Wednesday, July 12, 2006


It’s been a crazy month. After my husband got back up on his legs, our son and his wife had a little baby girl! Such fun…

So, why did I name this posting “New Baby/New Garden”? Well, think about it. When you have a brand new baby the doctor checks to be sure all is fine. There are tests to be taken, and analyzed; there are new skills to be learned; there are fun things happening and grungy chores to be dealt with; and we look forward to pleasant surprises with a few bumps along the way. Yes, they are VERY much alike!

Let’s start with the tests. They are the most important and critical start to that new baby’s life. If there are any medications or special cautions to be taken, we learn about them as soon as possible. The same thing applies to the garden.

If you’re working with a brand new garden, get a soil test done! It will tell you all about the good AND the lacking issues with your soil. Contact your State University Extension Service for details. I have all of the New England Extension Services listed here. You tell them what you’re planning to plant, and they will tell you exactly what to add in order to amend your soil.

With a new baby, you begin to make wonderful plans for that little person. You get a Baby Journal and begin to add photo’s and comments about the baby’s progress. In the garden, a Journal works very well also. I’d suggest you get one of them, it will make things fall into place very nicely. Photographs of your garden will be wonderful. Before and after pictures are a great way to track your progress and learning.

Before you bring that baby home, you purchased furniture and other “things” like diapers, clothing, powder, baby oil, etc. etc! The same applies to a gardener. You’ll need some tools, small and large to help you manage you new tasks.

Just like you have to change dirty diapers with your new baby, you’ll also have to do some weeding, digging and planting in the garden. Some of this you’ll love, some you might want to delegate to others!

I’m sure you can think of many other comparisons. Realize that just as a baby grows into a wonderful person, your garden will evolve into a place of grand pleasures. Enjoy it!
More coming!


At July 13, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

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At July 15, 2006, Blogger Alice said...

Congratulations, Grandma - is this your first grandchild? I hope everyone in the family will share in the love and joy a new baby brings - and yes, even the work, too.

I liked your analogy with gardening as well.

At July 15, 2006, Blogger North Country Maturing Gardener said...

Thank you!

At July 20, 2006, Blogger Tim said...

I love your analogy of new baby, new garden. Yes, my wife Sara often looks upon her roses and other flowers as her “babies.” She nurses them very carefully and nurtures them with the best possible nourishment. She makes sure that they’re protected from the cold and provides shade to shield them from the scorching sun.

Sara and I do our gardening on Gabriola Island, one of the Southern Gulf Islands off the coast of British Columbia, Canada. I leave the weeding to her, because frankly I am not able to recognize a desirable plant from a so-called weed. I see all plants as beautiful, and so does our daughter June (a.k.a. Hedgehog).

In fact Hedgehog gets mad everytime I mow the lawn. She loved dandelions as a little girl, and even though she is ten now, she still loves to blow on them. So when the yellow flowers fall victim to the lawnmowers blade, she lets out a shriek of protest. “Stop! What are you doing? You’re killing those beautiful flowers!”

It got to be so bad, that we had to set aside a corner of our garden for her weeds. She calls it her Wild Garden, and anything and everything does grow there. Now I know full well that experienced gardeners discourage such a thing, since weeds can spread uncontrollably and they do harbor insects and pests. However, these people don’t take into account a father’s affection for his daughter.

Please tell your son that being blessed with a baby girl is undoubtedly the best thing that ever happened in his life. I’m not exaggerating—that’s exactly how I feel. We also have a son, Jim, now eight, but June has given us more moments of mirth and happiness than we can count. And that’s not counting the challenges involved in raising a girl.

Raising roses is not dissimilar. You have to make sure that they get just the right amount—but not too much—sun and moisture. Never water them from above before nightfall, because the water droplets on the leaves will lead to mold and other fungal infections.

We spray our roses with Scorpion Juice, made by a wonderful company called Advanced Nutrients. It is an inoculum that protects the plant from a number of pathogens, including the one that causes Black Spot. And if you’ve ever raised roses, you must know about Black Spot!

In fact, Sara and I feed our plants exclusively with 100% organic nutrients such as Iguana Juice Grow and Bloom. You should see how her window boxes—full of petunias and geraniums—react to being nourished by this wonderful product. They perk right up and start growing full of vigor, with incredibly vibrant blooms!

We have some crimson, as well as delicate pink geraniums and petunias in many different shades of purple. The simple act of looking out our windows becomes a great pleasure with these splendid flowers filling the eye.

As far as journaling, we just recently started our own gardening blog. Please come and visit and see the beautiful pictures of Sara’s flowers and my vegetable garden. You’re absolutely right, keeping track of your gardening activities adds to the pleasure of this rewarding hobby.


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