Sunday, May 21, 2006

Gardening woes and fun

It has rained so much that the pansies in the flower box actually looked rusty. Both the bright yellow and the dark purple flowers had large brown spots on them. I clipped most of the bad buds and they seem to be reviving. The flower box is rotting and is now starting to slant away from the house. I don't know if it will last the summer.

One of the tricky things about gardening at our house is that the flower beds will never match. The flower bed to the left of the front door (if you're standing on the front steps) gets a lot of sunlight everyday (well every day that there happens to be sun in the Greater Cleveland area) and can take plants requiring full sun. The flower bed to the right of the front door is partially shaded from both the maple trees in our front yard and the front porch itself. I can only plant part sun or fully shaded plants there.

Our maple trees are so large that their roots reach all the way back to the flower beds. The first year that we lived here it was like digging through concrete to plant something in the flower beds. The root system was entwined with the soil and the mulch in the beds that they became a solid mass. I tried attacking them by myself that first year and only cleared out about four or five square feet. Since then I've gotten Chas to do the heavy digging.

Saturday we went to a local garden center and bought a few more plants, mostly herbs for Chas's herb garden planter. We also bought a few varieties of lavender for a large planter that we've placed in the front flower bed, just to the left of the front steps. I wanted them just for the scent. I love to run my fingers over herbs just to smell them. Yum. We also bought a dwarf curry plant and Chas suggested we put it in with the lavender. I'm a little afraid it will do something to the lavender's scent, but a little experimentation can be good right? It's not like we will be cooking with these two herbs or making potpourri so it will be just fine.

Finally, I separated the Sweet Pea seedlings and put them in individual slots in a planting tray. I'm hopeful that I can grow them so that they'll be ready for planting in a few weeks. I have a few more peat pellets with Sweet Peas that haven't opened. I'm giving them a little longer to open and have added pellets with Zinnias, Mountain Flox and Marigolds to the trays with Angie's help. We should have a nice mix if even half of them survive. Angie and I threw some extra Flox in the backyard's wildflower garden just to see what might happen without my cultivation. I also dumped some of the sweet pea seeds that haven't opened in the front flower bed to see if they pop open in the outdoors.

I spent some quality time weeding this weekend. The left front flower bed has a mass of vincas slowing taking over both the bed and that side of the front porch. I'm trying to limit it a bit, but I think it is a losing battle. I hate to tear it out because the leaves are a lovely shade of green and it has nice purple flowers.

That's my garden, part plan, mostly accidental.


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