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Friday, January 14, 2011

Haphazard Gardener Reports on Success and Failure

Succulents were almost 100% successful. Highly recommended for haphazard gardeners. Forgiving, hardy and even hail proof. Aloes, like the one above, looked dreadful after a hail storm- the leaves all covered with black spots. But in three months they'd recovered. Black spots faded and the plant bloomed as usual. Here's another very impressive succulent, Canary Island aeonium. It grew to be 2 feet across in a year, from it's original 6 inch size.

Other things that really worked with minimal effort on the part of an often absent-minded or distracted gardener, were terracing the 45 degree slope that is our growing area, and planting the terraces with citrus that had been growing in large pots. Looks good, the plants love it, the terraces get all gray water and hold the water. Highly recommended landscaping, if a slope is your fate as a gardener.

Butterfly gardening: a piece of cake. Plant the plants and they will come!

Mexican Milkweed

Vermiculture. Well--good, until the worms died of cold! Who knew it was going to drop to freezing around here ? For a while there, the worms were chomping down 7 pounds of garbage a week. Moral of this story is impulsive but ditzy effort doesn't work with vermiculture. I promise to reform, read the vermiculture bible "Worms Eat My Garbage" and proceed properly. The worms did fine---the gardener goofed! Takes more consistent effort than perhaps haphazard gardeners are up for. However it's pretty exciting to go out and listen to the worms chomping up the garbage. An experience not to be missed. Evaluation: takes consistent behavior, well worth the trouble.

Worms Eat My Garbage: How to Set Up and Maintain a Worm Composting System
 Vegetable gardening. O my! You gotta get religion to do this right. Consistent effort, vigilance, and incredibly rewarding. Honestly, you have never really tasted a vegetable until you taste one you grew yourself, then cooked --briefly!  Alice Waters, you are my muse! Vegetable gardening requires real character--- flakes, don't try this at home!

The Art of Simple Food: Notes, Lessons, and Recipes from a Delicious Revolution

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