An Alameda Garden: Back to It

Friday, May 25, 2007

Back to It

I'd like to report that the reason I haven't posted in so long is that I've been away touring the great gardens of Europe, but no such luck. There are two much less interesting reasons: too much steady work (nice for the bank account, bad for the brain), and a generally muddled state of mind. As a result both the garden and the blog have been neglected.

I've come to think of my garden as the Anti-Monet Garden. While Monet's paintings looked best viewed from a bit of distance, my garden is best viewed up close--really close. The sweet peas here, for example, look, well, sweet in this little vase on the windowsill. The vine they bloomed on, however, was scraggily and one of only two that grew from a whole row that I planted. Although the flowers were lovely, the overall effect was pitiful. I'm saving seed from it and I'm going to give sweet peas one more try next year. I fantasize about having a solid wall of sweet peas one of these springs, but in reality I'm just about to give up on them.

There are some other lovely blooms in the garden: clematis and canna, poppies and passion flowers. But the big picture ain't pretty. A couple of beds are looking far too sparse, another is overgrown, and the rose bed is getting choked with weeds. A lot could be put right if I had a full week to work in the garden, but that's not likely to come up soon. I hope to make some progress this long weekend, but until then, I'll just keep looking at things close up.

Even though I haven't posted recently, this blog, like the garden, seems to have a life of its own and I am continually surprised by the contacts I've made through the blog. In the last few weeks I've been interviewed about worm composting by a local reporter who saw my blog post on the subject; a reader named Michelle who found the blog e-mailed me to ask for information about oriental lillies; a friend told me that another friend of ours from high school who I seldom get to see had stumbled across the blog; and a business rep contacted me about placing some advertising that would actually make the blog marginally profitable (of course, we all know the money would go right back into the garden!). Although I started this blog primarily as an online garden journal for my own use, the comments and contacts that it's generated have been a big reason why I've kept going with it. So to all who visit (or keep visiting), thanks! I plan on getting back to a more regular posting schedule.


  1. Anti-Monet garden... I'm still grinning about that. When you put it that way, it makes perfect sense. I think that my garden is that way, too--but then, most urban gardens probably are.

    Look forward to seeing you back more soon. :)

  2. Claire, Did you plant the sweet peas last fall or this spring? I don't have any experience but I too wish for an abundance one day. I have read that in mild climates giving them a head start in the fall is advisable. Just curious what your experience has been. I picked up a packet of container sweet peas from Renee's Garden Seeds but have yet to plant them.

  3. Christine,

    Although I did plant a whole row of sweet peas this spring, the couple of plants that came up were already sprouted at that time, so they must have been the result of seed that dropped there last year. I've heard the same thing about planting in the fall. This reminds me that I better check the seed pods today and see if they're ready to pop!

  4. Claire I missed your Alameda Garden.Im glad its economic reasons you have not been posting as regular as you had.
    The flowers look lovely, such a deep blue colour.Hope to read more from you soon :)

  5. Welcome back! Work just has a way of interfering with fun and relaxation...but if you look at it as financing next year's garden, then it's not so bad...(that's my rationale, anyway!)


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