Well, technically I still have a garden in Reno but I am an absentee gardener so there probably won’t be much action here. I will maintain the archives though and I will probably write a summary of the gardening season (it was a wacky one, wasn’t it??)
I want to make sure that the next owner has a decent start to a plant list. It was fun thinking about all the plants that were a gamble–the ones that paid off and the ones that didn’t. Luckily there are more that fall into the success category.
I also picked a handful of raspberries off the vine this morning. They are heritage raspberries and they were delicious, velvety and sweet.
Like my other Northern Nevada gardening friends, I have found that the tomato business is really odd this year. But there are a decent number we harvested off the vines and enjoyed. The Sprite tomatoes are the winner this year. We also had one really yummy slicing tomato yesterday. It was the real deal.
I loved living in Reno and I loved this yard. It’s really spectacular. I had some visitors to my yard over the weekend and they were awed by the yard. They told me that it was exactly what they hoped their yard would look like some day. I feel lucky to have lived here and enjoyed being the gardener in residence. I hope someone will come along and fall in love with it, just like I did.
Things are winding down in my Nevada garden. I will be relocating to Kansas City soon. I’ll need to learn to garden all over again. And get used to a place that doesn’t count its precipitation inch by precious inch. I will be able to grow giant tomatoes again. But I will miss the desert. It has been my home for almost 15 years. Learning to garden in the desert–high or low–tests a gardener’s patience and fortitude. My efforts have been rewarded many times over. If you are new to desert gardening, I urge you to be patient. Don’t give up! You can make it work if you embrace your environment.
There are some plants that will make the move with me but I have others that need homes. If you are a gardener in the Reno area and would like to adopt plants–or need nursery pots for propagation–let me know.
Other than sending my Rhododendron to live in North Carolina or Maryland, I am looking for ways to make it look a little happier. At the moment, it is definitely NOT happy. I have taken several steps this year to help it along: top-dressed it with acidic soil, fed it acid-lovers plant food, mulched it, added drip lines and offered more water, more often. It looks better this year over last year. This year it only looks half-dead.
Just want to note that I did not plant this acid-loving, humidity-loving plant in the hot, dry alkaline garden. I am just trying to help it be a stranger in a strange land in the hopes that someone will do the same for me someday.
I have three large pine trees in a corner of my backyard. I don’t know the name but they are very tall–but not wide–trees with smooth, almost black bark. A few days ago, we noticed that one of them looked very bad especially compared to the other two. I have no idea why I didn’t notice it before. I *think* that when we turned off the sprinklers to stain the fence that tree, the one closest to the grass sprinklers, got stressed. My friend Darrel examined the new growth in true, master gardener style–and decided that the new growth looked good and that it wasn’t time to worry. So now it’s a matter of being patient and letting the tree recover.
I never cease to be amazed by my successes–and depressed by my failures–in the garden. My hostas flourished last year–but this year I lost two of them. (Admittedly, they are tough plants to keep happy in a dry climate.) My cape honeysuckle returned this year but has barely grown–this is a vine that can grow 30-40 feet in one year. I have a dracena that looked like it was on steroids until a few days ago and now it looks sickly and has dropped half its leaves. Too much water? Not enough? Who knows??
On the other hand, after losing two of my three raspberry plants last year, suddenly I am a raspberry farmer, transplanting 10 plants this year and easily overcoming last year’s losses. I also have two volunteer butterfly bushes in the vegetable garden area that look great. I am calling them my welcome mat for pollinators. My plumeria was naked as a jaybird a few months ago after a spider mite infestation. It dropped ALL of its leaves–today, it’s a happy camper again. I had a dwarf banana that looked like a dry brown stalk in May and today it looks as good as the day I bought it.
So when something goes wrong in the garden, take a few minutes and make a list of all the miracles.