I attempted to start my own seeds in spring 2003: largely a failure, probably too much water for a change. Also, I didn’t get out into the outside gardens until the Fourth of July; weeding, therefore, was the main task at hand. I expanded my deck garden and planted astilbe, candytuft and artemisia. The rock garden gave up the ghost entirely, poor thing. I planted a rosa rugosa out front (from North Creek Farm in Phippsburg, Maine – a very cool, laid back place with great beach roses and free range chickens scurrying all over), and replaced the hollyhocks in the big garden with a blue veronica and some white gooseneck loosestrife.
Ah, 2004 – a harbinger, I’m afraid. The last entry in my notebook is: “08/14/04 – haven’t done much in the garden this summer … rainy, rainy rainy.” Also, that day marked the first weeding of the year as well (yikes!). In addition, I killed a bunch of grass on the front lawn in my attempt to oust the ground bees that had moved in. (Have you ever been stung by ground bees? I would recommend avoiding that if at all possible.) My dad gave me four tomato plants which I put in pots on the deck, and planted more candytuft, a buckthorn (so cool: tall and shrubby with skinny leaves), Russian sage and two more catmints.
2005 and 2006 are only blurs at this point. I probably put in a few more plants, maybe weeded once or twice. I know that we edged the gardens and put down a pick-up truck’s worth of mulch last year, but that’s all I can positively account for. This year is by far the worst: I have done absolutely nothing but mow the lawn, and that only a few times. The big perennial bed is holding its own, although the lupine which had previously done so well didn’t bloom this year at all. The only things holding on in the gardens around the deck are the astilbe – it’s even flourishing, so it must prefer neglect – and the buckthorn. The pachysandra is finally choking out the dandelions, but the front herb garden is sadly succumbing to the encroaching grass.