Deck with a View

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I’ve always wanted an herb garden near the house. This is my ‘mixed metaphor’ plot. We’ll see what it looks like once the basil, thyme, rosemary, oregano, sage, and flowers fill in.

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Kansas Blues

Three years ago, long before I even imagined taking the Master Gardener classes, I planted blueberry bushes on the north side of my house. Why the north? That’s where my mother planted hers. Growing up in NJ, we had blueberry bushes that I remember as at least ten feet tall and five feet wide.

I know I wasn’t able to pick the berries without a ladder.

So now, 50 some-odd years after childhood, I plunked three expensive-yet-straggly-looking blueberry bushes in the ground and hoped for the best.

Little did I know that acidic-loving blueberries hate Kansas soil. I’ve written about my soil test before. Blues grow best when the pH is 4.5 to 5. My soil, two years after planting, tested at 7.5.

Ouch!

I side-dressed with sulfur and again, hoped for the best. But at the end of last fall, I was pretty sure those bushes were dead. A bit of research led me to growing blueberries in containers.

I pre-ordered the right types of Blues (Top Hat and Northblue dwarf bushes), devised a soil-less mix of sphagnum peat moss and cedar mulch, and bought pots. Here is the result.

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Wandering through one of the big-box store nurseries about a month ago, I stopped to see what kind of Blues they were selling. Next to me, studiously reading labels, was a young man who seemed to be struggling to make a decision.

Me: “Buying some blueberries?”
Him: “Maybe.”
Me: “Have you had your soil test?”
Him: “Huh?”

Now imagine me giving forth, chapter and verse, about the proper growing conditions for blueberries versus the growing conditions in Kansas. And imagine him looking befuddled.

Him: “So I should add lime?”

Yippee for the chance to show off how much I know. I explain how lime reduces acid in the soil while sulfur increases it. By the end of my little nerdy lecture, that poor guy had moved on to raspberries. I had successfully prevented yet another disastrous planting of Blues in Kansas.

And now for the punch line.

Remember those Blues I planted in ignorance three years ago? Here they are today.

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Blueberry pie, anyone?

Asparagus Harvest

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This morning’s asparagus haul.

We grill it, steam it, add it to eggs and salads and casseroles. Anyone have ideas for fresh asparagus? Anyone successful at freezing it?

Excuses, excuses…

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I haven’t posted a Blog since March 22 – the longest time between Blogs since I started! And I have excuses aplenty.

I’m interviewing the gardeners selected for the 2015 Miami County Garden Tour, writing descriptions and photographing their gardens. Takes time and leaves me with a major case of garden envy.

I’ve been planting in my own garden. Raspberries, blackberries, and sugar snap peas. Horseradish, red onions, and radishes.

I’m checking the asparagus every morning for harvest. Luscious and lovely spring asparagus, photo to follow someday soon.

It’s rained so I can’t take photos. It hasn’t rained, so I have to water. My Internet went out for several days.

Excuses…

Hopefully, I’m catching up and back on track. Meanwhile, I thought you’d like to see the results of the radical crab apple tree and/or bush pruning that we did in February. The darn thing has shape. It has blossoms for the first time ever. It’s almost beautiful.

Hope you’re enjoying spring as much as I am.