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DR. GREEN GROWS HIS GARDEN                                                      

 

Dr. Green and his wife have settled into what is for them a perfect piece of land.  He wanted to be in the country and she wanted to be in the city.  Their site is on the boundary of both.  In the early 1990's, Dr. Green used a machete, a steel-bladed weed eater, and a hard rake to clear a site for the house from the overgrown 'viney woods' as his wife calls it.

 

The garden never had a plan; it evolved along with Dr. Green's passion for gardening.  (With a name like Green, what other obsession would do?)  First to arrive was one little rose bed.  Next came a vegetable patch.  Then a greenhouse and a large ornamental pond followed an explosion of plants. 

 

Dr. Green raises vegetables organically so that the children who visit the garden can stop to pull a carrot or pluck a bean and eat it right away without any fear of pesticide residue.  He found that by raising the beds with concrete blocks, it not only helped with drainage, it also cut their work in half and doubled their production of vegetables. 

 

The soil in raised beds warms up quicker in the early spring, allowing for planting ahead of schedule.  Since the soil, water, and fertilizer can be regulated in each bed, it's like gardening in containers.  Vegetables can be planted closer together, which increases crop harvests.

 

The Greens first little water feature was constructed from a cast-off bathtub.  Happy with the sight and sound but not content with such a small space, Dr. Green put in a 50 foot long by 30-foot wide pond complete with a tall waterfall. 

 

The Greens have expanded their greenhouse at least twice.  In it, Dr. Green grows his vegetable plants for the next year.  One end houses their orchid collection.  Dr. Green says in the winter there's a coffee pot, music, and chairs inside.  This is where they spend time just relaxing.  He says, "It keeps you sane during the winter."

---Anne K Moore, February 27, 2009---


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PROBLEM SOLVING PLANTS

By Stacey Hirvela, Spring Meadow Nursery
Photographs courtesy of Proven Winners/ColorChoice Shrubs

Landscaping is often an exercise in problem solving: we may have an ideal plant in mind, only to find that it won’t thrive in our yards because our site or soil isn’t suitable. Fortunately, plants are wonderfully diverse and adaptable, so you’re guaranteed to find beautiful, landscape-worthy shrubs that withstand most any of Mother Nature’s curveballs. Think of the plants listed below as the landscape equivalent of the old saying, “if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em!” — they tolerate and even thrive under the difficult conditions commonly found in backyards everywhere. This means less work for you and a better performance from your plants!
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