Monday, January 30, 2012

The Year of the Dragon Garden

If there is an opposite of a gardener, that is what I am.

It is a good thing that children are not green, since I have never had any luck growing something that color. Plants wilt if I breathe on them. Tomatoes break out in boils if I touch them. Seeds I sew go into the dirt and never come out again. The only thing I have really ever had luck growing are cactuses (cacti, for all you smarties out there).

But this year is different. This year is the Year of the Dragon, the year when successful people are born, when successful businesses are started, and hopefully, successful gardens are grown. If there is any year when I have some hope to having a lush garden, this year is it. This year is the year of the Dragon Garden.

But the cards are already stacked against me. We live on a wooded, one acre hillside and the dirt is not really dirt at all, but red clay. Realistically, I would have more success trying to become a brick mason.

Plus, we have deer, rabbits, birds and squirrels to worry about, and no-see-em bugs that like to eat you clear to the bone so that by the end of the summer me and my children need skin graphs. I raise them to fear grass. As you can see, my work is cut out for me.

In order to make my shady clay hillside spring forth into garden abundant I needed a little help from my ingenious husband.

We actually began this process at the end of last summer.

To solve the shade problem he cut down a tree.
To solve the clay problem he had a truck deliver top soil.To solve the hillside problem he created a retaining wall.

To solve the deer problem he got me a dog.
(Doesn't he look absolutely ferocious? I bet you are glad you are not a deer.)

I'm not sure how Turkeyboy can help me solve the bugs that have already given me 8 years of scars, but I have a feeling it is spelled D-E-E-T.

Now my husband says it is my turn to start working. :)

So let the Year of the Dragon Garden begin!


  1. Wow that is a lot of work to get your garden going! I hope it turns out well. I must admit David is the gardener in our family. I just water.

  2. To Do list:

    Agricultural felt covering to prevent weeds.

    Simple electronic watering timer. Leave the hose on and that little wonder will water for 30 min a day, or however long you want it to water.

    5 hose manifold - provided you have decent pressure, you can split the timer so that 5 hoses get pressure - useful for bigger gardens like yours. As an added plus you can determine which hoses get more pressure by partially closing the cheap plastic shutoff at the manifold.

    5 soaker hoses & U shaped fasteners. Secure the hoses to the agricultural cover so that all of your plants get adequate water.

    Done. No muss, no fuss. With a few miserly minutes, your garden will stay watered and weeded for the rest of the season!

    Good luck, may the force be with you :)

  3. It's going to be beautiful Chelsea! I have faith. see you Thurs night!

  4. Yay! Gardens are awesome and I'm sure yours will be great. Besides, it is the year of the dragon, as you say. :D

  5. Good luck to you! It sounds like you face more than a few challenges, but I have faith in you. I can keep flowers alive in pots, but I've never had anything so much as sprout froma seed. We just found a house with stubborn perennials that pop up no matter what we do. Try that!

  6. Wow! I detest gardening, so I really admire you for going to such great lengths to make gardening possible. My husband loves to garden and he swears by compost. He has two compost bins and composts ALL year long. In the snow he collects our dinner scraps and walks out to the compost bin. It is beyond filthy and one day he will be attacked by a raccoon for his compost. Anyway, he swears that is the answer to all gardeners prayers. If you ever want to think about composting, talk to my husband. He composts food, christmas trees, branches, leaves, newspaper, dryer lint, cardboard, etc. Just no animal products (meat, cheese, etc).

  7. Pamela has solved the biting bug problem:
    Kraig magnetically attracts all biting bugs, and he never gets touched when he wears this stuff.
    Pamela has also gained an encyclopedic knowledge of how to deal with the bugs that eat all useful plants. She would love to help! As for me, I'm at Scott's level - wife says dig, I dig...

  8. Turkeyboy is amazing, I say. You've got yourself a keeper. Our first fall here, I managed lettuce, cilantro, and onions. The next spring, my tomatoes were a complete bust. Since then, we've moved to a house that only gets sun in the front yard, so I don't know where to put a garden... Good luck with yours!