Friday, April 07, 2006

The Garden

In pregnancy news, I'm feeling cautiously optimistic about the morning sickness today. While I have had several iffy moments, I have not actually puked today. We'll see if it lasts.

In other news, the garden...

My yearly war of the roses (and mint and wisteria and blackeyed susans and...) has begun. The last couple of days have been in the 60s and 70s with a nice breeze and I decided that the time had come. The previous owner of our house lived here for about 30 years and apparently liked to garden- as in, he spent 4-5 hours everyday working on the garden. He had a particular fondness for anything invasive, aggressive, or high maintenance. It also seems that he severely neglected weeding and mulching for his last couple of years here. When we bought the house, I naively thought, oh, a garden! Great! This is my 3rd summer with the garden and I still haven't managed to actually weed all of the existing plots. There is one massive plot and 2 smaller ones. We have a total of 13 roses, most of which being the wussy tea rose that is the best friend of Japanese Beetles, black spot, and any other funkiness that wishes to have a passing flirtation with rose leaves. He also had a fixation with rose bushes that produce maximum thorns. Did I mention I try to garden organically and knew nothing about rose care prior to moving in?

In addition to the oh so pitiful roses, I have spent the last 2 summers having long talks and practicing tough love with the wisteria (non-flowering), mint, etc. I won't even mention what I think of his fantastic decision to go with goldenrod as a way to add late-season color. Sometime in late July/early August napalm begins to come into discussions about the garden.

In a wonder of genetics, at this point, nothing in the garden is doing much but the forcythia (invasive AND aggressive- double score!) and the many, many dandelions. With an eye to the fact that I may be physically incapable of actually bending down to weed sometime in the relatively near future, I finally broke down and bought some landscape fabric. I have seen some gradual improvement. Last spring I was able to differentiate early poppy growth and dandelions (hint: poppies are furry) saving much heartache and wasted time. I also got a jump on the side bed in April last year and applied 18 billion tons of mulch and that bed actually looked mostly decent for a hunk of the summer with little further intervention from me. And, when I pruned the roses yesterday (yes, it's late, I know, do I care?) I noticed that there was far less dead and/or diseased wood than there has been the last couple of times. And, I do love me the 4 peony bushes that do what they're told, look lovely, and smell nice as well as the false indigo- quite pretty and happiest when staked and then neglected.


Mrs. Flinger said...

Uh. I kill things. Luckily I kept a few dogs and my kid alive but a garden? You speaketh a foreign language to me. :-)

Becky said...

Actually, my goal, at least 50% of the time, in this garden IS to kill things off. So, if you're ever in the neighborhood... :-)