Monday, December 17, 2007

Let the Christmas decorating begin - gardener style

Whew! NaNoWriMo is over (and I won! Yeah!), dead week and finals week are over, grades have been turned in, and I'm back from several days in Santa Monica where I went to a workshop on using some new video-based teacher training materials. Now I can finally attend to my neglected garden and my neglected garden blog.

How about this pretty pansy, all in Christmas colors? It's part of my outdoor Christmas decorating scheme. No blow-up manger scenes with a robotic baby Jesus waving at the crowds, not for this garden. I began the holiday decorating instead with a trip to the garden center for one flat each of white and red pansies, which went in the center circle of the new garden:

Okay, so it's not as exciting and obviously Christmas-like as the robotic baby Jesus. These flowers went in a couple of weeks ago, but the weather has been all blowy and rainy, so they haven't put on much growth. I'm not sure if the neighbors can see enough blooms to recognize the color scheme, but at least I know it's for Christmas! After the holidays are over, I'll find some early primroses in pink to add to the pansies for a Valentine's day display. By the time Easter comes around, the pansies will be fading and the primroses can take over in springtime pastels.

I tucked several red and white pansies into the herb pots on the front porch, which yesterday got wrapped in light-up green garland:

Some years I've started the porch pots with black and orange pansies for Halloween, replaced the black pansies with yellow for Thanksgiving, then moved the fall colors to a flower bed and replaced them with the Christmas colors.

I also moved a few dozen strawberry plants from their old bed to the new bed in the new garden and started mulching them with raked pine needles:

The old bed borders a back-access to the neighbor's yard, and every time they have yard work done, the strawberry bed gets trampled. You'd think that a bunch of guys who are hired to do yard work would be able to see plants instead of trampling them. But no, I have to remember that 1) these are guys, not gardening guys, but just plain guys hired to do some work, and 2) the work they're hired to do is in the neighbor's yard, not mine. So whatever is in the neighbors' yard is important, but my yard is just the place they drive through to get there, and a convenient place to dump their trash. Grrr.

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