Monday, January 28, 2008

Monday Map: Yearning to Dig

This is the time of year I yearn to be back out in the garden. I miss digging and planting and watering and that feeling of tearing a weed clean from the soil knowing I've gotten every bit of root.

Outside my studio window I can see the remnants of plants that I should have cleaned up in the fall. By then I was too tired. But now I'm re-energizing, for yet another season.

Have you noticed how the quality of late-afternoon light starts to change toward the end of January? Spring is coming!


Barbara O'Connor said...

That map is beautiful! I love to garden, too. I've had two perennial gardens for about 16 years. Last summer, we had some new retaining walls put in and the workers DESTROYED my gardens!! I was heartbroken.

But now I get to start from scratch and plan and design. (My previous garden was a mishmash of whatever I happened to love at the moment.)

Any favorites you'd recommend?

Elizabeth said...

I used to get really excited when I gardened on Long Island.
what a super map.
For Barbara above I'd suggest peonies, iris, daylilies and black eyes susans.
I miss gardening!

Jennifer Thermes said...

Barbara- That must have been awful! I always think that if I ever had to move it would be hardest to leave my garden, after all the work and care I've put into it!

Actually I garden rather by mish-mash, too-- mostly because mine is broken up in to little areas around the yard. It's also a question of what appeals to me at the moment, what will actually survive (I'll try anything once), and most important-- what the deer won't eat (and they eat just about everything around here.)

The plants Elizabeth mentions below have worked well (Thanks, too, Elizabeth!)

Also- lilacs, pee gee hydrangea, purple coneflower, balloon flower and lavender. I have a few roses, and will go to my grave fighting blackspot. I had phenomenal hollyhocks for 2 years- not realizing they were biennials- and the deer didn't seem to care about them. (Though I did cut up bars of Irish Spring soap and lay them along the ground as a repellent-- it works sometimes.)

Other than that I fill in with annuals- impatiens, wave petunias, marigolds. Ooh- and I planted a small herb garden last summer that did wonderfully. (Got a freezer full of pesto!)

Wow- this response got long. Now I'm really anxious for spring! :-)

Barbara O'Connor said...

Thanks for the great suggestions! Now if it ever stops snowing...

Gretel said...

We have had a warm snatch over here and my other half has dug over our poor veg patch (which was looking disgraceful) - you are right, the days are creeping longer and it is time to plant seeds!

Jennifer Thermes said...

Barbara- My pleasure! I love talking garden anytime.

PG- I envy you being able to plant seeds already! We'll usually get a nice thaw about now, and then the temperature plunges again. (Ravaged my rhododendrons last year.)

My husband grew up on your side of the planet- in Ireland. We haven't been back for awhile-- I miss it. All that rain makes for lovely gardens! Glad you stopped by. :-)

Frank Gardner said...

Hi Jennifer, I really love your maps. I think I fell in love with maps from escaping to old national Geographics in my Grandmother's attic.
Luckily we live where we enjoy our garden all year long. There are still "seasons" though. Our peach tree started putting its first flowers this week, so we were all excited.
By the way, we use recycled gray water for 95% of our needs in the garden.
I was honored to find a link to My Paint Box on your site. Thanks for that!

Jennifer Thermes said...

You're welcome, Frank. I really love your paintings-- there's so much to learn from just looking at other people's work! (And, I'll admit, I'm totally jealous that you live in Mexico.)

I've always loved maps, too-- imagining what different places are like-- wanting to travel there.

My husband set up a rain barrel to collect the runoff from our barn gutters. It's great for the flowers. Other than that I'm usually dragging the hose everywhere. That's wonderful that you use the gray water. How do you collect it?

Frank Gardner said...

We set up a system when we built our house, which is straw bale constrution to boot.
We collect showers, bathtub, bathroom sink and clothes washer water. It goes into a storage tank that can be pumped or gravity fed to the garden via a hose. Kitchen sink is too greasy, and with the food we would need filters and all that. The soap in the water actually helps with some pesty bugs that do not help the garden and grass. We try to not let it sit in the storage too long or it will begin to smell a bit. Since we are in a desert area with dropping water tables, we felt like it was the way to go, and we don't feel guilty watering the garden.

Jennifer Thermes said...

That's neat, Frank. I wonder if the soapy water would repel deer. (The hubby would love a project like this... he's mentioned something similar.)