Monday, April 21, 2008

Gardener's Lament

I'm not much of a gardener. For one thing I have never owned a home (except once briefly for five years eons ago). At my 20 year rental, I put in a medicinal herb garden, hostas and other easy plants. The garden space above is my mom's. Once, she had quite a lovely garden. The plot is surrounded by cement blocks. It is not really THAT big, but where is the dirt?

I pulled out some of the dried grass. But it doesn't clear much of a space. Suggestions welcome. Maybe just cover it all with black plastic and let the heat kill the grass? But there are flowers under there in places.

Here is one that pushed through.

Signs of spring. These weed vines are such a pretty color.

Buds on the rhododendron.


sixty-five said...

If you object to plastic in the garden on aesthetic grounds (as I do), another option is to use the newspaper trick. Spread thick layers of wet overlapping papers (6-10 sheets deep at least) right on top of everything, working around any emerging flowers or shrubs. Anchor with "garden staples" or bent coat hanger pieces as needed (optional). Then then top with a layer of purchased mulch or other organic material. The papers will gradually decompose and you can plant new things right away (or whenever you want) by just cutting through all the layers.

sukipoet said...

Hey great idea Sixty-five. Thanks. As i read about the newspaper I had vague memories of reading abt that years ago. I'll try it. Got a lot more of the dead weeds out last night. This will be fun.

sixty-five said...

Also, it looks as if a lot of that really dry stuff could be crumpled up and used as part of the mulch - just be sure not to include any "live" weedy material. The anchoring is to combat the potential wind problem. Keeping everything well watered will also help with this, til it all settles down. Good luck!

Cris in Oregon said...

Well I had something all typed out and I lost it. arrgh.
Well Other then tilling the ground the newspapers sound good. I have a great paperback book called LASAGNA GARDENING by Patricia Lanza. Very good on Organic Gardening.
Its a new layering system for bountiful gardens that is no digging, no tilling, No weeding.
Check it out.
Does this mean your sticking around for awhile more?

sukipoet said...

Thanks for the tip on the book Cris.

I had planned originally to stay here , this is horrible to say, until someone dies. Either SIL or Mom. So I figure since my stay is indefinite timewise, I might as well do the garden to keep myself out in the sunshine and to prettyfy,

Sixty-five I read your message about the dry grass being mulch just in time. I have a wheelbarrow load which I was going to dump in a mulch pile but now I'll save it. I spent the am today cutting back the prickly bush which might be a rose but not sure. That took an hour and a half. But now it's cut back and i can work on the rest.

marianne said...

Hi Suki,
Thanks for your sweet comment on Sweden.
Today I spent gardening. I'm working out a plan to have less work in the future. I like gardening, but I like a lot of other things as well so I'm replacing border by grass. Tomorrow I have to work so I will continue friday. I'm thrilled by the idea of less work. My dogs and cats will enjoy the grass also, so everone will be happy.
Hope your mom will be able to enjoy her garden again. Maybe you should think of ideas to create a problem free garden with little work. I think grass is less work that beds of flowers.
Take care!
Love >M<

katie jane said...

My advice is "get out a hoe and get busy!" Not as hard as it sounds, but you've got to get that grass out of there if you want the flowers to grow. It looks like a lovely spot, and I'm surprised that you don't still have herbs growing. Once you get the garden set up very little work will be involved later. Good luck. Good idea with the newspapers, by the way. I have used that method too, but after you get the mess out.

Honour said...

Suki - I have no gardening tips. Our season is short - so all we do here is fertilize, fertilize, fertilize. However, I have a request - promise to put up a post of the rhododendron after it's bloomed? They are my favorite (after hydrangeas). Thanks!

human being said...

o... any sign of spring, no matter how small it might be, is splendid and gorgeous... i love them and hope to see more of them...

sukipoet said...

Marianne. I have to chuckle at your perspective that grass is less work than flowers. My Dad loved grass and there is an largish lawn here that has to be mowed sometimes twice a week in the spring. It is a lot of work. If I had my druthers, I'd live in a house with pine needles instead of lawn. Hope your work saving idea works out for you. Be well.

Katie Jane. This is a great spot for a garden as it gets all day sun so i can plant sun loving flowers. My herb garden was at my 20 year rental on Cape Cod, and it was a shady yard. I think the herbs are still growing there unless whoever bought the place razed everything as they love to do on Cape Cod.

Your idea of the hoe is one I have used in the past too. Was just feeling overwhelmed about all the work and trying to find an easier way. Thanks for you advice.

Honor, the growing season here is pretty short too. I'll take a photo of the rhododendron for sure. It has lots of buds this year. On Cape cod, where I used to live, there is a place called Heritage Plantation which has lovely walkways through acres of plantings, and many many rhododendrons.

Forever Young said...

it's always amazing to me how somthing manages to push through no matter what ir where.

Anonymous said...

Weedy vines and dried grass were my inspiration for returning to painting one year ago.

sukipoet said...

Chewy, that's a pretty intriguing comment. Weeds and dry grass. I love weeds myself. I can see the weediness and grass in some of your paintings. The curves. The below above ground perspectives.

FY As i said in another comment, it seems a bloody miracle to see plants, flowers, vines, weeds all these growing things returning to earth after the barren winter. Even in city lots you see such growth. the earth is a wonderous entity.