet lily, which is a cross between an Oriental lily and a trumpet lily. Huge, fragrant flowers that generally bloom earlier than oriental lilies.

    • #4
    • May 5, 2019, at 7:50 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  5. Thatcher

    This year, due to a cold and very wet spring, we’re only planting about 25% of our usual crops. As we need to reduce our present larder, no beans, tomatoes, or peppers. Our 20′ x 30′ garden usually looked like this:

    • #5
    • May 6, 2019, at 2:36 AM PDT
    • 9 likes
  6. Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown Post author

    ZArahant(View Comment):

    Clifford A. Brown: My maternal grandfather started his garden every year in the basement with grow lamps.

    Sounds like a line from Cheech and Chong.

    I seem to remember comic books and such advertising grow lamps with photos of roses and the line “produce more buds.” That said, the amount of energy to get flowers and veggies to start is much less than that required to fully grow larger plants, or so I’m given to understand.

    • #6
    • May 6, 2019, at 12:59 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  7. Member

    Here on Cape Cod, we celebrate bright yellow daffodils during the last two weeks of April with the Nantucket Daffodil Festival and the Brewster Daffodil Festival. Daffodils are important on Cape Cod because all winter we are enveloped in gray: the houses are short and shingled in weathered gray cedar, the trees are short because the glass companies that operated on the Cape cut down all the tall old trees and replaced them with relatively short scrub pines, and the sky is big and gray and seemingly all around our shoulders all winter. And we have a very healthy population of rabbits that eat everything except daffodils. :-)

    But this year, for some reason, the rabbits around my yard ate other flowers and leaves and left my yellow tulips (these are Darwin tulips that come back year after year, unlike other tulips), which they usually eat.

    I cut a pretty bouquet of these a week ago–photo credit to my son, :-)

    • #7
    • May 7, 2019, at 6:57 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  8. Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown Post author

    MarciN (View Comment):

    Here on Cape Cod, we celebrate bright yellow daffodils during the last two weeks of April with the Nantucket Daffodil Festival and the Brewster Daffodil Festival. Daffodils are important on Cape Cod because all winter we are enveloped in gray: the houses are short and shingled in weathered gray cedar, the trees are short because the glass companies that operated on the Cape cut down all the tall old trees and replaced them with relatively short scrub pines, and the sky is big and gray and seemingly all around our shoulders all winter. And we have a very healthy population of rabbits that eat everything except daffodils. :-)

    But this year, for some reason, the rabbits around my yard ate other flowers and leaves and left my yellow tulips (these are Darwin tulips that come back year after year, unlike other tulips), which they usually eat.

    I cut a pretty bouquet of these a week ago–photo credit to my son, :-)

    The Puget Sound region used to be renowned for cut flower production, especially daffodils. Tacoma hosted the 85th annual Daffodil Parade last month. The provincial, desperately trying to be cultured, city council tried foisting an Andy Warhol daffodil painting on the roof of the Tacoma Dome as it was under construction. Sanity prevailed and the dome has the superior, and free, graphic design found in the architect’s original sketches. 

    http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-j9JE6allW3c/UDzwWwW9ZMI/AAAAAAAAAV8/CyzaPtbqNUU/s1600/!tacoma+dome1++job+812050.bmp

    However, bad ideas never really die, and the giant daffodil idea has resurfaced in the past few years.

    No. Just no.

    https://tribkcpq.files.wordpress.com/2015/02/tacoma-dome-2.jpg

    • #8
    • May 7, 2019, at 9:12 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  9. Member

    Vegetable gardening near what the woke people now call the “Salish Sea” (nee Puget Sound) has always presented challenges. Cool, damp springs only begin the list of challenges I’ve encountered. My most pressing challenge now has become my two dogs, the larger of which is pictured. I tolerated the occasional digging; but when the smaller Cockapoo started nibbling off every asparagus tip as it appeared, I drew the line.

    I built a fence around the whole garden. Sadly, the morning after I completed the fence I looked out the kitchen window to see the Brittany Spaniel here exploring the raised beds. I bellowed, “Zeke, get out of there!”

    He looked my way, took two steps, and easily leaped over my new fence. You can see the yellow rope that I strung across the fence right afterwards to discourage him. That rope seems only to have challenged him to jump higher, and he did–almost effortlessly.

    I have had some success, however, using the PVC-covered frame you see on the right of the picture. It’s great for raising tomatoes. The fruit shown is an heirloom Canestrini, the seeds of which I got from an old Italian friend after his trip to his birthplace a few years ago. They’re meaty and great for bruschetta.

    • #9
    • May 15, 2019, at 1:13 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  10. Member

    Somebody help me here. Why did my pix lose their resolution? Can I fix that?

    • #10
    • May 15, 2019, at 1:15 PM PDT
    • Like
  11. Member

    T-Fiks (View Comment):

    Somebody help me here. Why did my pix lose their resolution? Can I fix that?

    Probably a lack of character. They’ll have to go through hard times to regain their resolve.

    Edit the comment and click on the picture. Without putting in a picture myself, I’m going by memory, but a menu should come up and one of the icons is a pencil. If you click on that, you should be able to edit several properties.

    • #11
    • May 15, 2019, at 3:29 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  12. Member

    Arahant (View Comment):

    T-Fiks (View Comment):

    Somebody help me here. Why did my pix lose their resolution? Can I fix that?

    Probably a lack of character. They’ll have to go through hard times to regain their resolve.

    Edit the comment and click on the picture. Without putting in a picture myself, I’m going by memory, but a menu should come up and one of the icons is a pencil. If you click on that, you should be able to edit several properties.

    Thanks, Arahant.
    After following your instructions to get to “edit,” the only editing available was to reduce the size of the pictures. Doing so improved the resolution somewhat, but it was still poorer than in my originals, which were much larger.

     

    • #12
    • May 15, 2019, at 8:29 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  13. Member

    T-Fiks (View Comment):

     

    • #13
    • May 15, 2019, at 8:36 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  14. Member

    Odd. I had no trouble. I could even make the dog pic larger than that.

    • #14
    • May 15, 2019, at 8:36 PM PDT
    • 1 like