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Green in the White Garden

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 Green in White Garden1 The Prudent Homemaker

The white garden is very green right now. In a few days it will be full of flowers;  even as I write this, several tulips have opened, and there are roses that will open within the week.

Here are some scenes from the garden from a couple of days ago:

Green in the White Garden 2 The Prudent Homemaker

The Katy apricot tree has doubled in size since last year.

Katy Apricot The Prudent Homemaker

Green in the White Garden 3 The Prudent Homemaker

Thyme cascades from the urn. Underneath it, parsley grows. To the right of that is dusty miller under the peach tree, and the large plant is an artichoke, planted from seed last year (to harvest this year).  A carpet rose is in a pot near the wall, and jasmine grows from a pot on the trellis (which is 6 inch concrete mesh, hung on the diagonal). This corner could have had nothing at all, between the concrete footings for the wall and the house, and the two irrigation boxes. I used pots on top of these things to make the most of the space; the urn sits on one of the irrigation boxes.

Cyclamen The Prudent Homemaker

 I experimented with cyclamen in the corner, which is usually in the shade. It flowers in the winter, and I have heard it can grow all year outdoors here if kept in the shade. I have snapdragons behind it, and a mulberry seedling as well, grown from seeds from my neighbor's tree.

White Alpine Strawberries The Prudent Homemaker

I'm growing white alpine strawberries in several places in the garden. I grew these from seed. The strawberries are tiny, and they are white when ripe. They're super sweet (like eating strawberry fruit leather!) and in more mild climates than mine, they will bloom all summer. Here they bloom in spring,February through May, and again in fall, October through December.

Meyer Lemon and Bay Trees The Prudent Homemaker

The meyer lemon trees will eventually grow to be a hedge that covers the wall between my front yard and my neighbor's backyard.

Meyer Lemon Buds The Prudent Homemaker

They are just starting to open. When they all do, the perfume is wonderful.

Under the tree are the alpine strawberries, garlic chives, parsley, and green onions. There are three lemon trees in this planter (which was a slope covered with rocks before we chaged the landcape). Between the other trees are tarragon, oregano, and parlsey plants, and behind them, next to the wall, are green onions grown from seed.

Bay Leaf Standard The Prudent Homemaker


In the pot is a bay tree, that I am growing as a topiary.


 Calla Lily The Prudent Homemaker

Below the planter I've planted calla lilies. These get afternoon shade from the walls near them, and in the summer, they'll have shade from the apricot tree and dusty miller below it.

I do have a few things blooming right now. I have stock, that I've grown from seed. This can bloom all winter into May here, depending on when the plants went in the ground. This one was grown from seed last fall:

White Stock The Prudent Homemaker


DianthusThe Prudent Homemaker

The dinathus in the urn will bloom in spring, and then burn and die in the summer heat. Though it's a perennial in cooler climates, it has always acted as a cool-season annual for me in our climate. I got this one in a tiny pot at the nursery last fall. 

Snapdragon The Prudent Homemaker

The snapdragons are blooming in the bottom sectin of the garden, below the wall. They're farily covered by the paperwhite leaves (the paperwhites bloomed in November). I think after the paperwhite die back all the way (important to give the bulbs strength to bloom again the next year) that I will have to dig them up and plant them in the back of the bed.

White Garden 4 The Prudent Homemaker

 Front Walk The Prudent Homemaker

Above the front entry I have white Lady Bank's roses. These tiny roses bloom once a year in spring. I planted them two years ago (they were the first things to go in, while we did the rest ofh te work in the front yard) and they were 12 inches tall when then went it. This year they have blooms for the first time. Up the edges of hte walkway I have more alpine strawberries, and parlsey on the opposite side. In the center I have daffodils, spinach, lettuce, and Star of Bethelem (which isn't blooming this year, unfortunately). The euyonomous bushes will be pruned into spheres once they are large enough.

Passionfruit leaves The Prudent Homemaker

On the wall opposite the hose, the passionfruit vine is already leafing out. I'm hoping well get fruit this year, as it hasn't fruited for me yet.

 Passionfruit vine The Prudent Homemaker

Primroses grow along the path on both sides of the walkway here. These started blooming in January. After the blooms die, they will be green the rest of the year. This spot is in the shade all year.

White Garden 5 The Prudent Homemaker

Within the next two weeks, the garden will be full of blooms.

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White Garden Seed Giveaway

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Note: This is not a sponsored post. I was not paid for my opinions. I really like this company and recommend them based on my own experience with them.

Last year, while searching for white foxglove seed for my white garden, I came across a company called Outside Pride that carried it for a fantastic price. The price was so amazing that I thought I should look to see what other seeds the company carried.

When I say amazing, I'm talking about packets of 1000 to 5000 seeds for $4.99. If you've ever bought flower seeds before, you know what a deal that is.

At that price, one can easily have loads of flowers in the garden. The company not only carries flower seeds, but they also have herb seeds and grass seeds.

I found that I could also search their website by color, making it very easy to choose flowers for a white garden. I ended up choosing several choices from them.

I asked them if they would be interested in doing a giveaway for my readers. They have agreed to give away a packet of each of the following seeds that are growing in my white garden to one lucky reader.

White vesca strawberries

These are berries that grow from seed that do not send out runners. These alpine-type berries are tiny berries that are sweeter than regular berries; to me, they taste like strawberry fruit leather! Outside Pride carries both red and white varieties. I chose white to go well in the white garden, but they have another advantage, too: the birds do not know they are ripe and leave them alone.

German chamomile

This pretty flower makes for a lovely herbal tea. These bloomed for me last month.

White violas

These are the size of a johnny jump up, but white. (They carry these and pansy seeds in a myriad of colors). These are just finishing up in my garden, being a cool season flower that works fall through spring in my climate.

White vincas (periwinkle)

I plant vincas after the violas are done in the garden. These are flowers that produce well above 100º. They flower all summer here and will grow until our first frost in December. At our last house (8 years ago), I used to buy flats of these flowers to put in the garden each June. Buying these seeds is so much less money! They have these in several colors.

White larkspur

These are best planted in fall in my climate for May and June flowers. The seeds are easy to collect once the flowers are done, making it easy to have plenty of flowers the following year.

Genovese Basil

They carry several types of basil seeds. If you want to grow enough for pesto, this is a great way to go (their packet is 1/8 of a pound for $4.99! That's a lot of seeds!) I sow seeds directly in my garden in April. I'm starting to harvest basil now; it will grow until my first first. If it starts to flower, I cut off the flowers to keep it producing. The flowers, incidentally, are white.

Would you like to win a packet of each of these seeds for your garden? Enter the giveaway below.

Note: This giveaway is open to U.S. readers only.

If you grew a white garden, what flowers and food would you include?

a Rafflecopter giveaway
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The White Garden in April

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A year ago in April, I was so excited to finally landscape the front yard. We were in the planning stages then. I was particularly anxious, because it looked like this:

A year later, it looks like this:

The amazing thing is, the changes I made resulted in a lusher garden--that uses less water. The entire garden is watered with drip irrigation. My water bill in April was 1/3 of what it was the year before.

I've been saving water from indoors from the shower and from rinsing produce. I've been able to measure how much that saves, and it is a very small percentage of my bill (though still worth it, I feel). Most of the change, however, has come as a result of re-landscaping the front yard.

As a bonus, some of the water used in the front comes back to me in food, as well as flowers. In the photo above, you can see the red lettuces growing up the walkway next to parsley. In the summer the lettuces will be replaced with basil.

White Wedgewood Iris
April is the month where most of the bulbs that I planted are blooming.
Star of Bethlehem


Here is the view from across the street.

I added this delphinium plant from the nursery. It has gone to seed now and I am collecting seeds from it this week.

My neighbor remarked to me recently that it doesn't look like I just planted it last year. I would agree. Still, I know in a couple of years, the growth will make for a huge difference.

The next thing to bloom are lilies. I'm excited for those!
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Tulips in the White Garden

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The tulips are up in the white garden. They bloomed just in time for the garden tour last Saturday.

The tulips take all the attention, but the edibles are thriving in the white garden too. If you didn't notice them in the first picture, you're not alone. My garden tour attendees didn't see them at first, either, which also means they're not immediately noticeable to my neighbors. The flowers steal the show, and unless you're looking for them, you won't see the edibles, which is just the way I planned it.
The Katy apricot has fruit on it already. This tree ripens 3-4 weeks before my Royal apricot, which means we'll have fresh apricots twice. I specifically sought out this tree, not knowing what it was called, but knowing that it had fewer chilling hours than my Royal. My father-in-law's tree is always ripe 3-4 weeks before ours, so I figured out what would be ripe then, and went to a different nursery that carried this particular tree.

Near the Katy apricot is this Swiss chard plant. Iris are coming up in front of it. The grass-looking wisps near it are leeks. Just out of view of the picture to the left is a bush variety of zucchini. 
I'll plant basil in place of the iris when they're done blooming.
In the upper planter behind the bench are mache, spinach, tarragon, oregano, and my new Meyer lemon tree. Behind the lemon tree I added some garlic chives this year. A single daffodil is up here, but others are starting to come up in this area. When the mache and spinach are harvested, Armenian cucumbers will take their place. I planted seeds for them this week in the garden. 
I planted two thyme plants between the roses. While the roses are edible, rose-petal jelly is prettiest with pink or red flowers, so I will be leaving these roses as landscape roses. They are a floribunda rose, so they will bloom every 2-3 weeks until frost. They're just about ready to bloom for the first time this year.
Next to the driveway is this planter. Eventually the bushes will grow larger and be pruned into ball shapes. The yellow flowers are the decorative white kale that are bolting. They grow well here from October to early spring. It's time for me to pull them. Between the bushes are daffodils; one has come up here as well. To the left of the daffodils is a red looseleaf lettuce, and to the left of that is parsley, which is still rather small. I'd like to stop buying dried parsley, so I have been planting it all over in order to have enough. I've realized that I would like to use a lot more than I have in the past, which is also incentive to grow more. 
The lettuce will be replaced by basil when it gets hotter; I planted basil seeds to the right of the dripline. I usually don't plant basil until April, but everything bloomed here a month early and it is plenty warm enough for the basil seeds to germinate.
In the same planter, to the right of the daffodils, is a different red leafed lettuce, and then I have some white alpine strawberries that have just germinated. To the right of that, lining the walkway, are white violas (these are edible if you like edible flowers on things). The violas are tiny, and it will be a month or two before they bloom, as I am growing them from seed. Violas can be planted as plants in October here and grow all winter, but seeds were more cost effective. I may try seeding indoors in mid-summer for fall plants this year.
Closer to the front door there isn't as much direct sun. In this area, I have primroses planted in front of parsley. When they primroses fade, the parsley will fill this space. The vine in the center of the picture is a passionfruit vine. I don't know how it will do in this space, but it as it grows it will reach sun further up the wall.

Not photographed are the peach and lime trees, nor the chamomile that is starting to come up.

The next flowers to bloom should be the Star of Bethlehem, daffodils, ranunculus, and roses. I'm looking forward to them!
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Garden Tour Announcement

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This is my garden last spring in mid-March. The trees and the daffodils are in bloom, and it's beautiful.

Would you like to see it this year?

The weather should be lovely.

I will be having a tour on Saturday, March 15th, from 10 a.m. to noon.

My white garden should be blooming, so for the first time, I will be including the front yard in the garden tour. Several hundred bulbs should be in bloom there.

The tour is a 2-hour class, where I'll teach about gardening in the desert, including soil, drip irrigation, choosing fruit trees, pruning, thinning, what grows well for me, and about the different fruit trees, vegetables, vines, and flowers in my garden.

The cost is $10. The class is open to adults only. Space is limited to 35 people.

To reserve your spot, please send me an email with your name and the number of people who will be attending.

My email is brandy (at) theprudenthomemaker (dot) com

If you live in Las Vegas, Nevada, or want to make the drive that weekend (I've had attendees from Utah, Arizona, California and Idaho before), I'd love to meet you!

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White Garden Reveal

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Here's a reminder of how it looked before (for the last seven years, and the three years before we owned it):

And now, right before sunrise:

Can you see the edible plants? No? Good. Most of my neighbors don't, either. I'll point them out in more pictures.

Another great change is that we went from one tree to eight trees in the same space.

The vines that are climbing up on both sides are Lady Bank's Roses. They will bloom prolifically once a year for three weeks. Most of the year they will be evergreen. These roses with miniature blooms grow in U.S. zones 8-10, and they come in yellow and white. The white ones have thorns and also a slight perfume. They are fast growers. I planted these very first; they were 2 feet high in April and now are 8 feet tall. Ideally, I'd like them to grow above the entry way, which means I need to convince my husband to make a support system for them. We cut 6" wire mesh into a long, single row for the support on each side., and my husband cut pieces from cement board to help hold it away from the wall a little bit. He screwed it through the to help provide better support, and we glued the to the stucco as well. We hope these hold, as it is just about impossible to support anything in stucco.

Basil is growing on the outer edges of the walkway, to be replaced with parsley in winter and spring (there are seeds coming up there already).

It's hard to tell, but there are six bushes lining the walkway. When these get large enough, they will be pruned as rounded bushes.

Vincas are growing up the walkway in the summer. Like the basil, these will die at the first frost. The plan is to grow violas in their place, but none have come up for me yet. I have also been trying white alpine strawberries to grow right next to these, but only 3 have sprouted. I will continue to try these.

In the center of each side planter area are miniature white pumpkin plants. These have grown slowly this year and aren't giving me anything this year, but I will try again next year.

In the fall and winter I am growing lettuce up the center of the walkway. I have seeds coming up already.

Come spring, bulbs will line these walkways, including white daffodils, a late snowdrop-looking bulb, and Star of Bethlehem bulbs.

The concrete walkway all the down to the street makes me so happy! I love that it's wider than the walkway that the builders had there, so two people can walk side by side, comfortably. I also like that it isn't necessary to walk through the driveway to get the mail, unless I wanted to cut through the yard and slip on the rocks.

Alongside the walkway is a Maypop passionfruit vine. This area may get too much shade for the vine, but hopefully next year it will grow bigger and give us flowers and fruits. It is supposed to die back to the ground each year.

Underneath the passionfruit vine I am growing parsley and tarragon.

By the front door I planted gardenias in these urns. The front door is in the shade all day long. The gardenias are evergreens. When they get larger I will prune them as round bushes.

I struggled with designing this garden for several years. I am so happy with the design I decided on. My husband is really happy that I got rid of all of the grass, which means he no longer has to bring the mower all the way around the house to do a tiny spot in the front. He also doesn't have to worry about weeds in the rocks anymore.

Here's what the view from the driveway looked like before.

And now here's how it looks:

Doesn't it look so much larger? It's amazing how much space was actually there once we pulled out those bushes. They were five feet wide!

Eventually the small new bushes will grow together to make very distinct beds. The zucchini will only be able to grow there a few summers. At that point, the trees will be bigger and will shade the garden more. In the spring, tulips and ranunculus will grow where you now see zucchini.

In the back, upper planter, I have planted three semi-dwarf Meyer lemon trees. The lemons have beautiful, fragrant white flowers. These will eventually grow to cover the wall that divides my house from the neighbor's house. His is the corner lot, and that wall is his backyard. I'm the only one in the tract that has this wall in my front yard.

The planter is that high because the concrete footer for the wall slopes downward toward the street. I had hoped that the entire wall was as low as it is in front, but it gets higher as it goes toward the direction of my house.

Under the lemons I am growing oregano. I have planted mache to grow in the winter along the front of that planter; earlier I grew Armenian cucumbers there. I should be able to grow cucumbers there for a few years before it is too shady to grow them there.

To the left of the bench is an Early Elberta peach tree. This is an exception to my white garden; the flowers are pink. If I end up regretting having planted it there because of that, I will replace it with something else and possibly pot the peach for the backyard.

Across from that to the right is a Katy apricot. This tree blooms really early; it ripens 3-4 weeks before the Royal Blenheim apricot in my backyard. I specifically wanted this kind so that I can have not only more apricots, but fresh apricots more than once. It should be the first tree to ripen in the garden.

The two red-leaved trees are flowering plums. We planted these for the deep red leaves that cover them for most of the year. They rarely fruit, and the variety that our local nursery carries almost never fruits. We had these at my last house in town and we loved them. I planned to plant them in our backyard when we moved here, but instead I planted apple trees in their place. I have mixed feelings about having trees that do not fruit, but I also know that these were so beautiful. The trees flower in the spring with pale pink, almost white flowers.

My plan is to prune the peach, apricot, and flowering plums to keep them as medium-sized, rounded trees.

On both sides of the garden I am growing 5 Iceberg rose bushes. I specifically chose these as they are a floribunda rose, which means they repeat flower over and over, about every 2 weeks, with a few blossoms here and there in between.

On the side of the house, the two rose bushes at each end are a climbing variety of iceberg roses. My hope is that they grow to cover the front of the house on each side of the window, up to the roof.

The valve boxes (there are two of them, one behind the other) take up a lot of room in this corner. Most of it has a concrete footer that comes from the house and the wall that divides the house; in fact the concrete slopes up in the right-hand corner. We lightly covered it with dirt, but anything that grows her can mostly have shallow roots if it is close to the wall. This area is also very shady all year. I have tried growing a few things so far up the trellis (which is simply 6" wire mesh cut into a square and hung on the diagonal) but so far none of my plans have done well, so what I end up growing here may change.

The lime was added in a pot that used to sit by the front door. I put the pot on top of the valve box, making that space useful for growing.

We also moved the anti-syphon valve back into this corner. It was originally right in the middle of the yard right under the window.

If you look closely again, you can see the drain that my husband put in, and the concrete that leads to it from the special block with the holes in it from the backyard. The backyard drains into the front yard on the rare times that it rains. The drain empties out through the front lower wall into the low bed by the street.

The bushes in the foreground will grow into a hedge that is just above the wall. The two bushes that are in the pots will be pruned to be round as they grow large enough.

I have planted bulbs and seeds to fill in the areas that are just dirt now. You can also see the artichoke plant that is coming up from seed as well.

Under the peach tree I planted dusty miller. There is also some planted under the apricot tree that is just out of the picture.

These are the zinnias that I planted from seed in July. They are 4 feet tall right now. My neighbors have gushed on and on about these. They should grow until frost, which can be as early as mid-November here, but is usually the second week of December.

Underneath these are vincas that I also planted from seeds. They are like impatiens for the sun, and they like it hot and sunny. These will also perish with the frost. I have viola seeds that I hope will grow here.

In this area, I planted bulbs and seeds. The week before Christmas, the bulbs that I have been prechilling will be ready to be planted there as well. By then, the paperwhites that I planted here will be up and in bloom. In subsequent years, the paperwhites will bloom in late November.

We put in a narrow (2 feet wide) sidewalk here. Our neighborhood doesn't have sidewalks, and this little walkway means we can walk to the mailboxes that are at the end of it without having to go into the street. It also means that I don't have to kneel in the street to garden in this lower bed.

Basil is dwarfing the bush in the foreground, but later that bush will grow tall enough to cover that corner and be clipped into a round. Come Christmas time when the bushes are that big, I plan to drape these bushes with net lights.

To save money on putting in the garden, I did several things:

I used over $300 in coupons from the local nursery. They had several $20 off coupons and a few $25 off $40 coupons this year.

I combined those coupons with sales on different items. I purchased almost every plant from the nursery on sale over several months.

For one of the trees, I had to visit a different nursery. Their price for fruit trees for $11 higher than my closer nursery's regular price. I asked them to price match the other nursery in town, and they did.

I bought seeds instead of plant for the annuals. I also found a place (Outside Pride) that sells seeds in 1000 seed packets for $4.99 (more on that in a bit).

I ordered my bulbs in bulk from a wholesale company (you can read more about that in my post 1000 Flowers). Most of the bulbs that I chose will naturalize here and return year after year. They will multiply, which means in a few years I will have even more flowers.

We borrowed a backhoe from a friend and my brother-in-law, who knows how to drive it, dug up our front yard and used the back hoe to help us move dirt. The only thing we had to pay for was the gasoline. This was a huge savings of both money and time.

We bought the wall block on clearance. I also ordered it online, so that I could go through Ebates to get 2.5% back. We picked it up ourselves with our trailer so we did not have to pay any delivery charges.

I used a $10 off coupon on the center urn.

I purchased 4 urns on clearance for 50% off.

I went through Ebates when I ordered the plinth online to get 3% back.

We did most of the work ourselves--tearing out the old, moving rock, digging up dirt, putting in new dirt, laying the wall, including cutting the block for the ends, running water lines and power, installing and wiring the valves, and running drip irrigation. The only work we paid for was the concrete.

We had concrete laid with a texture, and had it cut to look like slate, rather than installing actual slate.

We used the backhoe to load the old tree, roots, concrete, and old dirt into another friend's dump truck. We were able to dump it at the dump for free using our trash bill to show that we lived here and pay for trash (they almost didn't let us because it was in a dump truck, but it wasn't a company truck--just a friend's personal, very old dump truck, held together in front with white duct tape!) The dump truck saved us the huge cost of renting a dumpster. We did pay the friend for his gas and time.

A friend gave us some of her old garden dirt, which filled in two large areas in the garden, saving us money on dirt.

I used the bench that I had and fixed it. I used the metal mesh that we already had on hand to make all of the trellises. I planted the lime in a pot that I had bought many years ago.

The entire garden is watered with drip irrigation.


Star Nursery (local nursery): Boxleaf euyonomous, Greenspire Euyonomous, semi-dwarf Meyer lemon trees,  dwarf Mexican lime tree, Semi-dwarf Early Elberta peach tree, flowering plum trees, sage, thyme, oregano, and tarragon plants, snapdragons, white carpet rose, white Iceberg roses, white Iceberg climbing roses, Vetchii gardenias, Lady Bank's rose, Dusty Miller, dirt, drip irrigation, valves

Plant World Nursery (local nursery): Semi-dwarf Katy apricot

Concrete work: Shorty Nihipali

Lowe's: Block wall and cap (discontinued item), the center garden urn, the paint to paint it and the plinth (below) a different color, pipes, cement board, concrete, drain cover

Home Depot: Plinth under the center urn

Target: 4 garden urns in 2 sizes, hose reel

Wildseed Farms: white zinnias (I recommend buying the ounce size)

Outside Pride: Seeds for the following items: periwinkle (vincas), Genovese basil, White Perfection violas, foxglove, Christmas Rose (hellebore), caraway, White King larkspur, stock, lavender, Vesca white strawberry, arugula, corn salad (mache)

Van Engelen: All bulbs: Narsissus Ziva (Paperwhites), Iris White Wedgewood, Iris Reticula Natascha, Leucojum Aestivum (A type of late spring extra-large snowdrop), Orinthogalum Umbellatum (Star of Bethlehem), Ranunculus White Shades, Tulip White Emporor, Narcissus Curlew, Oriental Lily Casa Blanca, Peony Festiva Maxima.

Territorial Seed: Maypop Passionflower plant, seeds of the following: lettuces, Italian Parsley, German Chamomile, Mascara lettuce, Baby Boo Pumpkin

Burpee: Rouge d'Hiver lettuce, Black Seeded Simpson lettuce, Summer Squash Burpeee Hybrid Zucchini (a bush variety)

Other posts on the work on my white garden:

Garden Bench Makeover
1000 Flowers
Sneak Peak of The Front Garden
Front Garden Update
Front Garden Update
Dreaming on Paper

This post is linked to Inspiration Monday, Metamorphosis Monday, Monday Funday, Inspire Me Tuesday, Cozy Little House, Not Just a Housewife, Wow us Wednesdays, Whimsy Wednesdays, The Vintage Farmhouse, My Romantic Home, Jennifer Rizzo, Feathered Nest FridayFrugal Friday, From My Front Porch To Yours,

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Spring Gardening