Growing Garlic (Part One)

This will be a tale told in multiple parts — partly because it’s lengthy, and I want to be sure not to leave anything out, but also because it’s a tale that is not yet complete.

The short-short version: my house gave me garlic!

The longer version: I had spent all spring since our early-April move in amazement at all the plants and flowers that were coming up in my flower beds. Multiple varieties of hyacinth, daffodils and narcissus, a tree peony and herbaceous peonies, several rosebushes, chives, allium, daylilies… I could keep going. So, when these interesting little curly-cues started emerging from my flower beds in late June, I was curious but unsurprised to see something else I didn’t recognize.

Garlic Topset

Sarah, one of my Instagram followers, commented, “I might be crazy, but I bet if you pull one of those up you’ll find a garlic bulb at the other end. ;)”

So, I did a little research, and sure enough, it looked like I was growing hardneck garlic!

Pruning the Honeysuckle

Alas, the title of this post isn’t some esoteric euphemism: I really did just prune my honeysuckle bush today.

Back in May, this particular bush featured tiny, delicate flowers. As with many of the bushes and plants that my landscaper couldn’t identify early in the spring, I went to the Twitternets and asked my followers:

Dear #lazyweb: What is this #white #flowering #tree called? My landscaper couldn’t tell me.


Swift came the reply:

And @martinivixen wins the #lazyweb prize! My plant appears to be Amur #Honeysuckle, per Google Image Search. Thanks!


It wasn’t until July that it started to get out of hand: huge, top-heavy, and increasingly unattractive. Today, during Connor’s nap, I took a leaf bag and my bypass pruners — and my cameraphone, of course — and went to town.

The Charlie Brown Rosebush

Blooming Rose

The rosebush right in front of my living room window bloomed this great peachish-coral color back in early June. The flowers were gorgeous, if a bit bespeckled with purple weirdness… and many of the leaves looked sickly and spotted.

Blackspot, I Presume?

A week later, the rose bloomed again, this time in yellow. The canes were so thin and spindly that the blooms were drooping pitifully, so I deadheaded most of them and brought the most beautiful inside (on a very short stem).

Yellow Rose in the Kitchen

It was then that I decided I needed to do something about this rosebush. The other bushes on my property seemed to be surviving the neglect of the past few years — their former caretaker having passed away — but this one caught my attention as needing some TLC.

I did some online research about rose pruning during the growing season, and found Paul Zimmerman’s YouTube channel. From his videos, I learned what tools I would need, and I purchased them on Amazon.

The day they arrived, I set to work.

How Does Your Garden Grow? Part 1: These Damn Weeds

I had finally finished weeding the back side of the fence out front on Friday evening (yeah, that’s my idea of a fun Friday night out) when I realized how many more weeds I had yet to pull. So, in a fit of frustration, and with no advance planning (i.e. no makeup and no script), I pulled out my iPhone and started filming. The idea was to post a quick and dirty video that night and not have to spend time writing copy and editing photos and all that. Couple quick cuts and done.

Alas, the video editing software I’d been using on my old computer (it’s been quite a while since I tried to edit video) doesn’t work with my 64-bit processor. I then spent the rest of the evening seeking out a better free video editor than Windows Movie Maker, which kind of defeated my original quick-and-dirty-post idea. I ended up going with WMM, anyway, since the one relatively powerful tool I found has a bit of a learning curve to it.

So, this is my attempt at a little video blog series entitled, “How Does Your Garden Grow?” (Just like dozens of other gardening websites and resources, yes, I know. Best title I could come up with on relatively short notice. I’m not usually so spontaneous.)

As a postscript to the video, I realized that I’m going about weeding all wrong. I need to go out with the Preen and put it down immediately, not wait until some time after I’ve weeded. Otherwise, all the weeds I just pulled will have shaken off their seeds and already started to take hold again.

Next up: pruning my roses! My loppers and bypass shears arrive from Amazon tomorrow, so, assuming that I feel up to it tomorrow after the toddler goes to bed, I’ll be outside documenting the pruning of one or more of my rosebushes.

I never thought I’d have a singular rosebush I didn’t manage to kill, much less the four or five that are on this property. It’s gorgeous here… if I can keep everything under control.