Tis the season to be thankful, and while I’m thankful for many things in my life, I specifically want to list some of the things that I am thankful for pertaining to the outdoors.
I am thankful for all the vegetables that grew in my garden this summer. I had tomatoes, green beans, lettuce, cucumbers, peppers, chard, kale, asparagus, green and yellow squash and butternut squash. My chard is still alive even though it was 17 degrees last night. I have a double row cover on it. I was late planting tuscan kale and collards and I don’t know if they will grow big enough to cut this winter.
I also planted strawberries last spring. They started off well, but the deer kept getting in my garden and eating the leaves. I am gradually perfecting my deer fence and by next spring, I hope my garden will be impregnable.
I planted five fruit trees this time last year, one peach, two apples and two pears, and I am thankful that they are still alive. It was a hard year for new fruit trees because of the hoard of 17 year locusts. I covered the trees tightly with gauze and it kept the locusts from laying their eggs in the tender tips and killing the branches. However, the gauze caused the new shoots to grow crooked. After the locusts were gone, I tied the curved branches to pieces of wood to try to straighten them. I was partially successful. We’ll see what happens next growing season.
I am grateful for my compost pile, which I keep adding to throughout the year. I feel so righteous when I dump a crock full of kitchen waste into the pile. When I’m just too busy to go out to the garden and put my waste in the trash can, I feel so guilty. I promise to do better next year.
However, this is not near enough compost for me. I have discovered a nursery that sells mushroom compost which is awesome. Every year, I bring home a truckload of this wonderful compost to feed my garden.
I am grateful for the mulch that I have accumulated over the year. Every year after Halloween is over, I head to my local nursery. They sell all the straw bales that they used in their Halloween display for $1.00 apiece. My pickup truck is there the day after Halloween.
My house was built in a pasture and there weren’t any trees when we moved in. Of course we planted trees, but they are just getting big enough to leave a blanket of leaves underneath. The problem is that we get a lot of wind where we live and they promptly blow away. Therefore, I am extremely grateful for a friend who has a lot of leaves in her yard. She bags them and I come in my trusty pickup and store them behind my garden so I can use them as mulch in the spring and summer months.
Flowers and Shrubs
I have enjoyed planting many flowering shrubs and flowers around my home. My favorite magazine for giving me ideas is Garden Gate Magazine. This a great all around magazine which I highly recommend for anyone who loves to plant beautiful flowers and shrubs around their home.
Since we have a lot of deer in our area, I have to be careful what I plant. I have found that butterfly bushes and viburnum are practically indestructible. The first year here, I planted tulips and daffodils. After the first year, the tulips never got beyond bud state, but the daffodils thrived. They are poisonous to deer and they will not eat them. I am thankful there is one thing the deer positively will not eat.
I love my home, vegetable and flower gardens and am thankful to be able to work in them and to enjoy them. I hope you can have the same pleasure.