Good ol’ Aristole. Such a realistic grump. I’m sitting with the window open. The air is fresh and the birds are singing. I know that the 70+ degrees we’re due for today won’t last into next week (weatherunderground.com says so). And yet I’m already thinking of the things I have to do to get my various gardens ready.
This is last year’s vegetable plot, I’m guessing in late April, since it’s so neat and small:
It was hugely overgrown in a couple of months, although the weed blocking fabric (that’s the black stuff) does a good job in keeping the undesirables out.
I have to go out and rake away dead leaves and stuff for all the spring growth, which is pushing its way into the light. I have an ornamental garden at the side of my deck which I was prowling in yesterday; my sedum and day lilies are already up but I haven’t seen the bleeding hearts yet, which is a bit worrisome. My perennial herb garden seems to have weathered this mild winter well. Whether the rosemary will winter over is an annual crap shoot; I had three years in which it wintered beautifully and became bush-sized, then we had a really cold, icy winter and BAM! no more rosemary. It appears that the tarragon has finally died out, although that may have been more from some critter digging around it last summer. We had our first neighborhood rabbits last summer and also a fox; I think that during the hottest months one of them would make him/herself a scrape in the nice cool mulch (the herb garden is just at the edge of the deck overhang), and some of the plantings suffered as a result.
One of my plans this year is to uproot a couple of random gardens at the back of the yard. One is a ring of hosta I planted at the base of a tree, the other is a small bed that runs alongside the shed and was there when we moved in. It’s got some nice hosta but the rest of it is junk, including a very stubborn and unattractive vinca. Once the hosta is up but not established, my plan is to move it to the back edge of the yard, where we have a storm drainage easement. The easement has to be kept clear of plantings and debris so water draining out of various yards can move along it; this works in theory but we usually end up with a yard full of water as the neighbor on one side doesn’t keep his part of the easement clear. The easement used to be marked by a line of landscaping timbers, which we pulled out last year as they were rotting (the previous owners left a lot of this stuff; we’re slowly getting rid of it). My plan is to plant the hosta to define the edge of the easement – I think it will look pretty and once it’s filled out, do a better job of holding the water back than the landscaping timbers did. Then I can disassemble the little garden by the shed, get rid of the timbers surrounding it and mow down the damn vinca.
In prowling the yard, I noticed that my rhododendron is leaning over. Don’t know what that’s all about. I may have to ask my friend Stephen Gregory Smith to come and look at it. Stephen is a fellow actor and gardener extraordinaire; I’ve already promised him a chunk of sawgrass from my ornamental garden when I divide it this spring (it took over the garden last year and must be reduced). Stephen also has one of the blogs which inspired me to start this one. He’s one of my favorite people and I’m looking forward to working with him in my next two productions. That’s Stephen on the left. You should visit his blog – look to the right and you’ll see a link.