Monday, August 09, 2010

Quite Well

Mary, Mary, quite contrary,
How does your garden grow?
With silver bells, and cockle shells,
And pretty maids all in a row
As I began this post the phrase "how does your garden grow" popped into my mind. Where had I heard that phrase. It seemed to be a nursery rhyme my mother read to me. A little research and I found the poem.

The rhyme confused me at four years old. Silver bells planted in a garden? What's a cockle shell? And maids? I had a vision of long haired blond girls wearing fluffy dresses and knee high white socks planted ankle deep.

But, back to the present. How does my garden grow? Quite well!

Garden on July 2.
The garden on July 2.

Garden on August 9.
The garden on August 9.


Blogger Anvilcloud said...

You are the master.

8/10/2010 07:25:00 AM  
Blogger graceonline said...

Wow. What a difference in a few short weeks. I'm a little behind on advances in garden technology. I know raised beds are in everyone's gardens these days, but years ago, when I had a house and garden instead of a city apartment, I grew directly on the land. Do the raised beds help to conserve water and protect the plants from invasives?

8/11/2010 02:56:00 PM  
Blogger Paul said...


There are several benefits with raised beds. They require less water, help with weed control, warm up more quickly in the spring to extend the growing season and are easier to reach (I sometimes sit on the edge of the bed).

One of the important benefits for me is soil containment. The ground below the beds is composed of cinders, packed alkaline soil and little organic matter. I built the beds and began with several yards of composted horse and llama manure. I needed no fertilizer and have working compost bins so I shouldn't need oil-based fertilizers in the future.

8/12/2010 08:32:00 AM  
Blogger graceonline said...

Thanks for answering my questions, Paul. My mom, who always gardened directly in the soil, is enjoying the new raised beds my brother built for her because she no longer has to bend so far. At 87, she needs all the help she can get! She is a master at turning unlikely soil into fertile ground in a few short years, though I don't believe she ever tried to garden in soil with a high cinder component. That would present a much more difficult problem to solve than alkalinity.

8/12/2010 02:57:00 PM  

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