Monday, November 1, 2010

Back in the yard - Class is over!!

Last Monday was the last day of Master Gardener classes--yahoo! However..we were given the take home exam which included 8 chapters of about 50 questions in each one. So I bet you can guess how I spent last week. I closed myself up and worked on the exam for 2 days straight. But I can happily say that the exam is finished, I will turn it in tomorrow. After one year of internship (volunteering 72 hours in MG projects), I will graduate and be an official "Master Gardener." Whew!
While I was busy with school, summer turned into fall and I realized this weekend that my little garden was in desperate need of attention. The first thing I did was clear out the old wash tub and plant 3 different kinds of kale with a few pansies tucked in.
The Mexican Mint Marigold started to bloom so it will stay where it is for a while. It dies back in winter so I may need to plant a few pansies to cover it when that happens. Note to self: need to cut this plant back in July--it got rather leggy this year.
All the seeds I planted are coming up nicely--well... we will talk about this later. There are a few TOO many seeds coming up nicely (that are not bluebonnets!)
My main area of concern were the beds along each side of the flagstone walkway, and around the the pond. The pond beds were just cleaned out and got some nice new mulch for winter. The flagstone beds were totally cleaned out and planted with pansies. I also added a few snapdragons to this bed. I have always wanted to try them, and seeing some healthy looking plants at Home Depot for a dollar-well, this seemed like the right time.
I added pansies to both sides of the walkway. These beds house daffodils and tulips down deep in the ground, so it's nice to have something to plant on top. When the bulbs start to pop up, the pansies will not get in the way-they just add more spring color to the show. Ummm, just the thought of that spring flower show makes me smile!
Have you heard of the new cascading pansies? I read about them a few weeks ago in the paper and decided to buy a pot, plant it in a hanging basket and see what happened. This one came from HD. I noticed the flowers are not as large as traditional pansies, but larger than violas. I'll give you updates on this plant. Hopefully by spring I will have an overflowing basket of sweet smelling flowers!
The old wheel-
barrow has not gotten a winter make over yet. Would you believe that those yellow flowers hanging over the side (all the way to the ground) are marigolds I planted last spring? Yep! They just keep blooming. I will say the foliage is starting to look kind of brown, so it won't be too long before I will have to pull them out and fill the wheelbarrow with something else, but until then I will just keep on enjoying fall in this space.
It's hard for me to believe this past year has gone by so fast. It's not cold here in Texas, but we are starting to get fronts that will bring us seasonal cooler weather. As I do so often when seasons change, I pull out my articles written so many years ago by the late Jo Northrop. I know I have mentioned this before-Jo Northrop was legally blind..but oh how I loved "seeing " the seasons through her eyes:

"The exquisite cranberry and chrysanthemum days of November are a gift. We intensely and thankfully absorb them, knowing the inevitability of sudden, bone-chilling cold. Even in clear autumn sunlight, a scarecrow among fallen leaves in a deserted garden looks cold. It is this deepening of the season, passage toward the end of the year that gives November a quality that is energy charged...In these fine cranberry-chrysanthemum days, every day can be a day of thanksgiving."

16 comments:

tina said...

Congrats on finishing the course. I am teaching a class on landscape design tomorrow night and you can bet I'll be studying up-it came up fast. Like you said it is so hard to believe another year is nearly gone. The wheelbarrow looks fabulous!

Meadowview Thymes said...

Hi Tina! One of my favorite classes was the landscape design class. That is so cool you are teaching one--I would be there if I could!

Balisha said...

Congratulations on becoming a master gardener. What a lot of hard work...I never would have guessed.
I loved Jo Northrup too. I have her book COUNTRY MATTERS right here beside me.I always looked forward to Country Living magazine that featured an article by her each month. I was saddened when she stopped writing. Wish I had kept those old magazines..the new Country Living is no where near as good as those. Balisha

Meadowview Thymes said...

Balisha, I was so sad when I found out Jo Northop had passed away! I should try and find her book although I think it is out of print now. She could say things and describe things better than any anyone. I couldn't wait to get my CL magazine each month. Now, like you--I buy it but only occassionally as I don't think it is nearly as good. So nice to know we share that good memory!

Lola said...

Great post. Love it.
Congratulations. The old washtub is my fav. Sure wish I could find one like that.

Northern Shade said...

Congratulations on finishing your master gardener course.

Your rabbit seems quite happy to be sniffing the new pansies and snapdragons. Wow, your wheelbarrow is completely enveloped in flowers. I had to enlarge to see it was a wheelbarrow underneath. It makes a really abundant display.

Meadowview Thymes said...

Lola-I love that old washtub too! Hopefully there will be enough sun for the kale!
All the plants are looking ok except for the vine. I took off the leaves and cut some of the stem--it's green so maybe it will bounce back!

Thanks Northern Shade! I feel good that I finished class--just hope I can get through the rest of it!
The marigolds in the wheelbarrow have amazed me. They quit blooming during the real hot months, then all of a sudden they are putting on a great show!

perennialgardener said...

Congrats on finishing up your MG classes, before you know it you will be a full blown Master Gardener. Your garden is still looking fabulous! :)

Meadowview Thymes said...

Thanks Racquel! Still a year away, but hopefully it will be an easy and fun filled year!

Susie said...

Congrats on finishing your course Linda. I know you are glad of that!

We sell those new cascading pansies. People seem to be buying them a lot. I guess we will see how they do during the winter.

Meadowview Thymes said...

Susie, I hope the new pansies do well. Have you noticed how fragrant they are? My whole car smelled so good bringing them home!

Msrobin said...

Congrats on becoming a master gardener! Someday I want to do that myself, maybe when I retire! I have a fresh pot of pansies hanging on my front porch, but the weather is starting to get bitter cold so don't know how much longer they will last.

Meadowview Thymes said...

Thanks MSRobin. I had to wait until I retired to do the MG class too. So..pansies will not survive your winters I guess. I can see why you don't buy alot then (I read that on your blog) If they didn't last through the winter and part of the spring here I wouldn't invest money for many--but a hanging basket is perfect!!

misterreereeder said...

Congratulations again. You keep completing those milestones and having fun at the same time. I can be a little jealous of you - but I am happy for you too.

Meadowview Thymes said...

Thanks MR. I really did feel good about completing the course. It was indeed a milestone for me. Now I need to complete the rest so I will be a true Master Gardener!

Jan@Thanks for today. said...

Congratulations on completing your MG classes! I am still trying to 'get in' to some where I live. It's either been full when I've looked into it, or doesn't begin for another 9 months as I've just found out now! I might look into another county around here as they all operate on their own schedules. I was hoping that over the winter I could be taking some classes. Have fun with the volunteering!