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Saturday, October 10, 2009

On gardening, or, what a pretty way to pound out stress

So my last post was all about the henna fiasco, my stress levels, and the challenge of Just Shutting Up About It and moving on.

When it comes to stress levels, and/or actually getting off my butt and getting some exercise, nothing beats my ongoing battle in my flowerbeds against the Stupid Freakin' Prairie Grass That Will Not Die.  Up and down our street, a lot of the landscaping consists of decorative grasses, which are fine, except when you want to have a flower bed instead.  I've been spending the better part of this year's growing season trying to commit herbicide, with no remorse or guilt feelings whatsoever.

I make a terrible Buddhist.

(All that "nonviolence toward any living thing" just flies right out the window when I start trying to get my garden into shape.  (Or whenever I see a hamburger, but let's not go there for now, 'kay?))

Anyway, the struggle/kampf/jihad/violent-outlet-for-my-aggressive-tendencies took a massive turn for the better Saturday, when beloved husband agreed to put his bigger stronger self behind the shovel and uproot nearly every single clump of the stuff taking up space in my garden.

I am so far beyond tickled about this I can't even tell you.

Try to imagine having a really pretty picture in your head, and all the crayons and markers and sparklies you need to put it together, and then having to wait months before you could finally get a blank piece of paper.  And now I got one!

*happy squeak*

About a month ago, I bought roughly 100 bulbs to plant – for non-gardeners (which still includes me if I'm being honest), most bulbs need to be planted in autumn so they have time to settle in and start growing, otherwise you won't get to see any blooms the next spring – and I am now less than two days' work away from being able to plant them.  Let's see…

  • Ripping out grass was interrupted by a visit from friends we haven't seen in over a year, so there's a little of that left to do, and then
  • a bit of time making sure that any roots still left are dead;
  • I need to add some decent soil to the clay that we have,
  • smooth out the craters – each of these clumps of grass had root systems at least a foot wide and about 8-10 inches deep
  • plant, plant, plant!

I've got tons of crocus for early spring, some red allium (I think; they're in the garage, it's cold, I don't want to go check), some Asian lilies I've relocated so they can actually have some sunlight to grow in, and these really gorgeous exotic-looking things called crocosmia that I stumbled across at the grocery store earlier this summer.

Plus if I'm feeling ambitious, I have a pile of gigantic hostas that I think I'm supposed to dig up, divide so they don't get overcrowded, and then replant… anyone want some?  The leaves right now are the size of dinner plates, and each year they send up stalks over 6 feet tall, with these very very pale lavender-white blossoms that the hummingbirds actually seem to enjoy.  If you're not familiar with them, hostas like shade, so they're great for all those places that, y'know, don't get enough sun.

Wow, do I sound brilliant or what? Real Live Garden Expert, that's me.

The crocosmia, still in its pot after all this time, actually produced lots of seeds, so I'm hoping to start some of those over the winter as well, in which case I may have some babies to give away in spring.  You want hummingbirds, holy cow, expect to be buzzed by annoyed hummers every time they come to feed and find you in the way, watering them.  I've never seen hummingbirds so fearless outside of nature programs on TV.  They WANT your crocosmia.

For that matter, I even got unexpected seeds from some of my daylilies, and I may still have some seed pods from the cold-hardy hibiscus; so if anybody's interested, just let me know.

Pretty colors!  Plus butterflies and hummingbirds, aka flying pretty colors!  Whee!

Hmm.  Wonder if I have enough dirt to fill all those craters in… if not, I was sort of wondering what a multi-level garden would look like.  I just wasn't planning on part of it to be a pond.

1 comment:

  1. I didn't have success with "no dig" on top of Bermuda grass (that stuff can come up through concrete, so 12 inches of compost, soil, and mulch art just YUMMY), BUT:

    the rest of the garden has done pretty well with "sheet composting". I laid composted manure and garden soil in layers on top of the clay. A few months later, the worms and such had softened the clay for me.

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