Saturday, May 26, 2012

The Garden of Good Intentions

When you finally buy your first home you spend a lot of time imagining all the wonderful things you think will make it perfect.  Then, little by little, you hack away at your "to-do list" thinking once you get that done all will be well with the world.  Keep dreaming baby!  That list never, ever ends!!

For the purpose of this post, I am going to skip the interior list and just talk about landscaping.  Believe me, that will be enough!

When Mark, the kids and I moved here in the Fall of '98, we literally had a house sitting on dirt.  We opted for more land and a smaller house.  Good decision except for lack of indoor entertaining space.  The couple who started building this house divorced mid-way through the build and abandoned it (with they say, about a month's work left.)  Too bad I'm not talking about the interior because Mark was left with appliances plunked in the kitchen with the cords cut off some.  But I digress...

Outside was a total wreck.  No steps to get in the house or sidewalk or anything but 5 acres of knee-high weeds and dying trees.  Eventually all the trees died but one and it wishes it were dead.  The top isn't looking great.  The previous owners plunked large silver maples (a junk tree) and several large pine trees, then didn't water them during the heat of summer.  Mark suspects someone sold off the topsoil, so we have cracked clay.  They left a hole for one last tree which Taylor promptly fell in and Mark filled the first day.

Over the years we added good trees, flower beds, a fence, a 1/3 acre wildflower field, dozens of fruit trees (that didn't all make it,) a strawberry bed and millions of bees.  I put annuals in one pot, fill three flower boxes for the porch and add three hanging ferns.  The rest are perennials, so you would think we wouldn't have much yard work (aside from the endless mowing.)

Let me say, with the exception of my family, friends and pets, there is nothing I love more than Round-Up (or it's at least a close second to chocolate.)  I'm sorry if we ruin the planet, but we are in a weed war that we intend to win!  I'm just sorry the weeds don't wilt to the ground the second they're sprayed like in the commercials!

A fellow came into work to buy a washer or something and when we discussed delivery directions, we realized that we were practically neighbors.  Turns out he drives by our house daily.  He isn't the first one to mention Mark's workshop and the odd things that spill out of it...steam engines, old trucks, tractors, but then he mentioned how he admired our whole street with their "neatly kept houses, lawns and barns."  OMG!  That's very flattering and all, but when I came home that day and saw my sort of high grass, weedy flower beds and the hen house with foot high grass around it I became overwhelmed.  We've created a landscape monster!

Mark and I were talking about ways to cut back the work.  He suggested me foregoing plants.  LOL.  That will never happen anymore than him getting rid of his bees and million trees!  So, we decided that we'd work on the yard when we could and live with the rest (and buy 5 gallon jugs of Round-Up!)  I'm not making any additions to the yard for the foreseeable future.  From now on it's maintenance and mowing (and eating my way through the grapes, peaches and strawberries as I do it.)

So here are some "Scenes From Our Garden 'Hood" before things start to die off from neglect, LOL!

Asiatic Lily

Peony-- Did you know if you pick one in the bud stage, you can put it in the refrigerator for up to 6 
weeks and it will still bloom when you put it in a vase?

It was hard to work in a garden center and not get attached to the plants, so I did buy a few little things. The peony below morphs from bright salmon to pink to white and I'm told it took 40 years to develop.

Hawaiian Coral peonies

Then it goes to white...

It appears the peaches are doing well this year...

I never seem to get to the strawberries before the critters!  Luckily, the bed was full this time!

I just spotted these baby grapes!

My Garden Guidelines for 2012:

1.  No new beds this year.  Actually clean up the ones I have!  Planting too much to realistically maintain fills your good intentions with weeds, followed by guilt if you don't have time to weed.  Also, watering and spraying takes time, especially during our long droughts.  Gardens shouldn't make you feel overwhelmed!

2.  If I have to have a new plant, I will put it in a pot.  That way you can put them where it's easy to take care of them.  

3.  I will remember to spray my roses on time.  Once a month, under 80 degrees.  It shouldn't be hard as I've killed most of them...

4.  I will pull off lots peaches and pears to make room for larger, healthier ones.  I hate doing this, but last year I had tons of little golf ball sized peaches and the pears nearly broke branches off the tree.  I did do it last year, but apparently not enough.  

5.  I will beat the birds and insects to my fruit.  Why do birds just take a bite out of one, then go on to another???  Annoying!  This year those can go to the chickens.  They will love that.

I think this is more of a wish list than an action plan...

Until next time!

1 comment:

  1. Lovely blooms Gale. Hey does your city let you pick up free mulch? Mulching would help most of your beds with no weeds. If not my city does, you guys could come get a truckload.
    Cher Sunray Gardens
    Goldenray Yorkies


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