Winter… dreaming of Spring…

Halfway through February and I’m at the point where winter is wearing me down a bit. This winter started early with snow well before Christmas and it has never left. Amazing how much influence the weather can have over my attitude and mood. After many snowy, grey days I was losing the battle with the negative thoughts that kept invading my head.  Then thankfully, the sun makes an appearance and suddenly I’m singing and humming as I go about my day.  Amazing how much better I felt….

Palace Roses

Palace Roses

To assist with my winter therapy, I’ve been pondering my garden plans and looking through some inspiration photos.  Over the summer, while we were in Germany, my parents and I had the opportunity to visit a Palace and Palace Gardens in Ludswigsberg, Germany.  It was grand with a capital G.

Palace

Palace

They had a children’s garden with a Rapunzel castle!  They had a bird sanctuary, Japanese garden, a formal garden, rose garden, and much more, but my favorite garden was the kitchen garden.

Kitchen Garden

Kitchen Garden

I loved the way the sections were lined with boxwood and other evergreens and how the perennials, which were purely decorative, were mixed with the vegetables.

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I hope to emulate this type of garden, on a much smaller scale, in my own backyard, so in the fall I began outlining my one little section with boxwood.  I hope they survive the winter we are having, since they have disappeared under the many of layers of snow we have received.  In fact, anywhere from 4-7 additional inches of snow are burying them deeper as I write this!

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My goal in the spring is to create something similar to the Kitchen garden here.  I hope to create a garden design that is visually pleasing, but still grows the juicy summer tomatoes that you cannot find anywhere except from a small garden.  Last year, my vegetable garden efforts were somewhat disappointing, with tomatoes that took forever to get ripe on the vine, and the daily visit from a critter who took the liberty everyday to nibble on my green bean plants. But I did have a few victories!  I grew some beautiful & delicious eggplant!  My onions thrived!  And I had some success with variety of peppers.  And we ate a lot of collard greens!  Gregg came up with a delicious recipe for the collard greens so even my 12 year old son loved them!

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I plan to expand the garden space a bit.  Last year we tilled up a space of about 12 X 6, so we will make this a little larger, finish outlining with boxwood and maybe a few well placed evergreen bushes to designate an entry into the kitchen garden, and then amend the soil with more organic matter.  We started a compost bin also in the fall to assist with this come spring.

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On this snowy February evening, the hope of spring, and knowing eventually I will be outside watching for the first signs of tulips that I planted in the fall, and then planting time have given me some encouragement.  Any other gardeners out there already thinking about spring planting and planning?

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