Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Weekend Gardening, continued

Three colors

The planting of four new species might have been the highlight of my weekend of gardening, but it wasn't the bulk of the work. I've got a fantastic grassy weed that I like to pull up for exercise. Great thing, that weed. Good thing it's invincible and everywhere.

One of my oldest plants is having a rough go of it. This rosemary is from The Home Depot about 8 years ago.

Real rosemary, fake bird.

I bought it as one of those "living Christmas trees" in a red pot while living up the street in my last apartment. I think it was Christmas 2002. After moving to this house in 2003, I planted it near the stairs. Ever since it has been wrapped in lights each Christmas season, even though it lost its dainty Christmas tree shape years ago.

Front Yard BeforeFront Yard

Last summer I cut back about 25% of the plant, because there seemed to be major die off. It thrived through the fall and winter, only to have the same sort of diseased death thing happen again this spring. So, back with the loppers, I cut it back very, very harshly. It looks windswept and Bonsai-like now. We'll see if it survives.

Rosemary took a beating

There's a lot of open space around it thanks to the pruning. (I scooped up about 4 pounds of fragrant needles.) I brushed off the dozens of bulbs coming up and relocated a hydrangea (also a veteran of at least 4 years) near it. I moved out an oppressed heather (pink, I think) to the back fence for rehabilitation. I think Quincy would like to see it go... but with so much space (and an embedded scarcity complex) I almost never through a living plant out.

The next to move was a little tree from the center of the front yard to the back yard near my (newly cemented) fence post. It might act as a deterrent for Grete's gardening efforts -- or it's just a good place to hide a struggling plant.

Another heather moved a few inches to fill in the gap. I pruned back our exotic, non-hardy creeping fuschia, which likely won't come back. Let's take a moment to remember the fallen from this season of frost:

Flax in snow at nightMy mom had tons of these when I was a kidFuchia

Cord RushSpring Star Flower

Two flax plants, a handful of hens-and-chicks, our purple-flowering lavender, the creeping fuschia, three delicate rushes, and the purple-star-flowering Ipheion uniflorum are all mostly like in a better place. Or mulch. Whatever. Unlike all the fish I killed while trying to keep a decent fish tank, I feel no guilt for killing off plants. It's what vegetarians do!

What I find is that after the first thirty minutes in the yard, pulling and trimming and digging, I stop clenching my jaw and start getting way more in tune with my body and my surroundings. I can walk carefully or quickly, think about something or nothing at all. Gardening is one of the few times that my brain really does go quiet. It's probably the closest I'll ever get to meditation. This weekend's exercise ran from 9am until nearly 3:00pm on Saturday. In all, I moved a dozen plants, did major clean up, and planted four new plants. Plus, I poured some concrete. More on that later.

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