Mission Accomplished Part I

March 28, 2010

After Pilates at 8, I threw on my gardening shoes, put on my hat and cleaned up the front beds!

Well, there was actually a sizable detour into the garage attic to retrieve the hedge clippers that resulted in much foul language privately muttered, though sometimes shouted (who can hear me in the attic, right?), because whomever put away the garden dodads in the fall and the Christmas stuff in January (I’m not pointing fingers, but really, we know who it was) did not take the time to organize anything and just piled stuff wily nilly. I hate wily nily. My ADHD kicked in and I saw that a substantial number of the computer equipment and electronics boxes we keep up there were now useless, as we don’t even own (for example) a PS2 anymore. And seriously, how many phones have we purchased in only 10 years? So I threw down empty boxes, picked up garden ornaments just lying on the floor and put them in empty (why? why would they be empty?) crates and got the Christmas wreath to lay flat. I also found a few boxes of the original tile laid in our house and for one brief moment thought “Hey! I could do those mosaic projects I always see!” but thankfully came to my senses immediately. Like I need another project. I did pull out about a dozen unbroken tiles and will try to use them as walking stones in the garden. Hmmm… nice way to integrate inside and outside, don’t you think? Anyway, I digress! Just like I did yesterday.

Cut down the big pampas grass and my nose started itching immediately. Thanks to remembering to wear long sleeves though, I did not get hives this year. Cleaned out dead leaves, and cut down all the dried out cornflowers. Shattered all the eggshells and that actually looks cool. Gathered up the grapefruit and avocado rinds (I was smelling citrus all day and it was very pleasant). Trimmed all the dead flowers from the spyria, but noticed that the branches themselves have really budded out already, so I left those. Started trimming the Endless Summer hydrangea I planted in the fall, but then noticed quickly (thank heavens!) that I was cutting into green. Realized these bud on old wood and new wood, so quickly dropped those pruners! One of my goals for many years has been to successfully grow hydrangeas, as my Nicco Blue grew every year but never ever bloomed. Last summer, the gardener at the nursery told me the Nicco was my entire problem – they do not bloom in zone 5. And here I was agonizing over MY failings for about six years!

The “composting” in the hydrangea bed is working, as I was confronted with slimy and rotting material almost immediately. Hurrah! We’ll throw some mulch over that in a few weeks and let it go to town. The peonies in that bed are already emerging, so I put out the grow through grids (which never really work anyway, so why do I bother? They need longer stakes – hey! I could make that happen… another thing for the Menards list.).

I also pulled all the vegetation around the step-through, dug up the bricks and resettled them. It looks so trim and now we can actually walk through it. Cut the donkey tail spurge way back – I just love that stuff. It’s just so funny looking.

The butterfly bed was last. Again, I gathered rinds and crushed eggshelves, cutting dried coneflowers, oregano, coreopsis, sedum and pulling out allysum and zinnia leavings. Also pruned the butterfly bush hard, even though I was cutting into green. All the advice recommends cutting it way back, so I did. Found evidence of Damn Rabbits – plenty of droppings, but nothing chewed. The new lilac right in front of the library window is full of buds and new green leaves, so it must be very happy in that spot.

Raked everything up, swept the porch (no birds on the shelf yet, so I might be able to get it down within the next week or so), and took six bricks to layout the rough of the veggie garden. Tony is supposed to let me know if it’s obstructing bean-bag playing and then we can start building and filling it.

Today, it’s raining for which I am very grateful. After all that work yesterday, I fell asleep at 8:30 and I’m still a little stiff. The backyard beds will have to wait.

Peony and Hydrangea beds

The butterfly bed

Front of house beds

Pampas grass, coneflowers and scabiosa waiting to come back...

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