Our Garden More June 2008

Here’s some more photos of June 2008. Some of my perennials are 3 years old now. Like they say perennials sleep the first year , creep the second year and LEAP the third year, and so it was with a good many of my perennials. All except the ones I divided the first year or second and even those did more LEAPING than sleeping or creeping. I think my soil has a lot to do with it. I mulch all of my garden every year, usually in spring and sometimes add more during the year. Mulch is always disappearing but where? I’ll tell you where fellow gardeners, well fellow gardeners that maybe don’t know already, it goes into the soil itself. Breaking down and as it does it helps build the soil, it feeds the soil, it helps in improving drainage. Just remember one thing and if I’m preaching to the choir I apologize…..:-) Feed your soil and your flowers (plants) for the most part will take care of themselves. And that’s been so true in my experience. I don’t know what happens in your garden or at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens or “The White Garden” at one of the most famous and beautiful gardens in the world at Sissinghurst Castle in Kent, England,  but I do know what feeding the soil does in MY GARDEN.

When I first started gardening in my back yard, side yards and front yard the soil needed some “improvement”, a LOT OF IMPROVEMENT and I “improved” it by adding some “amendments” to it.  I “improved” it by adding mulch every year where it was needed, where it decomposed to less than 3 inches or so. And then every spring an inch or two of Black Kow Composted Cow Manure around the crown of EVERY plant. Every plant. After a few years in some places I don’t even need a shovel to dig into the soil, I can dig down with my hands, the soil is so friable, healthy, has such good drainage. Folks that have come see my garden they’ve said some very complimentary things about how beautiful my flowers look, how vigorously they bloom, how healthy the plants themselves look. And of course I appreciate every thing that they’ve said and it makes me feel so good and brings such a smile to my face. But it ain’t my green thumb, or luck, or some magic fertilizer in a can or bag or bottle that I use or it ain’t the garden fairy or elves I got on the payroll, its THE SOIL STUPID……:-)

Like the slogan the Clinton campaign used in his first presidential bid for election, instead of “IT’S THE ECONOMY STUPID, well fellow gardeners “IT’S THE SOIL STUPID” and it is the SOIL. And that’s such a good thing cause fellow gardeners if I can have soil like I got now after what I had to start with, well anyone can, YOU CAN…..You might have soil like that already, but if you’re a gardener, beginner or one with just a little gardening experience under your belt but think “my soil is so bad that I just can’t seem to do anything about it”, well cheer up. YOU CAN DO SOMETHING, you can’t do it overnight unless you haul in all new soil and haul out the old like Donald Trump would do I reckon over at his house……:-) But with a little planning, patience and being consistent about what you’re doing you can have that kind of soil too.

OK now I’m starting to sound like a cross between and evangelist and a used car salesman….:-) But everything I say here is true. Regardless of how big a liar I usually am…..:-)  And if you’re like me and have read every darn book about gardening you could get your hands on, like those written by Gertrude Jekyll, Christopher Lloyd, Pamela Harper or Allan Armitage or God forbid even Martha Stewart (just kidding Martha). Then you know the first if not the second thing they say in all their books is about amending the soil first, get your garden beds ready, give your new plants a good start, give the roots of your new plants a good home and on and on and on…….I bet I’ve read similar statements about amending the soil in gardening books a million times and after a while you know what fellow gardeners? I finally got it through my big old thick head. IT’S THE SOIL STUPID…..and it is.

Paul From Alabama

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8 08 2011

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