Garden

Kale finds place in garden, freezer

I have embraced kale. Last growing season I started four plants by directly seeding them into the plot. It was a very long time before I got anything that looked productive. By then I was not all that interested. But this year I set out four strong seedlings, conferred with friends who are believers and now have four kale nubs out in the garden. I researched the nutritional value of kale and had every intention of sharing that with you but, hey, the list of benefits is long and, actually, somewhat boring. My interest is that it’s tasty.

No slugs devouring this Homer garden

Slugs? Slugs? What slugs? There aren’t any in this garden. They must be in yours. Or, better yet, the ice sheet of winter past got the best of them. 

This is the first time at this site that my garden is not being devoured by these mollusks. I like it. Not only is the garden free of them, but they are not crawling up the side of the house and the windows, leaving very stubborn slime trails.

Gardens soak up the summer sunshine

This is proving to be an astounding growing season. The vegetable garden is producing with a single-minded purpose — to fill our freezer. 

I have top-dressed (added a thin layer of feeding mulch) once and the plants have responded with gusto. I won’t do this again this season. I am leaving the plants to themselves and my job now is to tend and harvest.

When it comes to gardening, follow this advice: Do what pleases you

So there I am, my friend has asked me about his honeysuckle that has three live leaves. It was planted six inches from the wall of his house probably 30 years ago by a former owner. It needs to go. Now. I suggest this. Emphatically. I can read his face — who couldn’t? He does not want to cut it down. We go back and forth.

Cecilia, my 8-year-old granddaughter, cuts to the chase. She looks him in the eye and says, “Do what pleases you.”

And that’s it in a nutshell.

Finding right spot for right plant perennial challenge for gardeners

The iris setosa (our native iris) thrives in a very boggy area of the garden. There are even marsh marigolds tucked in among them. Whenever I am mucking around in there I think back to the adult mink that paid a visit to our garden six years ago, and I start to wonder if it, or a relative, is lurking among the iris. 

Damage from winter’s ice presents Homer gardeners with all sorts of opportunities

It is a tad difficult to be upbeat when the majority of the plants in my perennial beds are dead. I will consider this an opportunity. A chance to correct some irksome mistakes. A chance to simplify. 

Those gorgeous Black Knight Pacific Giant delphiniums that have been thriving along the railing of the deck for the last 15 years are no more. I brought them down with me from mile 15 East End where they lived for 20 years and were given to me, so who knows how old they were.

Give seedlings time to acclimate to spring

The seedlings have been lingering in the greenhouse longer than intended. Gee, I wonder why ... They are close to root bound and need more space. My Internet connection to Yahoo Weather is overheating (I’m glad something is) and the tentative forecast is for overcast/rain/warmer, just exactly what we need. So the question is:
Do I move seedlings to larger quarters or hang in there and wait? Larger containers it is (I tossed a coin).

Be prepared for a late gardening start

It is cold. Really cold. So as I bundled up and reminded myself that I do indeed live at latitude 59 degrees north and that I have done so for 41 years by choice. Hence, I should not be surprised, or discouraged, or disappointed, or jealous of those gardeners who do not call the Last Frontier home. Thank you, I needed to get that out of my system. Now, lets get on with what needs to be done.

Now’s the time to think about trees, shrubs

"April is the cruellest month ..."

–— T.S.Eliot

And here we are enduring a very nasty April indeed. We have been given mostly snow today. Not bad, better than ice.

I need you to be thinking about trees and shrubs. About planting them to soften your landscape; to add dimension and interest; to make your house not look like it was dropped from outer space; to make your garden think you really care.

Is that too much to ask? No.

Prune your trees. Now.

Editor’s Note: For 20 years Rosemary Fitzpatrick encouraged area gardeners in her column in the Homer News, the Kachemak Gardener. She took a break, but is back this year with one goal in mind: to help you realize your gardening dreams.

 

Ponder this: You, too, can garden

(Editor's Note: For 20 years Rosemary Fitzpatrick encouraged area gardeners in her column in the Homer News, the Kachemak Gardener. She took a break, but is back this year with one goal in mind: to help you realize your gardening dreams.)

Have you been thinking about planting a garden but don't get past the "thinking" phase?

I want you to go forth and plant — with zero trepidation.

You can do this.

And I will be here to help you along.

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