For me, gardening is a continuous process of learning, always a trial and error deal. When I think I got the perfect blend of soil, something or some fungus or some disease or some creature will let me know that it is not quite right. Or when I think I perfected the method of planting a certain plant then it dies on me. Which is not really a big deal. Although frustrating at times, I just get my hands back in the dirt and deal with it.
Spring of course is my favorite season because I know that is when I can enjoy all those flowers, fruits and vegetables. I can spend all day in the nursery looking over those plants they have there. I do visit them quite often in the spring and summer just to check if there's any interesting "new" flowers or plants. It is so relaxing to me to just be around plants and flowers. That is why I enjoy those walks in the woods. Have you been to Yosemite around those giant Sequoia trees or inside the Redwood forest... amazing!!! Someday, I would really like to experience being in a Rainforest, I think it will be incredible.
As in my cooking, I am also adventurous with my gardening, always trying out those rare, wild, unusual flowers or plants. Two flowers that I can not seem to grow no matter how much I try to follow the suggestions of the experts... gardenia and fuschia. This spring I found out that fuschia is not going to survive here in our region, sooooo why do they even sell them? The master gardener I talked to said that they shouldn't even sell them here. I know not to buy any more of that flower. Now, I only have one challenge left, yep, gardenia. And I do have one out there in my patio that I am closely watching. We'll see!!!
I always have to have roses. I do have roses, the bush kind and the tree kind and even the miniature kind. I like to keep up with pruning off the old flowers because I know that the more I prune the more flowers there are. Someday I would like to have one big particular area in the backyard where it will just be a rose garden. My ex-father-in-law taught me to prune off on the branch where there are at least five leaves of the plant and that is how I have been pruning my roses. I have yet to research on the reality of that and the significance. In the summer I like to bring those roses in the house and enjoy them some more, the smell is just wonderful.
Lavender is another plant that I always grow and plant them in abundance all over the yard. I like to make potpourri, oil, and sachets out of them. If you notice at the store, these are expensive items and yet they are easy to make at home. I like to give the lavender a gentle kick when I go by them because of the smell they emit, so sweet!!!
Begonia is another flower that you will always find in my garden. I like their hardiness while producing those gorgeous flowers. As in my roses, I keep up with the pruning so that I can enjoy the flowers. And I plant many varieties of this. Nowadays they even have the scented begonias which I think are neat!!!
Most of my plants are perennials so that I always have them. What I do in the spring is plant some annuals in front of the perennials. This way it adds up some dimension to the garden and break the monotony of the "always there, always the same" perennials.
Another garden habit I have is using containers in the mix of the planted plants. I do use those unusual, interesting containers like an old wheelbarrow, an old barbecue grill or my son's old red pulley cart. Just to put some conversational pieces in the garden.
To keep them alive and healthy and generous of their flowers, I water them with water soluble fertilizer about every two weeks. I throw in those slow release fertilizer once in a while. And my vegetable garden get the steer manure beside the slow release fertilizer. Of course I try to nurse their problems as I see them as in fungus, bugs and other diseases. No I don't go out there with my stethoscope and try to diagnose what is wrong... hehehe!!!
Two years ago I decided to downsize my garden because I have been busy. To prevent weeding, I covered my whole yard with weed block material and put thick layer of mulch all over the place. It works!!!
I have a few fruit trees , all dwarf or semi-dwarf. I found this dwarf avocado tree which unfortunately fell victim to the frost last year. I was afraid that it died but so happy to see it growing like crazy this spring. There is a dwarf nectarine tree. A semi-dwarf apple tree with four varieties of apples. A semi-dwarf pear tree with five varieties in it. A semi-dwarf cherry tree that has four varieties of it. A semi-dwarf persimmons tree. A dwarf Satsuma tangerine tree. A dwarf Meyer lemon tree. A calamansi tree.
Then there is my herb garden which is a lot smaller now but still has the varieties that I use a lot of... basil, thyme, parsley, oregano, rosemary, chives, dill, sage and tarragon. When in over abundance, I dry these herbs and jar them. This is another grocery item out there that cost quite a bit and yet so easy to do at home.
Then there's my orchid collection that my sister started me on. They are of different varieties that bloom diffent times. It takes a lot of patience to take care of these plants. In the winter I divide them up and repot them. Incredible flowers!!!
As soon as it warms up, you would not find me inside the house. I am almost always outside pottering around or pruning or weeding or trimming. And getting tanned. So now you know where to find me. And one amazing thing, I can get really busy but I always seem to find time to garden. I hope you like having your hands dirty...