Friday, August 7, 2009

Garden History - Chapter Three

Chapter Three:

Ahhh... The Blackwater Years. My mother, and her husband, owned and rented a house on 20 acres in the country. A very rural area of Virginia Beach and very close to North Carolina. When the tennants moved out and the property became available my kids and I moved in and rented for about 3 1/2 years. My children were now teenagers who were working and driving. I had lots of luck trying to get them to stick around and help out with a garden!
Nine acres, cleared, were leased to a local farmer who used a crop duster to control some vermine on the corn, wheat and soy bean crops. Two acres, where the house sat, was mine to maintain as I wished. I never used more than seven dust on my vegetables and, much to my suprise, the years that plane flew over my house and garden I never had a pest problem! Only problem was that during the summer months the grass grew in over-drive. Mowing became a major ordeal!
The former tennants had a rabbit farm, of sorts. So, I thought the most logical place to start my new vegetable garden would be right where those cages sat! The droppings provided great furtilizer, lol. Eventhough, the ground was furtile it was clay and hard as a rock!! If it was too wet it was mud. If it was dry it was like the desert. Tilling, even with my trusty horse, had to be done at the optimal times. It was a challenge but well worth it because once the seeds were down it was a most productive and beautiful garden. I only planted a spring and summer garden. I froze the crops and made jams with the fruit. There is where I started to become just a little knowledge about fruit trees. My horse, pony and goat ate the ones I had planted in the fields in chapter two.
Just a little note here. I had some very old, large, box wood bushes on this property. Instead of cutting them back in a square or round bush, I turned them into large style bonsai type bushes. They weren't very hard to maintain at all. Just a little nipping two or three times a year.
Now, when xmas season came around. I have to mention that we decided to fetch our own tree from the wooded section of the farm, for the holidays. I must admit that tree brought a lot of humor in the house because, quite frankly, it looked pretty darn small in the woods! Let me just say... trim, trim, trim. *giggling* I had no idea just how enormous that goofy tree was till we tried to get it into the house. Even after it was trimmed and pruned it still took a large portion of the living room space.
Then, the kids go to college, I move into a one bedroom garden apartment. My tiller is in storage and my hot tub is in my dining room. Extremely large tropical variegated hibiscus plants, fichus trees and an assortment of favorite outdoor plants move with me onto my little outdoor patio. It was not too bad because the landlord even let me plant a lilac bush in front of my bay window. I did have to get a little creative with my Japanese holly so that it was safe in my 3 x 6 foot garden plot that was provided at the edge of a concrete patio. I even dug up and took my canna lilies with me to give me a little more privacy. It is amazing what can be done with plants to make even the most dower of places more attractive to live in. And taking the time to move things with you saves so much money!
Ta Da, next chapter coming soon. New home (historical and adventure in its own right) and the man-proof garden.

Blackwater. After I moved out my parents leased it to a potential buyer. They had no clue that they would turn the house into a barn for livestock! The place that I had my bonsai boxwoods gone and overgrown.
This is a picture of how overgrown the place had become when renter left. All the fruit trees and shrubs were totally overgrown. This is one of the better scenes. The poison ivy had totally taken over. Eventually, the house was demolished because it could not be salvaged!

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