Thursday, May 08, 2008

Garden Talk

Today, I worked on the yard while my dog supervised. All she wants to do is play, so she is a lousy boss. I spent most of the day out of doors pulling weeds and thinning out perennials that have overgrown. I think I pulled at least three bushels of plant material.

But as I worked, I had a lot of breaks. Veronica from next door came over to chat, she had a ton of gardening to do, too. And Jennifer and her girls drove by, always chatty. It was a nice day, so people were out walking and stopping to chat.

Jennifer keeps saying that we have the prettiest yard in the neighborhood. I think that might have been true for our first four years here, but last year was pretty mediocre and this year is definately a rebuilding year. I wish I had taken pictures from years before, but the memories are still clear.

We had hostas in the front in a circle, with phlox banking fluffily around them. But the strawberry plants have overrun the circular design and the sweet woodruff is out of control. I pulled what was left of the phlox, it has not come back in its usual glorious display this year. Half the hostas are not reappearing, so now the beautiful circle is a horseshoe, facing north.

The tulips were lovely this year, but some are a puzzle, looking a little worn. My imperial fritilleria did not bloom this year. It was about to last year before a big freeze got it. The time for the bulbs is just about over, and it is time to plant hardy annuals before we spread the mulch down. I bought 2 tomato plants, hoping that this would be a great year for a little vegetable garden.

Veronica has told me that deer have been visiting through our back yards. A stag and a couple of does with their fawns early in the morning and around sunset every day for the last two weeks.
I have to do a little pruning and dividing hostas tomorrow morning, so I might see them.

Despite all the hard dirty work, I find gardening relaxing. Especially when everything works out well. And that is one of the benefits of living in Michigan, the soil is a nice loam here. Not like sand in California or clay in Georgia. It reminds me of the soil in eastern Washington state. I used to work in a tree nursery during my summer college breaks, taking care of baby apple and cherry trees, many of which were shipped to Michigan. When we go to Traverse City, I wonder if some of the cherry trees I grafted are still growing there.

If things work out, I'll take pictures. At this point, I feel like tearing most everything out and starting all over again.

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