Flower Gardening: Mulch

A Blanket for the Garden

I need a ‘Leaf Mulcher.’ [Click]. What? I have very few vices.

Fall leaves are gifts for the flower beds. I started making little piles around the yard. Seems strange to say that on five acres of mostly trees, I wouldn’t have enough. But you need a level surface to rake and gather them. It was a good thing I had only a few beds to cover.

Still, I didn’t have enough leaves or the work involved in gathering them wasn’t fruitful enough. I had a bright idea to collect ‘Bracken Ferns,’ to supplement the alder leaves. I know what your thinking the spores on the leaves might be a weed issue? But on close examination there were none. I confirmed it with an assortment of Google searches. And at this time of the year, even the greenest plants had none!

dry bracken ferns
bracken ferns
blanket mulch for garden
mulch blanket

The ferns grow from rhizomes so as long as I avoided roots all was good. And the best part was the plants were all at waist height so stripping the branches was quick and easy. No racking or bending-over repeatedly.

I had to get my hubby to make me an aluminum frame to hold the mulcher over the garbage-can with wheels, and it worked like a charm. At any age, it’s best to work smarter, not harder. If you get one of these mulchers be sure to wear a mask. The dust is problematic. Gloves and safety goggles too. Safety First.

The sunny day made it wonderful to be outside. But the wind at times made me feel as if old-man-winter was trying to boss me around. After a dozen wheelbarrow loads (about 2 hours) I had mulched enough for the two 8’x10’ raised beds. As the garden plot expands I will definitely be looking fondly at my neighbor’s curb-side leaf-filled bags.

Flower Gardening: Dahlia Experiments

I was delighted to learn that Dahlia seeds are truly magical. Imagine every seed is a completely new flower profile. A flower that has never existed before! It’s not to say every Dahlia seed will promise the most exotic of blooms. But to find a new earthling, well that is very exciting to me.

You probably know that apple seeds also have the potential for endless alternatives. But apple growers want to insure the familiar taste and quality of the apples they grow so that is why apples are always grown from grafts.

The same is true of Dahlia tubers and cuttings, they are clones of the original mother plant.

Dahlia flower

Flower Stories: Maritime Dreams

In the not too distant future we are moving east. To a small French speaking, seaside village in New Brunswick.

Bouctouche is where our 2nd son has nested. Contrasted by our first son now living in Cairns, Australia. You might say our future retirement lifestyle holds many winter travel plans.

Bouctouche River New Brunswick

Waiting for a sign”

The summer dreams will be to cultivate a field of flowers. To start a hobby-sized, cut-flower farm. My desire is to teach my grand-children about flower gardening, sell bouquets on the road-side stand at the end of my driveway and offer locally grown bouquets of flowers at the Saturday Markets. What better way is it to share a love of flowers and get to know a new community?

The potential hobby flower farm includes a lovely plot of land with a view of the valley and estuary. The challenges, learning French and moving to a Zone 5. But I suspect the body will enjoy the shorter growing season. And the French will keep the mind engaged.

It might seem strange to be thinking of working on a small flower farm in your retirement years. I am a little sore and tired at the end of a gardening day. But I do love to be outdoors. And I much rather pull-weeds and push a wheelbarrow, than sit in a gym lifting weight. The best part is that we can never have too many 💐flowers! I know these things because a 🐝 Bee told me.