Thursday, May 7, 2009

After days of wet weather I finally got to spend most of today in the garden. I transplanted some flowers into pots for their summer on the patio. Then I transplanted more tomatoes, peppers, and eggplant into the garden beds.

Once the "babies" were safe in their new homes I was finally able to prune the forsythia so as to have an unobstructed pathway down the steps to the back yard. It is amazing how quickly it can send branches out and completely hide the steps, making passage to the back yard look like an impossibility. The forsythia shades the steps to the extent that ferns have begun to establish themselves between and alongside them.

On the other side of the steps is a flower bed that we struggled with for years. Made of excavated dirt from when the cottage was build, it had no nutrients and nothing we tried to grow there could live, or so it seemed. About 5 years ago we put down a thick layer of cypress mulch, thinking it would look better than the bare ground. Later that year I put in some hosta. The hosta thrived and in years since the bed has become a home for volunteer ferns, some sedum, and Japanese Spurge. It is now a lush area, where once was hopeless bare ground.

After my path clearing session I rested for a bit on the deck. It can be a bit overwhelming sometimes to see how the lower gardens became so overgrown last year while I let them sit idle. They were not really idle during that period at all! All the undesirables have gained back the foothold I had spent several years taking away from them. Wild honeysuckle, poison ivy, wild violets have been having a party in my absence.

Deciding enough was enough, I took my spade and went to break up their little party. Let the weed pulling begin! I managed to clean the beds and reclaim my mums and yarrow. I gently broke up the soil so their roots could get some air. Our clay soil tends to pack down and smother tiny root systems.

I made a lot of progress, and I made some discoveries. Some Sweet Annie plants have begun to grow where their mother was two years ago. I found a St. John's Wort that had decided Shady Hollow was a good home. I found about 25 or more tomato plants that have to be Thailand Pinks, for they have come up where the pinks were growing last year. That was a wonderful find, as I had not yet started any of that variety of tomato. It is a heirloom grape-type tomato that is absolutely fantastic in salads.

Left to its own devices, the land will return to its wild state. I see that ever so clearly in my back garden. As I cleaned around my plantings today I removed many young tree seedlings whos goal was to return Shady Hollow to forest. I asked their forgiveness as I tugged them from the earth and told them "not yet". Maybe when I'm gone you can reclaim this place, but not yet.


  1. Beautiful....thank you for sharing your blessing with us. love ya, andee

  2. Nice...feel as if I'm there with you.

  3. How lovely it all sounds:-) You made me want dig up some more flower beds!