I continue slightly…

I continue slightly overwhelmed by just how MUCH there is to learn with gardening. It's like raising kids -- you can do a minimally-competent job and keep them alive. But there's so much more that goes into helping them thrive. I'm trying to take it in stages, the garden, I mean. (The kids, luckily, also come in stages.) For example, I'm trying to learn the names of the weeds I've been pulling out. So far, I know dandelion, chickweed, asiatic dayflower, and water pepper. I feel quite proud of myself for getting that far, although there are quite a few vague green things still unidentified. But knowing the names makes it less likely that I'll pull out something I want (like wild ginger or fairy candles), that just happen to be coming up without my planting them.

One of my gardening triumphs this year was overwintering dahlias for the first time. One dahlia, to be precise -- the only one I have. I didn't really think that digging it up, keeping it in my basement for months on end, and then planting it again was likely to result in anything productive. And yet, here it is, blooming gorgeously again. I am resisting the urge to run out and buy a dozen more dahlias (because a) I don't have room for them, and b) my garden budget is thoroughly spent for the year), just because I'm so excited that this actually worked. I will definitely add a few more, at least, in the years to come. It's a bit of effort, digging it up and replanting it, but oh, so worth it.

Now, if I can just figure out how to grow some outhouse hollyhocks from seed. That's my next gardening hurdle. And if I can keep the kids from eating the neighboring foxgloves, I'll have two nurturing triumphs in one. :-)

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