I had a thorough ABUNDANT GARDENING workshop power point prepared to give as one of the activities at our conservation district's annual symposium this past Saturday, but not enough members had made reservations, so it was wisely canceled.
Hating for something to go to waste, the district director asked permission to photocopy my power point into the newsletter going out soon, so hopefully some landowners will glean a few helpful tips as they prepare their gardens this spring for summer enjoyment. I decided to upload it onto our site, so you can click on the Gardening Presentation link to the left, open the pdf file, and read or print it. I hope it helps, and gives you some good tips.
The presentation is a culmination of my 45+ years of gardening experience (I started gardening by helping my folks when I was about 9), several years as a CSU Master Gardener, and many hours of research, reading, and experimenting. Please email me if you need clarifications on any of the outline points. Of course, like any power point, the audio presentation would make the screens more understandable. Maybe since we all have learned to be brief in the 'texting' generation, you'll get it completely without my blah, blah, blah! The photo herein is my 2011 spring garden, before our 18 month drought hit. Our sheep are grazing in the background - isn't spring gorgeous when their is ample moisture!
Since I had an entirely free morning not having the presentation to give, I decided to garden instead of talking about it! Absolutely gorgeous spring weather showed its sunny side all day long here in northeastern Colorado! My 14 y.o. daughter Destiny helped me plant 50 trees in 4 hours! Can you believe it! Wow, that was a lot to get done. My little ones brought buckets of water as we went, and played alongside of us working. Mostly we replaced Rocky Mountain Junipers in windbreak rows we had planted last year. Not all the trees made it in the drought, and the rabbits ate all the pines, so we planted replacement RMJ since the rabbits don't bother those at all. In 10 years they will be big,and beautiful! Yes, that is a long time to wait, but you have to have a vision, and patience, if you are improving and enjoying a rural property.
We also planted drought tolerant, fast growing Green Ashes where we wanted deciduous trees on the south side of the house in a couple of rows we had started last year, but now just finished. They are teamed with lilac, snowball, and forsythia shrubs to give some early spring and all summer long color and fragrance.
I still remember the snowball bush that was on the north side of my childhood home in Wichita, KS. For several years we would pick the blooms and make May baskets to hang on some of the neighbors' doors. No one close enough out here to do that to with my kids, but we can still enjoy the pretty white flowers as they start to bloom in the next few years.
At 2pm, I fixed lunch, gave the kids a break to play, and I kept working on putting up a low fence around a couple of the yard gardens to keep rabbits and Reka out. The two areas I was able to finish included the garlic/rose garden, and the new asparagus patch, both also on the south side of the house. It was an area that was very unkempt and underutilized, now reclaimed to be beautiful and productive!
BTW, Reka is Megan's sweet Great Dane, who is a total love baby to our family, and the world's most vicious guard dog to all visitors and strangers entering our property! While Megan is away at college in Florida, Reka loves to lay in any warm cushy spot in our yard, mostly in my beautiful gardens! I put up a low barrier last year around everything; she didn't dare cross over until last fall when I stopped caring, and now she has learned a very, very bad habit. So, up went 30" high snow fencing that I can step over to tend things, but she seems to not want to jump over at this point. Hopefully the pickets are too close together for the naughty rabbits to brave. If they discover my asparagus - well, Eddie, get your pellet gun!
So, a productive day of great accomplishment and satisfaction instead of heading to town and just talking about it all. Spring is here, and I am not wasting a moment of sunshine if I can be outside. Fortunately my kids love to help and it is some of the most fun schoolwork we have this time of year.