Wednesday, May 25, 2011
Monday, May 23, 2011
Friday, May 20, 2011
When Katie and Sean bought their townhouse two years ago, we promised to plant the small planting beds around their front courtyard (the “yardette” as Jim has christened it). The project began with the decision to start small and just plant 2 bushes on each side for privacy. They can decide on the rest of the plantings later. So, on Sunday, Katie and I took a trip to the garden center, where we purchased 4 bushes, 2 bags of planting soil, 2 bags of composted steer manure (!), a shovel, and a pair of garden gloves. And it all fit into Katie’s little Escort (well, in two trips).
The plan was to dig a few holes, mix the soil and manure in the holes, and plant the bushes. I’ve done it hundreds of times. How hard could it be? Let’s just say that I should have gone right back to the store and rented a jackhammer.
I was expecting the soil to be hard, maybe even a little rocky. That would have been pleasant! What I found was a gravel/limestone paving base for the brick patio, extending about 12 inches into the planting beds (way larger than the actual patio). This was covered with an inch of dirt/mulch. Where there wasn’t paving base there was construction debris: chunks of concrete, odd pieces of wire, random plastic, but mostly concrete and what I would call “desert dust” as opposed to actual soil. The shovel was no match for this stuff. Back I went to the store for a hand pick.
All day Sunday I chipped away a trench on one side of the patio, long and deep enough for two bushes. I had to dig about 14 inches before I hit clay. I was never so happy to see clay! Monday I planted the first 2 bushes. Then it rained. The rain did NOT make the ground any softer. Wednesday I worked on the other side; it was more of the same. Clink, clink, clink with the hand pick. I felt like one of the seven dwarfs in the diamond mine, only I didn’t have six other helpers. Thursday I finished up the trench, hit clay, and planted the other bushes. They look really good. I just hope I’ve given them enough of a good start so that they adapt to their surroundings.
In the trenches.
A bug's eye view.
The finished product
I added some impatiens in a pot because I couldn't NOT add some flowers.
Thursday, May 19, 2011
The end of the world and Pat and I still have gardening to finish. Pat is gardening Katie and Sean’s yardette. I don’t think it’s big enough to be called a yard, so I’ve coined the term yardette. With luck, Pat will finish and get a post in before it’s too late. I am going to wait on the gardening till the back yard dries out, end of the world or not. It’s been raining for the last five days so the ground squishes when I walk on it. While the rain has brought to life every weed in the yard, at least they are easy to pull.
Here are some more pics for Pat. Maybe the yard will be dry enough to walk on by the time she gets back home. Pat, if the boys could talk, they would tell you they miss you.
Sunday, May 15, 2011
Since Pat can’t be with the plants, I am bringing the plants to Pat.
Friday, May 13, 2011
It was sunny when I left school yesterday. I was thinking that I could get a nice walk in with the boys and still have time to garden. a couple miles from home I saw a wall of rain that i was heading towards. It was a zoological rain, cats, dogs, frogs and locusts. So much for gardening and I couldn't get the boys out of the garage.