Sunday, July 13, 2014

War and Peace in the Garden

This is part of the Virtual Garden Tour.  To take the whole tour, go here.

Please, at any time, click on the photos to embiggen.

The Garden at War
As my regular readers know, the Common Household gardens are plagued by fat Attack Rabbits, moles, chipmunks, and birds.  Also, the newspaper delivery person tends to throw the paper right on top of my little garden around the mailbox.  Why s/he can’t use the newspaper box that is right there, I don’t know. 

I decided to do battle using seeds.  Without doing any research, I decided that green onions would repel the rabbits, and forget-me-nots would repel the newspaper.  Well, it’s more that it won’t bother me so much if the plants that are destroyed cost me $1.50 for seeds rather than $20+ for plants.

I planted the forget-me-nots here, at the front of the mailbox garden, at the end of May.  

For the onions, I used a different war tactic.  I experimented by planting them in four different places.  I put some in the mailbox garden.  Then I put two rows in the strawberry patch, which is in the shade (not my decision to put a garden there) and has menacing amounts of weeds just next to it.
Strawberry-onion patch.  There is another row in front.

I put one row on the west side of the house, which seems to suffer from heat bouncing off the wall of the house and frying most plants I put there.

And one clump in the hillside, which is regularly beset by weeds, rabbits, moles, voles, snakes, birds, and gaboon vipers.

Here is how they are doing six weeks later:
Mailbox garden.
The onions are there, but poor and thin, like Oliver Twist.
The forget-me-nots are doing well.  I planned to
make a long row, but unfortunately dumped all the seeds
in one place.  I haven't thinned them out, because
they are on the Very Low Maintenance Plan.
Onions and strawbs doing well.
Except I keep stepping on that row of onions in front.

Onions and animal doorway.

Side of the house: NO ONIONS.  

On the hillside.  These are doing best, of the four locations.

So far, the war seems to be going mostly in my favor. Okay, so the onions are thin and unsubstantial.  Keep in mind they are still toddler onions.  It seems the rabbits are not eating them.  And the newspaper has landed squarely on the lawn ever since I planted them.

The Garden at Peace
While doing all this gardening, I made many serendipitous discoveries.

1, The strawberry patch is doing okay.

In mid-June we got two strawberries; at the end of June, 4 berries; last week, 11 berries.  The crop has doubled each time!

Tiny, sweet, and full of seeds.

2. One of my day lilies bloomed.  Usually the deerabbits eat the buds.
On the west side of the house.

Day lily mops (no blooms) at the top, forsythia, and weeds.

3. I found this:

See it?

There it is.

A raspberry!

4. Snapdragons seem to do well by the side of the house, unlike the onion seeds.  I also have a volunteer snapdragon up by the mailbox.
From the farmer's market, planted in
 the garden on the west side of the house.
More wildlife

Volunteer Snapdragon

5. The snow-in-summer is still alive. 

Snow-in-summer, in summer.

This is what snow-in-summer looks like in late May.  I love those delicate white flowers, and wish I could find more of this plant, but I never see it in the local garden stores.
Snow-in-summer, in late May.

6. This azalea did not bloom at all this spring, and I was pretty sure it was dead.  It isn’t.
Azalea in early May.  Looks dead as a doornail.

Azalea in July.  Alive, if surrounded by weeds.

7.  Our Kwanzan cherry tree also did not bloom this spring.  I was most disappointed, and guessed that  it was due to this winter's intense cold.  I am hoping that these are buds for next spring.
Buds (?) above the leaf growth

Buds (?) below the leaf growth

8. Despite being struck by early blight, I have two tiny tomatoes on my plants that are in the hanging planter.  No jalapeno peppers yet.
One of two tomatoes.  Not going to be the
bumper crop that we've had in the
strawberry patch

9. I also have these growing up by the corner rock.

The garden at the corner rock, also known
 as the Sewer Manhole Garden.

Yellow marigolds and purple petunias.

Unruly gladioli.  No matter how much I thin
them, they keep putting up new
foliage, but don't produce many flowers.

Hostas are blooming!
These usually are eaten down to the ground
by deerabbits or Daleks, so they never bloom.


10. And finally, my precious balloon flowers are going strong.

Thanks for taking this long, laborious walk around my gardens!

To return to the Virtual Garden Tour, click here.


Karen (formerly kcinnova) said...

I'm in love with your balloon flowers and really must do a little research to see if we have them here. Ditto: Snapdragons.
Deerabbit cracks me up (annoying as those creatures can be... I remember them well from NoVA) and our strawberry patch is right where we found it: along the shady side of the house. I think Strawberry plants must like shade.

Thank you for the tour! :)

Karen (formerly kcinnova) said...

8:18pm EDT, the link to the rest of the tour isn't working...

Common Household Mom said...

I think I have fixed the links. Now, I'm off for the tour!

Cassi Renee said...

Your strawberry harvest was twice ours, I believe. I ate one, and I think Emma and Molly each got one as well. I found one that Emma brought in, preserved in a tiny tupperware many days later that she forgot to actually eat. They were all about the same size as yours too.

My parent's house has the snow-in-summer (I never knew what it was called), along with ladybells. I've looked for both those flowers, but once a flower goes out of fashion it seems impossible to find it.

I am really impressed at how well toddler onions are able to repel newspapers!

Karen (formerly kcinnova) said...

Yes, the link is working now, thanks!
Sewer Manhole Garden continues to crack me up...

Alison said...

Lovely! You know, if you buy green onions at the store, you can plant your discarded root ends, and they will sprout anew.

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

So pretty--even the spindly onions. I like all your BLUE colors, around here people go for pastels which I do not care for. Isn't it a marvelous sense of self-sufficiency to even grow a PLATE of your own food?

Cheri @ Blog This Mom!® said...

Amazing! I love how your organized this garden tour, and I especially love how you organized your own post here. I need strawberry tips. I grew ten berries this year. Not plants, berries. :-)

smalltownme said...

I am cheering on your onions. I was going to say rooting for but that sounds like what the attack rabbits would be doing.

The Crislers said...

I had no idea that onions repelled newspapers. Your balloon flowers and snapdragons are beautiful! For some reason I thought snapdragons stopped blooming when it got too hot out. Shows how much I know.

I love how some of your shots of flowers and produce are at first hidden, until you zoom in or look under other foliage. It's your own kind of secret garden. Thanks so much for doing this tour; I've had great fun looking at your garden and everyone else's!

Daisy said...

I enjoyed your onion experiment! My best results with onions were scallions and walking onions, both green onions rather than large bulbs. They grow best if I plant them in the fall and let the seeds and bulbs hibernate.
Odd, though - my strawberries like sun. I must have a different variety.