"The RoseBouquet"

About and FOR friends of Ruthe's Secret Roses

"The RoseBouquet"

My Garden Saga Continued

My Garden Saga continues. You will recall that I got a rib fracture the Saturday before last week’s RoseBouquet. This was not as painful as the vertebrae fractures last year, so I just bit down on my will-power and carried on – starting the seeding of my garden the next day.

The tilling was done about 6 pm on Monday. Tuesday evening I took about an hour and a half to rake and seed my first six twin-rows. I was able to manage with my rib only paining me when I carried the watering can or used it to water the rows I had just scratched with my hoe. Then again as I watered the rows after I had closed the rows.

Perhaps I should pause to describe my gardening techniques for this year. I’d read and seen online that epsom salt is good for getting my plants to be greener and to bear larger produce. Since I’d got a large jug full last year to help with killing the tree stumps, I had decided to test this theory or advice this year. But because I didn’t have the strength in my hands to screw the garden hose on to the out-door tap, I had to fill the watering can at the tap, then carry it to the garden. I also put a plastic spoon full of the epsom salt
into the can for each gallon of water in it. I believe it is a 5 gallon can, but I could only carry 3 or 4 gallons, so I put just 4 spoons full of the salt. (One must remember that this is NOT table salt, but mostly magnesium).

Oh, and I’d read that some plants do much better if there is a another plant beside them. That’s called companion planting. That is, tomatoes will do much better if there is basil growing nearby. Pumpkins and squash do far better if there are carrots and radishes nearby. I’d copied this kind of information on a used envelop and brought it out with me. I decide that it would work best if I did such rows as twins and I could fill them at the same time, instead of a foot path between every single row and the next one.

Once my rows were scratched, I poured water into that V-shaped line. Then I sprinkled some fertilizer from my yellow jug. My first row was Roma tomatoes and basil in the next. I could close them both with the rake from the same path as they were only 2 or 3 inches apart. When I had tamped down on the rows lightly with the rake I picked up the water can again, and watered over the finished rows.

That evening I got six twin rows done and then gave up for the night as I was quite aware of my rib.

my first 6 twin rows seeded last week

Wednesday morning the sun was shining but the forecast was for showers in the afternoon, so I went out to get some more rows seeded in time to benefit from the rains. I managed to get 10 twin rows done! Of course, I worked at a slow pace, and sat down on my lawn chair to jot down what I’d sown and decide what came next.

The rain threat was moved to Thursday afternoon, so I went out again and did another 10 twin rows in the same way that morning. Only this time my rib was in almost constant pain. By evening, even with an afternoon nap, I convinced myself that I ought ask for help. I’d paced off the spaces and calculated that I had another 26 twin rows to do yet.

Our church had organized a list of volunteers who would provide helps for seniors. I called the woman (another Ruth) who had been involved in the organizing of this. She said that the volunteers weren’t actually prepared to do gardening. They expected to go for groceries or pick up prescriptions. However, since I was injured, she’d see what she could find for me. In a matter of minutes I had a call from a dear friend, who said, “My husband and I can be there at 2:30 pm.”

Because it was suppose to rain cats and dogs all weekend, I had prepared myself to work in the garden that afternoon, if helpers came. I know they don’t want any publicity for this, so I won’t give their names. But they did a great job. The husband carried the water once I showed him how I added the epsom salt to each can full, and his wife drew the lines as I showed her, and then closed them when I’d put in the seed. Working together as coordinated three-some we were done with all the remaining rows in just two hours.

church volunteers helping 
me finish veggie seeding on Friday

When I asked about doing the French marigolds along both sides of the path through the garden, explaining that these flowers keep the bugs away, and they bloom non-stop all summer and until the snow covers them in the fall. I have cannisters full of marigold seeds! So we quickly did those rows as well.

They were fascinated at how big and green the green spring onions were. So I picked a good handful for them. I also gave them a canister of the marigold seeds. They said they had learned a lot about gardening from this afternoon and now felt eager to try some for themselves.

All I have left to do is sow flowers, which I now can do more slowly, as I decide which ones to put in this corner or that, or along that fence and in the flowerbeds in the front.

I only lasted an hour on Saturday right after lunch, but despite the fierce winds, I managed to sow a short row of lavender behind the purple irises, a short stretch of rosy lavateria along the east fence, and the rest with small zinnias, but of many colours.

Last night I just managed to plant some citronella that Gary had given me last year. A wooden cabinet had fallen on them with the strong winds all weekend, but I think they will survive. Then I watered the garden with the garden hose, which Gary fixed up for me late on Thursday night.

I’ll try to get the flowers and raspberries done this week, and then settle down to a routine of weeding and watering.

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