Saturday I went into Greenfield to buy plants at the Greenfield Garden Club Plant sale, but also stopped at the Greenfield Farmers Market to buy beautiful lettuce from The Kitchen Garden for Gourmet Club, and I bought a pot of beautiful double white petunias from LaSalles.
The Farmers Market was full of vegetable starts, flats of annual seedlings, as well as the first greens of the season and huge bouquets of peonies from Hadley where spring has sprung to a greater degree than in Heath. Strolling among the Farmers Market booths my head is filled with fantasy visions of my own garden, equally productive and beautiful.
When I got home I had to face the reality that I am still weeding and planting madly – and it is not a pretty sight. Some creature is daintily nibbling at the lettuce in the new Front Garden. That will require further investigation and thought. Somehow the Shed Bed of Roses, next to the henhouse, is incredibly full of weeds and grass this spring. I hadn’t made even one pass through when daughter Diane arrived on Sunday afternoon for a short visit. I immediately showed her the Shed Bed and we set to. She is such a cooperative and energetic daughter. I got to use my fabulous West Country Rose Gloves to prune and hold roses out of the way while Diane dug out grass and weeds. We noticed that the rose Mrs. Doreen Pike, a low rugosa with bright green foliage and pretty very double little blossoms, who had sent runners toward the back of the bed, had totally disappeared to the back of the bed leaving a big empty spot in the front. What to do? And how to handle that empty spot considering the location of the bed next to the henhouse?
Chickens! There is a fenced chicken yard, but a few adventurous birds routinely fly the coop for a day eating grass and bugs and taking ‘dust’ baths in the cultivated soil of the Shed Bed. Since I fear the dread ‘rose disease’ that spells certain doom for any rose planted where a rose lived before (at least for a couple of years) one solution to that empty space is a patch of annuals. Not good design, but functional. The problem is those chickens and their dust baths. I’m wondering if I can make a kind of cage out of chicken wire to put over the annual seedlings. The chickens won’t be able to dig them up and the annuals (maybe cosmos?) will grow up through the cage and pretty much hide it. It’s my only idea so far. What do you think?