All in (two) day’s work

I thought I had taken better “before” pics than these, but of course not! I should have known myself better. (I think that’s my non-New-Year’s resolution: to start pausing long enough to take “before” pics with all the renovations we do at this house. But man I am so impatient!)

Here the bed is laid out and outlined, but nothing is tilled or planted yet. I guess I should have gotten a closer shot, as it looks like I’ve already started digging. (Everything was plain old grass right up to the fence before this). So much for the “before” shot; it looks just like the “after” shot.

Here I’ve double-dug the bed with about 3 cubic feet of manure added, but it made no difference. Should have added three times that much. Oh well – through the years the mulch will break down and gradually add more organics to the soil.

And here’s where I got today, all the plants planted, soaker hose laid, mulch spread. I even got the patio blueberry trucked around from the front and planted! It’s especially nice because it was “green-mulched” with Cheddar Pinks dianthus, so it was like planting two plants for the price of one. Poor thing looks half-dead of shock and my complete inability to remember to water potted plants. I hope it makes it through the winter.

So it is a somewhat silly little bed(s), done with very little planning. I should have drawn up a plan of how the whole garden will eventually look before digging them. I should have bought some lime (turns out the soil is crazy acidic) and worked it in first. I should have bought some extra structural plants so that the bed doesn’t entirely disappear in winter.

I should have done a lot of things, but I just needed to get these poor plants in the ground before I lost them all (as it is, two may be lost causes, and at least one looks quite iffy). I have never seen plants as rootbound as these were – after all, they’d been in pots all year long, the whole time our house was on the market.

Besides, my bulb order will all be arriving within the next month or two (yippee!) and I’m going to need some tilled earth to stick them into. Because who wants to garden for long when it’s 40F out? It’ll be nice to have some prepared earth all ready.

I’m already planning my next project, which may be the bushwhacking of that jungly section you can see beyond the fence, taking over the jungle gym structure. I may have to wait till late Spring for that, though; some of those plants (wisteria, rhododendron, forsythia) have already formed next year’s buds and need to be clipped just after they bloom. Clipped they will be though – brutally. I also plan to take in my wicked curved big-tooth saw and cut down a few saplings while I’m at it. That might also make a bit more light for the veggie patch, which I’m thinking will be right outside the chain link fence.

Another non-New-Year’s resolution is to keep beds mulched. It’ll be expensive now that I don’t have a source of free mulch nearby, but it was amazing how little weeding and watering I had to do this year at our townhouse. That coincided with my noticing the plants’ gradual decline as the initial mulch and compost I had added a couple years ago gave out. Wouldn’t have happened if I’d been regular with my mulch/compost applications. So I’m sold on this mulch thing – I just hope I can follow through with my good intentions.

Why is gardening so much more fun than unpacking?

2 Responses to “All in (two) day’s work”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    i wish i had your energy. that garden is going to be the best on the block.
    you could get more compostable mulch (and make friends with the neighbors)
    if you offer to rake and bag and remove their leaves…nah, you got enuf to do already.

  2. cheryll Says:

    Well, you could try doing what I did years ago: ask one or more of the landscape maintenance guys if they will drop off bags of lawn clippings. These are pretty hot right out of the bag, but should be fine for shrubs and weed control. If you have a compost pile, or can wait till the more tender vegetation goes dormant, that works too. Of course, I lived in a small town, and the two guys with whom I made these arrangements were one-man operations…..a bag or two a week all summer was manageable…

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