Thursday, May 04, 2006

Garden stuff

My garden has been horribly neglected this spring, due to... well, spending every available weekend day at my sis's house, sewing. I really shouldn't use that as an excuse, though, since I really could have been going out for a few minutes every evening and weeding. I did actually do that a few times, and got some of the easier to weed beds under control. But the two major beds in the back, and the one on the side of the house, are disasters. In the back, the honeysuckle and virginia creeper vines are choking out the roses and other plants, and in the side bed, I've got more grass than plants, I think, and need to throw out the mugo pine and alberta spruce that I planted last year then neglected.

This evening I started weeding one of the back beds, telling K. to call me in after half an hour so I didn't overdo it. Good plan -- I got most of one of the big back beds weeded, which is more than I thought I'd accomplish. Must remember that for future reference; it doesn't take as long to weed those beds as I think.

Things to note:
Yarrow, while a lovely plant when blooming, is horribly invasive. I have pink yarrow, and it's threatening to take over parts of the back beds. The only nice thing I have to say for the stuff is that it holds its own against the honeysuckle.

Lambs ears -- same problem. I've found bits of the stuff where none should be -- in the middle of the lawn, for example. I think I'm going to severely cull much of the stuff in the existing beds; it'll recover just fine, I'm sure.

Columbines and coral bells are too delicate for my back beds. They get choked out by yarrow, honeysuckle, shasta daisies, and other more vigorous plants, and just can't compete. Being a lazy gardener (hate weeding in the heat of summer) and a frugal one (hate watering if I can possibly avoid it), I've been looking for plants that work for xeriscaping; so the picky and delicate plants will just have to go in more sheltered, shady areas - not the back yard, which gets full sun all day. Maybe they'd work in the front yard, when I eventually expand the bed around the birch trees.

I really need to get some plant markers. There are some plants that look awfully close to weeds -- particularly the asters and some of the hardy geraniums. I don't think I pulled up anything I shouldn't have, but I ought to get some of those metal markers anyway, to be safe (the plastic ones are all broken).

I also need to get my courage up and prune the apple and pear trees in the back, which are really getting a bit too tall for convenient harvesting. I'm not quite sure what I'm doing regarding pruning, but will have to just give it a go and hope for the best.

Veggies: I've decided that green beans are a waste of space for me. I'd better concentrate on tomatoes and cucumbers, which I really do enjoy. One can buy frozen green beans that are perfectly adequate; but there's nothing like fresh tomatoes and cucumbers. I'm still not quite sure what to do with the third veggie bed (the fourth has asparagus). Maybe more asparagus. I have some horseradish in it now, but it seems to be growing rather slowly.


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