I figured this term was too catchy to not already be in use; sure enough it defines a style of veggie gardening where urbanites can grow fresh-from-the-garden produce on a tiny bit of land. This is not the kind of micro-gardening I’m talking about!
My micro-gardening definition is two-fold. First, the staring at the ground for signs of life kind of micro-gardening. Any sign of life, no matter how small, is a micro-gardening victory to be celebrated in a macro way. That small red stem (above) is the Impatiens omeiana I planted last summer right before a mini heat wave. Not a hugely impressive little stem but I thought maybe I’d lost it, so seeing that gives me big hope. Here’s the same plant last summer. These little red bits are signs of life from an Oenothera macrocarpa (Missouri Evening Primrose) that was a gift from my mom. It too has had a rocky past, I gave it up for dead once, but it’s looking like its going to make it! I just discovered these exciting little treasures yesterday. Syneilesis (Shredded Umbrella Plant) isn't it cute? They grow up to look like this… For weeks I’d been searching for signs of life from these plants but finding nothing. When, at the annual Hardy Plant Society of Oregon meeting last Sunday, Ritchie Steffan showed a slide of some about 5” tall and said something like “this performance is probably going on in your garden right now” my heart sank. Mine were MIA. But no more!
I think this small red thing maybe returning Macleaya cordata (Plume poppy)? I’m hoping so. Not so little anymore is Veratrum Californicum, it first peeked out of the soil right before our February 18 degree night…not fazed in the slightest! Here is is last year shortly after planting. You can see the Syneilesis on the left. And the leaves of the Rubus lineatus. It’s hard to believe this tiny little green Melianthus major leaf... could possibly be the beginning of this big blue beauty, but hopefully! So I said “two-fold”… the other type of micro-gardening I’ve practicing is helping keep me sane during this nonstop rain. I want to get out in the garden and get things done! No such luck. Instead I am learning to garden in micro-increments. As in “it’s not raining at this moment, what can I do for the next 15-30 minutes?” because if you plan anything running longer than that forget it! You will be rained out. My most recent micro-gardening accomplishment was trimming up the skirt on Sammy, our Yucca rostrata. He went from this (picture from January)… To this...hello trunk! 25 gardening minutes later and I feel like I accomplished something before the rain started again. And you know what…there were a lot of spiders living in those leaves. Big bad ugly ones. It was kind of scary.
Have you been practicing any kind of micro-gardening lately?