The Best Garden

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Several weeks ago a friend gave me the Southern Exposure Seed Exchange catalog and I’ve been drooling ever since! I’ve gone through it and marked it up, with my “wish list” and drawn some garden plans, and sat down with Su (my flower lover) and looked at it, and talked it over with S and looked at it, and looked at it just to look at (you get the idea).

The January garden is always the best. No weeds, no excess heat or lack of water, just perfect days and perfect plants.

I know better of course, but it doesn’t stop me dreaming every year about this time!

This past year was a learning curve. Every first garden in a new spot is. I started from scratch

We started out with no soil and lots of sticks and trash.

and don’t think I did too badly and now I have a good idea of the strengths and limitations of the space. Not enough sun in the back for one thing, and not enough water in the front for another.

I have a ladder now and can trim the trees in the back. The landlady has given me permission to rip out the really ugly bushes from the front which will give me a lot more space. S has volunteered to do the actual ripping out! My neighbor and I have agreed to collaborate on the little strip of space between our front steps and her retaining wall (read that as “no more four o’clocks!”). The compost pile is doing very nicely, and I should have some fresh soil to add to the rear beds before spring.

We’ve had a year too to see how we use the backyard and patios

How much water can three children spread around the yard?

and that will also help with planning and execution of this year’s garden plan.

I’m hoping to grow some unusual plants this year like woad which is supposed to get about five feet tall and I’m hoping will help shade the front porch.

I’ve also got my eye on some unusual sunflowers and a few other ornamentals.

It’ll be good to get out there and dig in a few months, and see whether this year’s garden really will be “the best garden”.

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