Friday, April 21, 2006

You knew I was going to do this...

I might have SAID that I wasn't going to work on the garden this week because it was so wet. We all know that I could resist for only a day or so, right?

Back in February, the plan was to remove the hated juniper bushes, add some compost to the poor clay, till it all in, add some sand and dirt, bury the drip irrigation lines, then dig up the plants I'm moving and plant them. Cheay... right!

Reality: remove the hated juniper, rain for 9 weeks, spread 4 bales of compost on top before one week of rain, dig up the plants and replant them. Wednesday I got most of the plants dug up, divided and replanted. It felt really strange to have to water my garden after all this rain (especially since the clay is still rather damp).. still, new plantings new waterings.

Thursday I thought I only had one plant left, a pink penstemon (I think)that just about reached the max size for its space. First step was to cut the foliage down by about 50%, to limit stress on the roots. Here are the two piles: plant and "hair cut". Clearly this plant was as wide as the bed.

SURPRISE. There was a white lantana hiding under some of the growth. The lantana was moved first. It looks insignificant here... but the roots were ready to hold it in place for a 7.2 quake!!

Back to the Penstemon. It had a HUGE woody base, so I couldn't divide it with my standard pull-apart or chop with the shovel method. But it sure looked like it needed to divided. (heck it looked like it needed to have been divided 2 years ago!) I improved a new method:

I got a tree saw, leveraged it between my feet and cut it in half.

The new garden bed is completed planted. I've added some annuals to fill in while the plants settle into place. In a few months things should start to fill in; by next year it should be a very nice butterfly/hummingbird garden.

The small portion of this garden that runs between the spa and the deck doesn't look like much at the moment. It's kind of a mini-herb garden, with sweet basil and sage mixed in among the fuschia and yarrow. Again.. I'll take pictures in a couple months to show the difference. Yeah, this looks just like dirt.

TO DO over the weekend:

  • Install the irrigation supply lines.
  • Lay out the footpath to the steps.
  • Clean up the lower terrace levels for vegetable planting.
  • Weed the other garden beds.

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