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Thursday, April 12, 2012

A Dirty Secret

I've been hiding a terrible secret in the backyard.

That's right. I have a hot mess mini-garden. Just six feet wide and two feet deep, the bed was filled with mini you could barely see underneath the mass of weeds growing in the bed. To be fair, the weeds were primarily wild strawberries, but still. Weeds. Lots and lots of weeds and rocks.

I'm not a gardener. I don't enjoy it. Before you start pointing out all of the reasons I should enjoy gardening, I need to tell you that I've not enjoyed it over the past 40 years, so I'm not sure it will change.

Regardless of enjoyment, I decided I couldn't live with the Hot Mess any longer. {Plus I was a little inspired by the efforts of my friends JuJuBe and Wimp and Gimp.} Over the weekend, I suited up in old jeans, a tank top, a huge straw hat and super-strength garden gloves and got to work.

I'd pulled the weeds and was measuring the bed size.
 I pulled weeds, dug up rocks, applied a huge mix of garden soil, laid down landscape fabric and covered it all with hardwood mulch.

Then I spent the next three days searching for the perfect plants. The two foot bed depth was a challenge, as well as the two foot height to the windowsill.

When planted and watered, this is what I ended up with:

Ok, so it doesn't look that exciting right now but hopefully it will after things grow in. And perhaps it would have looked better if I hadn't taken that photo in the evening sunshine right after I gave everything a good drenching.

Live and learn.

The big center plant is a gardenia. It will grow to three-to-four feet high and wide. A perfect fit for the center of the bed. Even better, it puts out fragrant white blooms throughout the spring and summer and loves full sunshine.

To round out the bed, I dropped in two small compact pink innocence on each side of the gardenia.

The innocence is also a sun-lover and will grow to 10-12 inches high and wide. It puts out blooms spring through fall - and I don't have to deadhead the flowers. That's just my style.

Then, because I felt inspired (and hopeful) while I was at the garden center, I bought a tomato plant. It's sitting, hopefully enjoying the sunshine and loving attention I intend to give it, ready to give us lots of tomatoes this summer.

I'm not going to promise a garden update unless things go like gang-busters. If everything dies, you'll not be the wiser.

Updated to add a before photo of the mini-garden (after pulling weeds, but before doing anything else).

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