Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Praise the Invention of the Camera

It's a good thing cameras were invented or else I wouldn't remember anything correctly.

I had thought that I started my first flower garden and vegetable garden in the same year - 2006. After going through my photo album, I see that I actually had a flower garden first - in 2005 - before I had a vegetable garden. So, that post about my first garden a few days ago? All a lie.

THIS post is about my first garden.

When we decided to move to Maine and were told we would be allowed to live in the family farmhouse, I immediately started planning a flower garden. I had never had one before and the only things I had ever grown were Aloe plants and Pothos. Since I had kept them alive I thought I might be able to grow things outdoors.

We moved to Maine in December of 2004. (Side Note: NEVER move to a cold climate in the winter. First of all, the days are short and driving in the dark in the rain and/or snow is a real bitch and second, the shock of a Maine winter after living in Florida for four years wasn't too pleasant.)

When Spring finally arrived, I started making my plans. The Father-in-Law (heretofore referred to as FIL) said I could plant the garden in the front of the house so this is what I had to work with:

Pretty basic stuff. As you can see from this picture, it was in the shade by the end of the day, but for the first half and then some, there was plenty of sun.

So, I made plans. I don't know why, but I only made the thing about a foot deep. I fixed this I think two years later, but I still don't know why I did that. I think I might have been skittish about 'messing up' the FIL's lawn. This was the house he grew up in and was obviously quite territorial even though no one had lived in it for over a decade.

(That's my dog China there on the left. Best. Dog. Ever.)

Finally, in late May I planted my first flower garden. I basically went to the local greenhouse (Longfellows - a great place) and picked out what I thought was pretty. I didn't plan or worry about annual versus perennial, I just saw something I liked and got it. One exception were the Geraniums. My Mother-in-Law (MIL) suggested them and I liked them.

I would show you the other side, but I didn't take many pictures of the garden. I don't know why. I take pictures of practically everything I do now - many, many pictures - but the handful of pictures I'm putting in this post constitutes all of the pictures I took of the garden.

For my first garden, it was a success. It didn't 'fill in' but the rocks made up for that and what I did plant grew well. I was happy with it and planned to do it again the next year.

I learned a lot from that garden. One was that it really needed to be deeper. Another was that I really like Petunias and don't like Gladiolus (although I would grow them for another two years before swearing them off).

But most importantly, I learned that I did indeed love gardening and would be doing this for as long as I had the space and the means to do so.

Strawberry Sundae F1 Hybrid Petunia - 65 Seeds - Annual


  1. Hi Brandi, I'm a first-time visitor; I just found your blog in Blotanical. I'm a Maine gardener, too, southwest of you in East Poland (near Lewiston-Auburn). I've also made that mistake of making the flower borders too shallow, and I wrote about it here: I don't know what stage you're at with creating your garden, but I have some plants that need to be divided if you're interested in perennials (mostly Geranium x cantabrigiense 'Biokovo' and a plain green hosta). Let me know if you can use any of these. And, either way, I hope you'll get a chance to stop by Jean's Garden for a visit. -Jean

  2. When I bought my house, a photographer I worked with took a set of really good shots of my house and garden, inside and out. I asked him why he did it, and he said that in years to come it would be good to remember what things were like. Since then, I've taken pictures of everything. I find that when I get depressed about something not going anywhere, I can look back and see the work I've actually done!

  3. I feel the same way, IG. I always look back at pictures of my old gardens every year to look for things that worked and things that didn't. Since I basically have a clean slate this year (damn moles) those pictures will definitely come in handy.