Tuesday, April 21, 2009

An introduction, even to those who know me

I have been meeting with clients, both current and potential, these early days of spring and I want people to know something about my background and gardening experienc. I am not a casual gardener...I am a passionate, well informed gardener, with an artistic eye, a Master Gardener from way back, having taken the course back in 1991 when we lived in Ann Arbor, Michigan. That wasn't enough though, and I went on to enroll at Michigan State where I could learn more, a lot more, about landscape design and maintenace and go on to graduate at the top of my class. It was a challenge--all that science! I was an artist, I had avoided science all my life. And I turned 40 as that program ended. It made me nervous learning about soil science and plant pathology--even the course titles were intimidating. But I loved the plant identification classes, and I loved learning the Latin names of plants, a new language. And that is what keeps me going in this business, the plants and the designing of gardens.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Gardening season is underway

As of this week the gardening season is underway here in Maine, and, for me, art making is again put on hold for the seven months of running my business. I'm less happy about that than ever! I was on a roll with some new work that will remain unresolved until I can get back to it. Now that the weather is warm enough during the day I have been out with my crew doing spring clean ups which, over all, have been quite easy as we tend to do very thorough fall clean ups. We had great snow cover this past winter and that helped insulate the gardens. The only problem with that is that the snowdrifts gave the mice a very cozy place to live and some of the shrubs here and there were chewed on. In my own garden, my kitchen garden, I have peas, radishes, spinach and mesclun growing under row cover. I've never planted this early but my raised beds were dry enough and with row cover the seedlings will be protected from the wind (and there's lots of it). I want to grow a lot more of our own food this year, and to that end I have A LOT of broccoli (our favorite brassica) seedlings going. There will also be a lot of onions, leeks, garlic, carrots, winter squash, brussel sprouts, potatoes, tomatoes, etc. etc. Oh, and FLOWERS! I'm going to grow many more annual flowers and offer fresh bouqets for sale to my clients, for free delivery on the days we're there anyway. For a list of available flowers, updated at flowering time check this blog.