For the gardener in all of us, spring can't come soon enough. If you are anything like me, you'll be chomping at the bit to see what lasted the winter and what didn't. A true gardener rejoices when they spot a small nubbin of green pushing its way through the cold spring soil.
This is especially true for me this year. Last year I started my first Nevadan perennial garden. When I lived in Ohio, my perennial gardens were prolific, as you can see in the picture to the right.
However, Nevada has been a challenge on several levels.
The soil. I often say I live on a beach with no water—my yard is nothing but sand. Last year, knowing my passion for gardening, my wonderful, I'll-keep-him-forever hubby built raised garden beds and we trucked in tons of soil. Then I went to work planting perennials, vegetables, lilac bushes, and trees.
The wildlife. My garden soon became the local smorgasbord to the indigenous wildlife—rabbits, chipmunks, and voles wanted dinner and wanted it now! Close your eyes and picture a sea of sage: dry, woody, and barely green. In the middle of that non-editable landscape that stretches for hundreds of miles, a lush garden filled with colorful flowers and moist, juicy foliage. It had the populace of small animals salivating! Needless to say, we built a fence around the garden.
The climate. Add to the previous two obstacles the harsh climate of hot, non-stop sunshine, fierce windstorms, and little rain, and I seriously questioned if my garden would survive to bloom another year.
But much to my surprise, most of the perennials I planted have returned! Day lilies are poking their leaves through the soil. The Monarda quadrupled in size. My roses look healthy and will do better once I prune them. Black-eyed Susan, Dianthus, Iris and Sedum all look like they'll make a decent showing this year. But, the one that surprised me the most and sent me into a happy-gardeners dance was the Peony. Despite the fact that it wilted to nothing last summer, small spikes poking up through the soil showed the plant’s determination to survive.
Spring has come to my garden in spite of the battles I faced last year. I am thrilled and can't wait for my order of more and new perennials to arrive. So stay tuned and I’ll let you know how it goes this year!
Your turn: What battle have you faced while trying to garden?