Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Gardening on the cheap

The beginning of our fence line
The left of the fence is our neighbor's property
The right is ours
I work hard to keep this looking good!

The backyard fence line
or part of it
I've given up trying to keep it weeded
I may plant ground cover there someday

Thank you for the comments about our home and past trials. It is good for me to build altars of remembrance of that which God has brought us through. God truly is always good even when He has me baffled. As I was writing to a friend recently, I often think of the piece of tapestry Corrie Ten Boom carried with her and showed to people when she spoke to them about trials and the love of God (and she should know, at least I didn't go through the Holocaust!) ... we see the tangled strings below but He is viewing the beautiful finished artwork of our lives from above. :)

I've received a lot of questions in Comments and I plan to respond more as this week progresses. Since we've finally had a break in the humidity, I must begin to bake for the freezer (to get ready for Christopher's graduation open house in a couple of weeks) and to spend some times resting and reading this afternoon. Yesterday I worked for a couple of hours in the heat and humidity while we had a break from thunderstorms. I am feeling it today!

I got everything finished except for planting the one perennial I purchased a couple weeks ago (it sits in a pot in front of my porch, showing up on recent pictures) and those listed below. It was very inexpensive and I'm trying to plant more perennials near the fence line. I purchased three veggies to plant when they went on clearance last week for $2.00 each (one zucchini plant, one yellow squash plant, and one green pepper plant). A friend had just given me three big garden pots that she found on her morning run, someone had set them out with the trash. My only real expense was stopping by Wal Mart for some soil yesterday. While there, I noticed they had a few perennials on clearance for 75 cents and $1.00 (the kind that are planted as a root). I figured for a couple of dollars total I could take a chance, especially since one of them showed a picture of a beautiful peony bush.

The veggie plants look like they are going to be very healthy, even though they were drooping terribly when I planted them in the heat and humidity. I also purchased a few yellow garden mum plants for fifty cents each and I had enough soil left over to plant them. They were clearanced since the flowers had dried out but when I looked at them closer, the greenery was very healthy. Mums are one of my favorite flowers so once again, it was worth the cost.

This is a great time to begin stopping by the places that sell flowers and vegetable plants (in our part of the country, areas to the south and far west are probably past this point). I had to spend a fraction of what I could last year and even then, I couldn't plant what I would have loved to put out for perennials. These veggies and perennials together cost around $10.00 so I figured even if none of the root perennials "take", it is still a bargain. Especially if the veggies provide food later this summer. I couldn't purchase herbs to plant this year.

Everything (except the perennials) are in containers this year so I can move them around for more sunlight (those on the deck). I have a good collection of containers, including the three large containers Susie gave me and quite a few I purchased at a garage sale a few years ago.

The flowers in the front, both on the porch and in front of it, are looking great. They have had some amount of protection from the week and a half of severe storms and flooding rains that have gone through. My deck flowers have lost most of their blooms, however. They should start blooming again soon, if we could have this persistent weather system finally move away.

Christopher drove about thirty-five miles to a homeschool friend's graduation party on Sunday. He said the corn fields look like mini lakes everywhere. It is probably too late for many farmers to re-plant corn. If the fields drain in time, they probably can plant soybeans as they have a shorter growing time. Hey, I'm not a real farmer but one does pick up knowledge from listening to the real McCoy. I also watch U. S. Farm Report for their weather reports. :)

Such is the life growing up in a Farm State...


Kristi in the Western Reserve said...

Hi Brenda,

I would love to send you some starts from my perennials. I wish you lived close to me to do this, but I think I could mail you some safely
....Can you email me about this? Kristi in Ohio

Kristi in the Western Reserve said...

Have you ever tried to start rose bushes from cuttings? It isn't that difficult to do, in a shady place under a glass jar.....There must be a lot of online information about home propagation.

Can you guess I was a garden writer for a local magazine for 23 years?

Vee ~ A Haven for Vee said...

Hate to hear about flooding. It can't mean anything good for any of us.

I will check the nursery for sale prices soon...not quite ready here yet.

nanatrish said...

Brenda,you have brought tears to my eyes again with your beautiful story about Corrie ten Boom. I think of her trials and feel guilty that I complain about mine. Your first picture looks like a great picture to paint. You have done a wonderful job. You encourage me to think more about being frugal. You would think that growing up poor I would have paid more attention to how my mother saved and stretched her money. I guess I grew into habits of instant gratification and it's taken the pain of my decisions to come to all this realization. You truly are a ministry for me. Our society rewards the obtaining of more things. The way things are looking we may be coming to a time soon when we will have your term forced frugality. Thank you for being a leader with this. Sorry I am so long winded.

Kim said...

Lovely post Brenda! I so look forward to checking in with you everyday...you always write something to stir my spirit! Blessings, Kim

Manuela said...

I happen to be at Lowe's today and they had so many plants clearanced and seeds too! I bought some more lettuce seeds. I grew lettuce in containers last year and that worked even better than planting in my raised beds. I guess because I was able to move the containers out of the sun when the temps began to rise.