The following is by Linn County Master Gardener, Claire Smith:
What a great idea, visiting other people’s gardens! Amazing! Awesome! (and, with planning) Affordable! If you were gadding around and missed the Master Gardeners’ Garden Walk or if you didn’t take the plunge for the Pond Society tour, do make a concerted effort to mark your 2010 calendar to attend both! One of the stops incorporated all manner of garden art, mostly primitive farm equipment and several unusual birdhouses. The other end of the spectrum was a beautiful English garden. Ponds fed by babbling brooks created mesmerizing atmospheres.
My neighbors have even planned a mini-garden walk involving just a few families. It’s an opportunity to get better acquainted with your neighbors and visit about something besides the weather. It’s too late for a vegetable garden this summer, but there’s still time to start a flower garden involving the whole family. My favorite daughter’s second garden is a family affair reaping benefits far out weighing the harvest of peas and pumpkins. Charlie has beans on his beanstalk (Two year old Charlie planted a good share of an envelope of beans in one hill.) Catie is planning on several jack-o-lanterns. Daddy grills home grown potatoes, tomatoes and onions.
The long range forecast for July is cooler and wetter weather so get in sync with Mother Nature and go for it. New beds do need to be religiously watered this time of the year to establish root systems. It’s okay to fertilize from now through the end of August. Your new garden needn’t be huge. It can be containers on the porch. If the kids are still bugging about a pet, put in a pond and get some goldfish. The fish we saw at the walks were huge and survived there through the winter. Your water feature could be a whiskey barrel size container adjacent to the deck.
Now is a good time, too, to do some rearranging. We didn’t get the new strawberry bed organized quite soon enough this summer so I’m going to remove the weeds that have sprouted and cover the bed with mulch. I’ll soon be transplanting several Iris and a few Hosta over to the seeder wagon area. Some of the Tiger Lilies are moving from the ditch there to surround the mailbox in the newest zeroscape area. A horse ate the top off the sapling in that bed. I’ll need to install a taller barrier than the garden gate that I thought was such a nifty idea. Oh, well, the garden gate can become home to a climber in another location. That’s the great thing about plants and gardens. Nearly everything is portable and/or potable.