Monday, December 31, 2007

The Obligatory Dec 31 Year in Review

I have always been a slave to fashion and tradition, which is why I am obligated on New Year's Eve to do a one year retrospective.

Or not... instead, let's do a short history of my garden: a three year retrospective.


My wife and I moved to our current residence in August 2004. The dried remains of one lily amid the grass in the front of the house was the sum total of the garden. The grass lawn was ubiquitous and full of diversity (i.e., weeds.)

My parents moved at the same time, and my Dad - "FloraGuy" - offered to let me divide perennials from his large garden. (They moved to a condominium with minimal space for perennials.) Thus my wife and I had to break sod from day 1., and started the bed along the deck with inherited plants.

We added several more species that fall from a native plant sale.


Started several flats of native seeds indoors. Poor germination, and I learned about stratification (the hard way).

As soon as the snow was off, I was breaking sod for the 15' by 30' veggie patch. Kathy would have helped, but she was "with child" and did little gardening until fall.

In the fall I broke sod for the beds near the house. In the process I cut the telephone cord between the house and garage, knocking out telephone access for the entire house. Oops!

Also participated in a prairie plant rescue in November. A local conservationist had been collecting seeds and scattering them on his 20 acres. He passed away and the property was slated for residential development. Along with many others, we rescued many native plants, to be transplanted to local restorations. Each volunteer was able to keep a few root-balls as a reward.


Started more flats of wildflowers indoors. Stratification helped, but many were over-watered and under-heated.

Expanded deck and garage beds. Augmented with compost, which apparently had much still viable tomato seed.

Took part in a native plant exchange hosted by the local chapter of Wild Ones.

Also dug sod in the front where I planted daffodils and purple coneflower seedlings which were threatening to take over other beds.


Used a combination of fire (from a propane torch) and smother by mulch to prep a large bed in the front of the house. Planted with native shrubs to create a hedge.

Spent time this spring dividing or transplanted tall perennials to the back of the garden and the short perennials to the front.

Bought native ferns.

Created water gardens near the house foundation, which caused wet walls in the basement. Extended drainage of the rain gardens further from the foundation, moved wetland perennials, and now have a dry basement.

Perennials are often said to sleep the first year, creep the second, and leap the third. Enjoyed watching many of the perennials leap this year.

Started blogging.

1 comment:

membracid said...

This is really nice! I wish I had done as good a job documenting all the garden changes in my yard.