Archive for October, 2013


Wandering around the harbor of a borrowed city…

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Row results


Of course, the real test is what happens next spring!

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Tomorrow I’ll get a photo of the finished work, but today I did get four azaleas, 24 daffodil bulbs, 24 anemone corms, some stray grape hyacinth bulbs, two magenta vervain, 8 small mums, and two echinacea planted in that new garden bed.  Joining them are two Baptisia [which may not like what I had to do to get them out of the places they were already living — I knew they had tap roots, but did not think there were so many or so many long ones I’d have to deal with], and a dark pink aster that came out with one of the Baptisia.

Tomorrow I’ll try to get some bulb food sprinkled  onto the area, and maybe layer on more LeafGro. Thursday, providing more of the world doesn’t end, I may go get bricks for edging everything.  I think I’ll need a good mess of bricks.  That’s an inaccurate unit of measure, but since I’ll have to move them by hand, I can call them whatever I please.

The neighbors have noticed the digging, and now at least can see that the area is intended for blooms and beauty, rather than stray cadavers.  If I can get sufficiently organized, I’ll use some of the bricks to weigh down blackout cloth to help eliminate more lawn in the spring

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Another gorgeous sky

Another gorgeous sky

For some reason, the photos compressed for this site always lose their redness… [there should be some red before the fade to dusky cobalt and purple] Or maybe I’m the only one who sees this?

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Another bed

20131009-212021.jpgI think it’s well-established that I dislike my lawn. Nor do I like all the rose-of-sharon seedlings.  I’m not keen on the autumn clematis or the wreck of a fence, either, but those are less under my control.  So…out comes the pitchfork, and away I go!  What you see at the end of the digging is a young holly tree, and close to where I’m standing is a somewhat taller yellowwood sapling, which I planted several years ago, and I fully expect it to become a vast and splendid creature in a few more years.

The photo is fairly early in the process of garden bed development:  the row is now about 18 feet long and 3.5 feet wide, double-dug about 18 inches deep, and I’ve mixed in LeafGro, humus + manure, stuff from the compost pile, and a somewhat questionable bag of potting soil.  I’m hoping for more rain tonight to get everything settled.

Prior to these efforts, the ground in this area seemed fairly clay-y and rock-like, although the clods of earth revealed dozens of earthworms, some coiled tight in little chambers, others quite mobile in the upper layers…. The lowest layer, of course, was chock-a-block with river pebbles, a few fragments of coal, and what I’m pretty sure used to be part of a horseshoe.  Once the earthworms and other critters recover from the shock of being roughly upheaved and bashed about, they should find their diet much more varied, if not much more nutritious.

What next?  Well, I’ve been making the rounds at local nurseries and garden centers…. Three azaleas from one vendor, two more rescued from a bargain pile at another.  All looked healthy, with strong stalks and full crowns of leaves, but I know that their previous owners were not interested in caring for them through the winter.  Several carnations, verbena, and rudbeckia have come along for much the same reason.  I grabbed some bulbs to plant around and in front of the shrubs, some fluffy mums to go on top of the bulbs, and have plans to grow some blue and purple asters from cuttings in the spring to fill around those.  Maybe, maybe, a neighbor will send over some iris she thinks need a more sunny spot.

Heh.  Less lawn.  And I have a little bouquet of red carnations for Word when she gets home!

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Poor Relations

You who can sit and sip
Wine from your own vinyards, why
Begrudge others their small happiness?

And no, that’s not remotely metaphorical; I just haven’t had the opportunity to ask them in person. Chances are high our paths will not cross for a very long time.

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