We are back! We hope you all had a wonderful holiday season. We have a lot of plans for the garden this year. One of them is to build a koi pond, which will eventually be surrounded by a Japanese-style garden that the kids are doing the landscape design for. But we are taking it step by step.
We are continuing to add to the cottage garden in front of the house. In the Fall, we planted an itoh peony and a peony tree. We are going to plant cosmos and zinnias again, as well as hollyhocks, lupines, pansies, Sweet William, phlox, sunflowers, nasturtium, marigolds, sweet peas, California poppies, rudbeckia, ageratum and more.
Instead of planting corn this year, we are going to make the cornfield a cutting garden, and hopefully also use it as a teaching garden to teach other kids who are interesting in learning how to plant. The cornfield has been there for a long time and the sweet corn that we grew was the most delicious corn we have ever eaten. But in the last 2 years, it has been savaged by raccoons. They throw a party and then the skunks come to have an after-party. And all that beautiful corn that we watched grow ends up being destroyed and we don’t get to eat any. We tried deterrents like motion lights, but they got used to it and didn’t care after a while.
So this year we have decided to use the cornfield differently. Some of the seeds we are planting include: asters, zinnias, poppies, cosmos, sunflowers, Black-Eyed Susan, rudbeckia, sweet peas, craspedia, and dahlias.
We have been reading a lot about the importance of native plants and Mom did research to figure out what is best to plant. We are trying to pick varieties that are as local and as useful as possible for the insects and wildlife. Some of the natives that we are planting this year include: milkweed to help the Monarch butterflies, (which is a cause that Niko is very interested in), Joe Pye Weed, New England aster, yarrow, Black-Eyed Susan, echinacea, blue vervain, and Turk’s Cap Lily.
One native plant that Niko is excited about is Dyer’s Coreopsis. You can use the flowers to dye yarn and cloth and we want to try it. Niko is very into crafts and sewing and knitting / crocheting. It would be nice to have a natural way to dye. We are also going to try Indigo.
We ordered a lot of seeds online, and we also picked some out at the local flower show. Here are pictures of some of the seeds we bought this season:
For the vegetable garden, which Dad is in charge of, we bought squash, carrots, cherry tomatoes, hot peppers, arugula, beans, beets, snap peas, broccoli. Did you know that luffa sponges actually are made out of vegetables?! We are going to try to grow some luffas this year, we will let you know how it goes! We also plan to plant colorful popping corn that we will grow for the kernels and make popcorn!
We are going to plant a lot of herbs as well to use when we cook and bake. We are planting: Mountain Mint, calendula (an edible flower), Plum Shiso, Chicory, Lemon Balm, chives, thyme, and borage.
In the rose garden we are adding salvia, more lavender, phlox and yarrow.
The two other gardens we are working on this year is a blue garden for Mom and a black garden for Dad. Last year we grew some black and purple plants and vegetables to try out, but this year we are creating an entire black garden with all black and dark purple or red plants. We are also trying out these awesome grey poppies in that garden.
It is getting close to the time that we need to plant some of the seeds outside that need cold weather to germinate, and to start indoor seedlings. We will keep you updated!