Asiatic Lilies from my courtyard garden.
Asiatic Lilies from my courtyard garden.

Gardening has always been a part of my life.  My mother and grandmother were avid gardeners.  For them, a necessity.  They grew and preserved all the vegetables eaten during the winter months.  They took great pride in their gardens and always shared the bounty with friends and family.  My mother’s canned goods looked like they should be photographed and would certainly have been blue ribbon winners had she ever enter them at the fair at summer’s end.

I have taken the easy way out and support our local Farmers Market and Community Supported Agriculture businesses in our area.  The produce is organic, locally grown and I must say, pretty spectacular. During the summer and fall, Wednesday afternoon and Saturday morning our local market is overflowing with beautiful produce. The vendors work hard all season to bring in their best. The great thing is, everything is so beautiful and it really does encourage trying new recipes and eating some really healthy dishes.  Check out the YUM section of thimbleberries.com to get the recipes for the goodies I picked up recently.

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My gardening attention goes to landscaping, perennial gardens and ornamental pots.  Each year I think I have a fool proof plan for  perfect combinations and each year I fall short for one reason or the other….too hot, too cool, late start, too dry, too wet, random pests and insects and then plant choices that seem good on paper, but not necessarily in my yard.  By the end of each summer, I have notes on what needs to be changed or added for the following year.  Sometimes it involves new plantings, but most often it involves dividing perennials and moving plants from one part of the landscape to another.  That is what gardeners do…move, change, divide and find new plants that we just have to try.  This is a spot I am pleased with this year and hope to replicate again next year.

IMG_0424This year I took pictures of my pots when I planted them and again 8 weeks into the summer  so that I could refer to them next spring before I make the trip to the nursery. I am always so excited to get things planted after the spring thaw.  Without a plan, it is so easy to over buy and buy the wrong plants because everything looks so good and is so tempting. I now keep a garden journal of sorts to keep track of what works and what does not, and make a “grocery list” before I head out to buy plants.  Then, of course, I add things here and there throughout the summer.  It is difficult for me to drive by a good looking nursery.   This year we are have had perfect gardening weather…warm sunny days, mild nights and just the right amount of rain about every 5 days.  It has been a banner growing year.  The pot on the left when first planted and the same pot on the right 8 weeks later. It has looked good all summer.   I will repeat this one again next spring.

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