Thursday, Dec 27, 2018. I have an old friend from HS on the line, who is a little bit new to gardening, but has had some early success as a neighborhood gardener and a teacher as well!
I’m an elementary school teacher for 21 years on Long Island.
I’ve always been a renter, love to rent! I always say, I’m the best renter you could ever have! Then at 47 bought a house with my husband and my daughter. When we bought the house in our price range, we had to look really hard to make sure there were no structural problems.
skimming things in our price range. We weren’t looking, I thought funny in an ad,
I thought that was a funny thing to put in.
never looked outside until the spring when my daughter went to kick a ball, and it landed in some kind of thorn bush and that’s how I got into gardening because we had to do land clearing first!
I never expected to be doing land clearing in my forties! Shock!
You were telling me a bit about it! Like you were joking about your husband getting a chain saw and you had to have 6 guys come in with machetes! Like this isn’t just a little project!
Yes, there was an invasive vine that was killing trees
It was so thick, some of the roots were thick as a leg
very deep into the ground
I had some friends come over who said things from
you will never get rid of it
to it will cost $35k
To get rid and I sometimes think that was the best thing they could have said to us was you’ll never get rid of it! Because my husband’s an irishman and we took it on as a challenge
It took about 3 years to get all of it
our neighbors were infected too!
and we worked together
take it to the garbage collectors
It wasn’t easy to do! But we did it! However, once you clear land, then you have these big spaces and you have to put something in them, so then I had to figure out what plants to buy. It was a big project!
And you have such a lovely tiered garden, when I was here in June we got to come over for your solstice party, it’s just gorgeous!
my husband did it
He was very clever, our backyard that is sloped
put in stones! big stones
to create these three tiers
easy access the garden
I think that is a big key to make sure that it is very easy to access
stepping over the plants
not gonna fall
in those tiers
I don’t think it would be as easy to access.
And it looks lovely!
thanks, thanks to him!
we had the home where we left the bicycles
My mother was not a gardener, my father was not.
I think I came into it very late in life!
I think that will be inspiring that you did come late and are doing so well!
I’m a big believer in that too!
Well my husband just said no chemicals
don’t want to put in any part of the lawn because they can run down to where we’re growing vegetables
You have to do more weeding that way,
it’s also cheaper so that appeals to me.
I wanted her to see:
I hadn’t really experienced myself
We just love that the colors that come up!
Explaining to her!
Planting the bulbs in the fall is a very good lesson
One thing that gardening teaches to you is
You’re not gonna get return on everything that you do, but whatever the percentage is, it’s very worth the effort
at first we were hoping we would clear it in one year, so we have to be patient! It didn’t take one year to get to this condition
That’s great advice! I agree! My husband is very patient, sometimes I’m like how do you
he has that vision, sometimes I’m like I don’t remember all this dirt!
The tulips grew very well
I don’t have as much success with the big tomatoes! But the cherry tomatoes!
they’re so easy
I can make a salad
I make a simple sauce by cutting them up with garlic and basil
My daughter likes to eat them like a snack
They don’t take a ton of room, they grow well where you put them and you can use them so many ways.
That’s the same problem we have.
they take so long to ripen
animals sometimes they come and eat them.
big rabbit problem here on Long Island
I know there is a big problem, they are everywhere!
They are reproducing like rabbits!
I wanna try and put in some more flowers
tried to put in a wild patch of flowers
issue is to try to seed in the pot
I would like to have just a patch of wildflowers but we don’t have that!
I’ve had the most luck with perennials, we were talking about sage last night, things like
butterfly flower – which is like this big red kind of bloom with yellow
Mike does plant the seeds and then transplant them
You know what grows good is calendula and they come up like the dill, popping up all over!
it grows beautifully
it seems like a shame when you harvest it
it’s a root vegetable so then it’s gone.
I’ve been just keeping it, it has a beautiful white flower. It does draw bees, we’re always looking for bees
I was just reading that fennel is good for you.
that seemed like
I’d rather keep it like a plant
roses that I had, they were choked with this invasive vine
I haven’t gotten them to go up the trellis but I’m getting there.
Hey interesting fact, I’ve been researching for my garden course is that garlic is a companion for roses, it keeps the fungus away and bugs.
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I think weeding is everybody’s bug-a-boo
clean out at the beginning and the end of the year
multiple days just to get the garden put to bed
clean up in the spring and I have five yards of mulch that has to be put down!
that’s a lot of mulch!
what’s helped me is having a wheelbarrow
look at your backyard if you have any kind of slope or rocks or bumpy surfaces, it’s worth getting a wheelbarrow with
big round tires
That’s interesting, I first thought shovel but then I a changed it to a wheelbarrow and what was a game changer for us was getting one with a flat free tire!
I’ve never gotten a flat, hope you didn’t curse me Jackie!
Yeah! I flat free tire. We have about 3-4, Mike’s always hauling rocks, out of the garden, doing rock work. We live in the Rocky Mountains so they are always coming out of the soil!
going to cook something
We love to cook in our house!
the first signs that winter is over and spring is coming and we got through another New York winter
My family always laughs, they’re like you live in Montana and I’m like I hate NY Winters, i come here and freeze!
I was shown how to prune, I didn’t understand it
the person who was showing me how to prune
I wasn’t understanding where to cut down to!
I realized it was ok to make mistakes in gardening
you’re not gonna get everything 100%
that’s a good thing for a perfectionist like me!
I’m glad to hear that because I often don’t feel like I have any idea what I’m doing when I’m pruning, and she just walks around with her pruners all the time, but she did get me these amazing CutCo pruners and they make cutting lilacs etc just like butter. And also I want to put a mailbox down in the garden so they are protected but always down there.
I did find myself wanting to deadhead more, and I was learning about the chop and drop with the buckwheat last year, which was hard to cut these beautiful flowers but I just kept repeating I’m feeding the soil, I’m feeding the soil!
I wanted to ask you because you said you put down 5 yards of mulch, but is that every year, or just the first year when you pulled out the vines, because we had a cute little 5 yard dump truck once and I know what that means and that’s a lot of mulch!
Yes, you do it one time in the spring!
Wait, every year? Or just the one year?
When we removed all those vines there’s like a trench its the length of the property that’s about 4 feet deep, I put mulch down there, we have some bushes, its gonna take a few years before it’s a full hedge.
I put it there, I put it down where I have hostas I have it all there. It seems we have a lot of borders for the size property we have. I put it inside all the borders, it keeps the weeds down!