flower-164452_640It’s the time of the year when the incurable gardener spends hours poring over seed catalogs and gardening books and magazines. I know, because that’s what I do. I’m always looking for new ideas for the design of the garden and new plants that could be used in either the flower garden or the vegetable patch.  Objects used in new and different ways as garden art are always intriguing. Some objects can even be used in very practical if not conventional ways.

I love the way perennials are so dependable in the garden. About the only thing they require is some trimming of dead foliage or the occasional dividing and replanting. That saves me a lot of work and money because I can fill a blank space with plant material that I already have. On the other hand, annuals are so easy to start, they grow quickly and fill spaces with lots of color.

Last year I planted an experimental patch, only about 100 square feet. I laid out a design that was reminiscent of a quilt block, and planted it with patches of bright pink petunias, golden yellow marigolds, and bright green lettuce. The idea was great, but I learned that it could have been much prettier had I done a few things differently. So this year the plan is to make the perfect quilt block garden. Hopefully it will be in its glory in time for the weekend of the Sisters Annual Outdoor Quilt Show.

carrotsEach year we serve our guests salads and vegetable dishes using the produce of the greenhouse and garden. Not everything grows well on our Central Oregon ranch. But we can grow cabbages, broccoli, carrots, beets and potatoes outside, while lettuce, spinach, tomatoes and cucumbers thrive in the greenhouse. Of course, many herbs also do well here. We love hearing guests tell us that they really appreciate eating food grown here at the ranch. We like it too.


Well, back to the seed catalog. Oh, look at that gorgeous poppy and those yummy-looking tomatoes…………..