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September 2013
Rhyming is Everything

They say timing is everything but I believe it’s heart and soul that really affects a garden. No matter the size or what doesn’t make it, it’s the living – the growing – that counts.

So it is with my tiny garden in containers in the middle of a country lawn where a mama deer raises her babies and where rabbits munch on plantain unafraid. (haven’t see them lately though; perhaps the hawks are stocking up for winter)

My own garden in the ground within the confines of the dog pen didn’t happen. Such is the summer of the carpenter’s daughter. So with a bit of ado, I gathered surviving seedlings and potted them up in whatever I could find and corralled them on the sunny lawn.

Deer nibbles of peas and tomato plants forced me to surround the garden with a line of defense-deer-resistant plants: pots of ‘Gigante’ Italian parsley, native anise hyssop and it’s varieties ‘Blue Fortune’ and ‘Shades of Orange’, annual verbena, pots of spearmint, lamb’s ears, Russian sage and Four O’Clocks.

At first I left good space between the plants but the deer and-or rabbits still attacked so I tucked the defenders in close to the delectables against my better mildew prevention judgment.

Needless to say I wait for the tomatoes and peppers to ripen while I enjoy the flowers. (Forget the Persian cucumbers, Portuguese kale and Baby Napa cabbage-the bugs ate them.) Early mornings I stumble out with coffee and recall one woman’s wisdom regarding the nativeness of native plant varieties: “Let the insects and birds decide if they are native.” I have watched the bees buzz on Blue Fortune agastache as much if not more than the native A. foeniculum and I am glad to finally see the native and learn the differences between the two. I saw a hummingbird drink nectar from hot pink cleome and I am amazed at the colors of Broken Colors Four O’Clocks.

Potted flowers and herbs also line the concrete steps. Pots of lush Apricot Blush zinnias and beguiling cerinthe below ferns intrigue. I remember cerinthe still alive blue-green in the early snow in the dog pen garden a few years ago. Profusion zinnias are adorable potted with tiny blue woodruff.

Next to the steps, a rusty old wheelbarrow with a flat tire is finally put to use. It holds a bag of turkey compost with vine seedlings: thunbergia, cypress vine and cardinal climber. Let’em go to it. next to them the last scrawny seedlings I couldn’t bear to throw away: tomatoes and peppers that are actually bearing fruit.

My garden is a small garden with nothing to eat yet but parsley, but it calms the soul and brings joy and satisfaction.

by Mary Jasch

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