Thursday, June 26, 2008


Despite promises to refrain from purchasing more flowers, I had an hour to kill the other day and peeked in at Kane's Flower World. Big mistake...roses were on sale and I got the loveliest little Pink Knockout rose. The color repeats in my Dianthus, Phlox, and Coneflower, so for the sake of harmony, I haaaad to buy it.

I also snagged a couple Perovskia (Russian Sage) because these are impossible to find and have been one of my most dependable plants. In order to accomodate the rose bush, I had to expand the front bed a little bit and moved a few things around. I still haven't figured out this whole "planting in drifts" thing (mostly because I don't have enough plants to create a drift), but I think it has something to do with making the plants look like they're blending into one another rather than lined up like soldiers.

Many thanks for the kind words of support from neighbors and pedestrians. People have been really complimentary of my work and I have to admit, I like the praise!


Friday, June 20, 2008

Oooh! Farmer's Markets

I was just catching up on reading and I found an article about the neighboring town's farmer's market starting up for the season! This reminded me of when I used to go to the Hoboken Farmer's Market. It was a strange site; young yuppies in business suits hauling home bags of leeks and strawberries. I always felt a bit overwhelmed by all the selection and rather wilted-looking retailers. Despite these misgivings, I have some noble plans to haunt the local markets, in search of the perfect tomato (which might inspire me to actually grow my own).

This actually reminds me of a bizarre and kind of disgusting story... My sister, who has a magic green thumb, lives in Pepperell, MA and has access to town mulch from the sewer treatment plant (it's best not to ask too many questions). She gets ungodly amounts of this stuff for ridiculously cheap, and grows some gorgeous flowers in her front lawn. One day, she noticed a curious weed growing out front, and thought it looked suspicously like a corn stalk. Rather than pulling the weed, she decided to let it grow (it's foliage was pretty, in her mind), and lo, and behold, it turned out to be corn! Needless to say, I always wear gloves when I help her out in the yard.


Moving to Blogger and my Yard is Bloooming!

In an attempt to make this site a bit more interactive, I've decided to link Swampgardener up to a blog -- in affect my journal is now a blog that people can comment on. I will continue to update the plants page and other pages I have built, and will comment here when I do!

So I have been totally negligent about adding pictures...because everything is starting to bloom and it is soooo much better than last year. I'm not exactly digital camera proficient, and really need to practice a bit when I get some time. Here's picture of my coreopsis starting to bloom.

The other day I had an epiphany and decided that my side-yard will now be called my Garden, and will be completely taken over my plants and raised beds. I was out there mowing and weed wacking and just thought, "wouldn't this work be so much better if it involved planting flowers?"

I know this is a terrible segue, but I also wanted to comment on the fact that a bunch of the plants I started from seed this winter are actually doing pretty well. I had a few close calls, but it looks like the Alyssum, Sunflowers, Sweet Pea, Echinacea, Pelargonium, Nasturtium, Digitalis, and Columbine are all going to survive the summer! Now I've totally gotten the seed bug...


Welcome to Swampgardener

Two years ago I moved to Swampscott, MA (Zone 6a) and decided my yard looked like a disorganized mess. So I started digging up lawn and planting a few flowers and shrubs. It's still a disorganized mess, but now it's my garden!

I've had limited success finding information about gardening in Massachusetts. I've found great stuff in many places, but I can't find other novice home gardeners dealing with my conditions all in one place (small yard, pollution, winters, ocean breezes, clay, dogs, and kids). So I thought I might start a site talking about my trials and errors (mostly errors), and maybe help some new gardeners out one day.

I also want to start keeping a document (a journal) of the things I've done for my own record-keeping. I'm starting to have trouble remembering what I planted where, so for the sake of my own sanity, thought I should start writing it down.

My apologies if you thought this site has anything to do with gardening in a swamp. Though here's a picture of a frog in my garden, attempting to disguise my sump hose and gas pipe.