Sunday, January 14, 2018

2019 Love To Garden But Have Health Issues? Try Compromising!

Sooner or later health and age issues will catch up with you.  In my mind I'm still 35 and can work in my garden all day long. But my body says ... who you kiddin'? I will be 68 in February. I have lower back issues ... and bad knees. To top it off ... I'm going on almost two and a half years as a Breast Cancer Survivor. Having had 4 rounds of Chemo and 35 Radiation treatments, my body and immune system had taken a beating. Although I get bouts of "brain fog" every now and again and don't have the energy I used to ... I absolutely refuse to stop working in my garden. Last Fall I started making some changes, and this year I intend to make even more!
This past October hubby helped me dig up these smaller clumps of Daffodils (the clumps of the tall, leafy plants in the front) and move them forward and further apart, replanting them into 3 large groups with 15 + bulbs in each group. We felt it would definitely improve the look of the flower bed. Also, although they are not clearly visible, there are 3 Peony bushes in the back that leaf out and bloom just beautifully later in the Spring. To further enhance the new look, we decided that would would buy two more peony bushes in 2019 to make the whole bed look more balanced. 
 Little changes here and there can much such a difference in the way a garden bed looks. I think that 3 substantially larger groupings of daffodils will look some much nicer instead of just a scattering of smaller clumps don't you agree?
 In addition, we also planted a cluster of year old Foxglove plants (biennial) right in front of each grouping. Hopefully, their lush foliage and tall flowers will camouflage the fading daffodil foliage this coming spring into early summer.  The added bonus will be that the garden bed will be easier to manage.
I can always depend upon my Alliums, Peonies, and Astilbes (easy care perennials) to brighten up my garden bed. No real work required. I do nip off the fading peony flowers. With the alliums and astibles,  you can either cut off the fading flowers or leave them be. Last summer I chose to snip them off. This coming spring? Who knows!
When Spring blooming flowers began to fade, I would normally plant clumps of annuals in my flower beds for summer color. Well, last year I decided to tuck some potted plants into different spots around my garden. Let me tell you ... it saved a lot of extra work. Yes, you will have to water more often, but I didn't have to do more digging and planting. And there is so much to choose from!
Do not discount Silk Flowers ... I know what you are thinking. That is SACRILEGE. Hey, it is not as tacky as you might think.  And there are benefits. You don't have to fertilize or water them ... and slugs, deer and groundhogs won't eat them! I used artificial flowering vines last summer and they looked pretty! I have 2 trellises and put 3 vines on each trellis. It's a bit sparse as you can see. I could have used another 3 vines on each trellis.  So, extra vines are on my shopping list for this year!
I forgot to mention something else about flower pots. They are perfect for front or back decks, too! I use watering cans for my pots on the back deck (hose hook-up on the deck) but NOT my garden beds.
I used to use a watering can to soak down my flower beds, but it really is too time consuming. With a watering can, there's too much walking ... too much refilling the watering can ... and the heavy weight of the filled can had become too much for my shoulder and wrist. Darn Arthritis and Carpel Tunnel! 

 Other times, I had just ditched the watering can altogether, grabbed the garden hose, and sprayed a sweeping shower over the garden beds instead. It was easier doing that, but it really hadn't soaked the beds deeply enough.  So ...
 I decided to use a water sprinkler!  It did involve dragging a hose around a bit, but all I had to do was hook it up to the sprinkler, set it on wide spray, and manually set a timer -  I used that feature on my cell phone! The water bill did go up a bit in the summer, but it was so worth it to me!  In-ground sprinklers would have been nicer, but the cost was, and still is, too much for our budget.  But I had compromised. I just love, love, love the word ... compromise!

Well, that's some of the things I did last summer and fall  ... and I will continue to try different gardening ideas this coming spring and summer 2019.  Heck! I know it's only mid-January, but before you know it ...  Spring will be here!

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