Tuesday, August 6, 2013


How about a non-sexual post for a change?

One of the many reasons that I enjoy reading blogs from all over the world is because the bloggers sometimes reveal a little bit of their gardens.   Some lovely examples include anne marie from Philly with her many beautiful flowers, Bill in France with his amazing vegetables and Dr. Spo in Phoenix with desert plants.

Growing up, every member of my extended immigrant family had a large, backyard vegetable garden.  In her late 70s, my mother still has a garden which fills her entire back yard.  Early in my marriage, I had a very lush, productive garden which was about 1/4 acre in size, complete with a small greenhouse and fruit trees which I grafted myself. 

But the babies started to come, and my wife became less able to cope with anything so I had to abandon my garden.   I was just too busy!

Now, I have somewhat more time to start gardening at my new waterfront home but there are significant challenges here   My entire properly is underlain by a solid sheet of  bedrock which is made up some of the oldest rocks on the planet.  About 1/3 of the property is bare rock, in fact, and the rest has a soil depth ranging from three inches to one foot.   To deal with this, I've built a few raised beds and have hauled in topsoil and horse manure. 

The other bigger challenge involves our cool temperatures (much cooler here by the cold water than further inland), howling winds and our very short 40 day growing season.  To grow vegetables on this property is pretty near hopeless, I'd say, but I love gardening so much that I determined to try.

Here is what I have growing in my yard this morning.

A hosta doing well in completely infertile soil.

Some of several dozen raspberry canes planted
this year, given to me by my mother.  They'll do
well in our cool climate.

Some late green onions.

A sour cherry tree... its first year producing!

I have huge areas of flat rock covered by yellow sedum.  
They bloomed a month ago and the red are the seed pods.

Trailing lobelia and a tomato plant
in a tooled copper yard-sale pot.

Entry #1 in my raised-bed herb garden.

Portulaca doing really well in a window box.

My grandmother's "strawberry rhubarb" from the 1930s.  I divided my chunk into six different plants this year because we eat so much of it.

This apple tree was planted a year ago.

Impatience, trailing lobelia and dianthus
(barely) blooming in a hollowed-out stump


  1. my crape myrtle is just beginning to blossom. thanks for the shout-out sweetie; c ya soon! :)

  2. At least you have a green thumb and can grow things! If it isn't natural in my yard, then it doesn't live there. HAHAHAHA I can't even transplant azaleas (which are hardier than an oak tree) - they die within a season! I'll have to post some pictures of my "gardens".

    Peace <3

  3. We have similar problems--my property is on a hillside, part of an extinct volcano. Solid rock is very close to the surface that is made up of a very thin and poor soil. I built raised beds and trucked in soil for three hillside terraces 4.5 feet by 24 feet for vegetables, and also for a huge triangular English Country garden in front of the big south-facing windows of the house. Rock is everywhere, but I use it for stone walls and love the VERY New England look.

    Your miniature stump garden and the big bed of sedum look great! I so wish we lived closer to each other -- I think we'd be great friends.

  4. Bravo! It's great when one can cope with and even overcome lousy growing conditions. My soil is very hard clay and needs serious amendments. It's a lot of work, but worth it.

    --"Bill" a.k.a. Walt in France.

  5. Next week when I am in Ontario I will be continually looking at the plants and gardens; I miss them so!

  6. Thanks for commenting, everyone!

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