Grand Designs…

If you're like me, when The Herald News arrives, you flip immediately to the Farm page to see what's new at Groundhog Hill (followed closely by a peak at Obituaries, then a glance at Master Commissioner Sales then back to GH).

I like to see if the awesome photo I submitted with my column has made the paper edition, followed by who's dead, followed by what's for sale!

There's not a lot of news at GH this week due to the recent rains about which I shall I not complain because as local farmer Cleve McStubbins says, "don't ever complain about the rain!" Meaning, there may come a time (July/August) when you wish you had some.

So, let's take a moment and consider the layout of this year's garden as I've had lots of queries about my grand design.

At home, Dad and I have planted a very traditional vegetable garden with a few flowers: Short rows, running North-South, with space between just wide enough to till. Right now, we have Corn, Strawberries, Asparagus, Green Beans, Red Potatoes, Peas, Green Onion, Red Cabbage, Broccoli, and Gladiolus.

At Groundhog Hill, I want to deviate from the traditional and experiment with design, direction, and {insert third d-word here as I couldn't think of one}.

Planting according to height and thinking about Perspective (yes, that's a nod to you Betty Mitchell and our high school art class exercise), I've sown rows and rows of Sunflower, Zinnia, and Marigold. Next to the marigold are the Green Beans, more Red Cabbage and more Red Potatoes (I had extra).

I don't spray the beans to keep the bugs away because the marigolds do that job for me. Bugs don't like the smell of a beautiful marigold. Go figure.

This year, I've added four pathways all leading to the center of the garden where I'll set a table and some benches once the ground dries. Here, visitors can sit for a spell amongst the summer flora and enjoy a glass of iced tea (unsweetened) with fresh mint, and we can discuss the state of the world and swap theories on how to best get rid of johnson grass.

(Speaking of Johnson grass, a few shoots have emerged just to let me know who's still boss.)

As you can see from this very intricate and elaborate sketchwork (with apologies to Betty Mitchell and our high school art class!), I've got it all mapped out. The schematic is quite rudimentary, I admit.

Now, I just need time to make it happen and a few consecutive sunny days without rain. Again, I'm not complaining!

More later from Groundhog Hill.

Email Steve at or check his blog at to see the garden's progress.

About Surfing Hollywood

Steve La Rue is an internationally recognized leader in Film & Television with 20+ years experience as a Development Executive championing such series as Buffy The Vampire Slayer, The X-Files, The Simpsons, King of the Hill, Battlestar Galactica, and Farscape. He writes, blogs, and consults on All Things TransMedia from his home at the beach in Santa Monica, CA, where he balances his life by surfing every damn day.
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