Friday, August 21, 2009

I'm In The Garden Today

“My green thumb came only as a result of the mistakes I made while learning to see things from the plant's point of view.” ~H. Fred Ale

I thought I’d start a blog on gardening because I love talking about gardening and sharing with people about their gardens. If you say “you have to do yard-work today” then this blog is probably not for you. If on the other hand you say “you get to garden today” then we are of a kindred spirit.

I live in the Puget Sound region, zone 7 – 8 with a maritime climate influence. This mild climate allows us to garden nearly year-round, winter over some sub-tropical perennials and enjoy hardy Mediterranean herbs. Believe it or not, we are considered a Mediterranean climate.

I am an urban gardener with an average city sized lot. I didn’t take botany or horticulture in college (I was an art student) and am not a Master Gardener, although I’d consider taking the course if they supported and taught organic practices instead of traditional chemical methods. I have been a gardener for more than 24 years. I have worked in a nursery and currently volunteer some of my time at the municipal greenhouses. Therefore any info I give in this blog is of my opinion or experience, or given second-hand based on reading or talking with professionals.

I garden organically, which simply means I garden without the use of petro-chemical pesticides, herbicides or fertilizers. This is the healthiest alternative for people, animals, soil health and earth in my opinion. That is not to say I never use them…there are times when I will use a chemical herbicide only because a natural method isn’t available or known to me. The key is lessening the use; it is rare that I resort to them.

I do not expect perfection from my garden inhabitants. Weeds are inevitable as is disease on roses, both of which can be controlled by various actions, which may be the subject of future posts.

I also keep honey bees. It seemed like the most natural progression for any gardener. I have been a an organic beekeeper for 2 years and have 1 hive. I wanted the pollination for my vegetable garden but have become enamored with them and their amazing habits. Even though I find more of them in my neighbor’s gardens than mine (sigh), they are a delight. My dad is responsible for introducing me to the world of bees and is still my mentor.

I won’t write every day, but on those days I can get into my garden. In the winter months I may write less but will write. I hope my writing and successes and failures are helpful to your gardening efforts. Together maybe we can make beauty happen in our part of the world.

Welcome to my garden,
Joan

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