Gardening challenge

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Blog entry by jroot posted 11-07-2012 06:33 AM 4450 reads 0 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch

MsDebbieP issued The Gardening Challenge – 14

What is your gardening challenge? Is it limited space? Lack of sufficient sunlight? Neighbouring plants encroaching on your gardens? Arthritis in your hands? Shifting of gardening goals? Moving?

Is it limited space? Very much so. I really miss the larger lot I had at our former home. While my lot now is probably larger in size, its usable space is much diminished. I also miss the presence of flat land which is ideal for vegetable gardening. Our present lot is on a fairly steep incline so soil can run off. In fact it is so steep, that the horticulture society in Guelph really wanted to have a garden tour here, but were afraid of liability with the steepness of the land, and thus decided not to include the property. Because we back onto the river, we are also governed by the Grand River Conservation Authority as to what we can do with our land. This is quite limiting as well, as a goodly portion of our property must remain natural and undeveloped – thus limiting my usuable space.

Lack of sufficient sunlight? Interestingly enough, I have some parts of the property that are so sun drenched and hot that watering is a major concern. I need to water daily in some parts of the property. In other parts, the shade is so intense that little will grow there. The front of the property is pretty good lightwise, but we are restricted by covenant as to what we can do there. So, we work within the guidelines and do our best.

Neighbouring plants encroaching on your gardens? No problem here. If anything, my plants are encroaching on their property. They don’t seem to mind though.

Arthritis in your hands? Oh yes, indeed. As I mature, I am finding it much harder to dig, and the arthritis in my hips makes it much more challenging to climb up and down the hilly property. I did put in steps after slipping and falling so many times, but I still get winded with all the climbing. Carrying heavy loads up and down the stairs is becoming more of a problem as time passes.

Shifting of gardening goals? With my aging, I know that I have to change what I do here. I have already decided to cut back on the dahlias – so no more dahlia hedge around the fireplace. I put in quite a few clumps of Karl Foerster grass on either side, and also moved some of the flag iris to the back on either side of the fountain. We’ll see how it looks next year. At any rate, I definitely do have to make life simpler for myself here, and yet keep the property looking attractive and enjoyable.

-- jroot ....... Southern Ontario .......... grow zone 5A ...................."Gardening is an exercise in optimism." ....... . . Author Unknown

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5121 posts in 3529 days
hardiness zone 5a

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3 comments so far

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14694 posts in 3899 days
hardiness zone 5b

posted 11-07-2012 12:30 PM

when I presented the challenge I didn’t think I’d see so many issues rolled up into one blog!

I wonder if strategically placed logs in the naturalized area would develop into “naturalized” meandering steps to aid in mobility.

I’m curious what the guidelines for your front yard are… I do seem to get a little pleasure in finding ways to work within boundaries while pushing them a wee bit :D

Planning ahead for the mobility challenges plays a big factor in my gardening as well. I want to create an orchard with trees that are only 6’ high so I can access the fruit. I often have to catch myself between wanting to copy beautiful gardens such as your and staying true to what I want from my gardens and how much work I want to put into it.
I want more perennials, more natural areas that need less tending, and no fall digging!

-- - Debbie, SW Ontario Canada (USDA Hardiness Zone: 5a)

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5121 posts in 3529 days
hardiness zone 5a

posted 11-07-2012 01:04 PM

I have incorporated strategically placed logs ( held back with short rebar stakes ) to build steps in the bush down to the river. They work well.

I recently acquired some preformed ponds on Kijiji and am now planning how I can build some waterfalls in the seating area of the “Secret Garden”. That area also is held up with fallen logs. One of these days, you’ll just have to come and see what we’re doing.

-- jroot ....... Southern Ontario .......... grow zone 5A ...................."Gardening is an exercise in optimism." ....... . . Author Unknown

View Radicalfarmergal's profile


4312 posts in 3162 days
hardiness zone 5b

posted 11-16-2012 02:21 PM

Jroot, you are truly a wonderful gardener. It is unfortunate that we live in such a litigious society that we cannot have someone come look at our gardens without fear of the liability involved. If we lived a bit closer, I too would love to come see what you have been doing in your garden. I have enjoyed the photos you have posted about it and perhaps next summer you will post more recent ones of your newest work in the back/lower part of your garden.

-- "...I have nothing against authorities as such; I am only in favor of putting a question mark after just about everything they say." Ruth Stout

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