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Archive for June 2nd, 2009

Well, I posted a picture a couple of days ago, indicating where the next work in the Stroll Garden was scheduled.  Just a reminder, it was an impressive stand of weeds:

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As far as I am concerned, that picture is like some sort of horror movie.   Not only are there myriads of weeds that came up from the mulch that we got from the city, but the cardboard/mulch method of building these beds would have worked much better if we had started last fall and let the cardboard and mulch work to kill the grass underneath before we broke through the cardboard to plant.  

I knew there were going to be certain problems with this particular part of the beds since the shrubs there were planted last year in the lawn before we created the actual beds.   When we were placing the cardboard we tried hard to get it right up under the shrubs, but there only has to be ONE LEAF of bermuda grass exposed to light to convince a whole patch to get happy and grow.    That is what you can see going on in the above picture if you get up close and personal with it.

Now, we did get down to business and start working on the project Friday, just as I said we would.   Work was OBE  for the rest of the weekend when it became necessary to float instead, as you regular readers are well aware.   But we did not just slough it off, we got back to it yesterday.  Today we continued on our mission of de-Bermudagrassifying that section of the new gardens.  This was no small task.   We turned over every inch (except the actual shrub-occupied sections) one whole spade deep.   Each shovelful got “massaged” into crumbs, and as we worked through each shovelful we extracted all living bermuda grass rhizomes, all other weeds, the trash that accompanied the mulch was extracted, all the poplar roots invading the space were removed as well.  

While doing this job we discovered that sometime in the over 100 year history of this land there was either an outbuilding that burned down over in that corner or someone was burning demolition remains.  We found lots of bits of charcoal (which we left because it improves soil fertility) and over a gallon of various and sundry nails and other hardware (which we removed).

We enjoyed a few rain showers this afternoon, which did not keep us from our task.

Voila!  approximately 30 person hours later, the bed looks like this:

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I have a couple more stepping stones to place in there.   If I had some mulch, I would cover it about an inch deep with it.  But I’m not interesting in importing any more of the city’s weed seeds.  I will mulch later.  

We worked right up under the base of each of those shrubs, and the large one in the center of the bed got all huffy about having its feeder roots disturbed, excised and destroyed.   It sat there and wilted right before my eyes.   As soon as we were done working that section, I watered it thoroughly, and it got over its fit of pique forthwith.   I’m sure in the next few days it will discover all that lovely loose soil devoid of competition and establish new feeder roots.

In addition to finishing that job, I also did three massages and picked about a gallon of snow peas this morning.  Jim is preparing them for blanching as I sit here and type.  Ruby is patiently awaiting my presence for her evening walk, and just as soon as I finish this post, I’ll take her out.   We’ll probably get rained on, but I don’t mind getting wet again.

Now, it has been a while since I did a panoramic view of the new Stroll Garden.   I am continually astonished at how the part we completed last year has come along.   Next year the new section will probably be equally astonishing.  

The following set of pictures was taken from one location.   The series flows from south to north, looking west.

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I shall leave you with a close up image of the lily that graces the Rose Garden in the third image.  This is a flower that came in a naturalizing mixture, did quite well out in the root cellar garden, and propagated itself to an extent where it required division.   

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Now, I believe I shall walk the extremely patiently waiting dog, who, by the way, does not understand weeding at all.   We should be throwing her ball if all we are going to do is sit around playing in the dirt and mud.  I mean, really.

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