I might not get a LOT done this weekend, but what I do get done makes a visible difference!
Another stretch of the Ambitious Border has been weeded (shouldn’t it actually be “de-weeded”?), and now I only have one meter left before I reach the end of the bed. -Then, of course, I might extend it, because the ambition is to let it follow the entire length of the hedge, but I do have to pace myself.
Between the spots where I had annuals last year and the spots where the acanthus and the globe thistles have gone AWOL, I now have enough space for most of the perennials that are currently in temporary storage beds, so I can actually start thinking about where to put each group of plants.
Next weekend I’ll be up here with the Flâneur Husband, so we can plant the border together and get the vegetable beds sown up. And maybe extend the border a little to make room for sowing some annuals?
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Posted in Ambitious Border, garden, spring, tagged astilbe, bleeding heart, border, fighting the jungle, mother in law, peonies, weeding on May 5, 2012|
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Yesterday I started on the weeding of the Ambitious Border… Oh dear; more like “the area where perennials grow in the lawn”, actually, but at least I have now cleared a section of it – and managed not to damage the plants in the process!
I only did about a third of it, though, because a) it’s backbreaking work and b) I’m up here with my mother-in-law this weekend, and it seems unsociable to have one’s head in a flower bed while having company, doesn’t it?
Mind you; I’ll do another section today, and then perhaps the final furlong on Sunday, so when the Flâneur Husband comes up here next weekend it might actually be possible to see what’s lawn and what’s flower bed!
The peonies, bleeding hearts, astilbes and a single hosta have been liberated so far, and next up are the day lilies and goldenrods. There should be an acanthus in there somewhere, but I can’t spot it at the moment, and I’m sure my mother also planted some globe thistles when my parents visited last spring… We’ll see if I find them in the mess!
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Isn’t it always the way it goes; you start a project and suddenly you can just see that your scope is too narrow.
I’m afraid I might have to admit that I’ve under-dimensioned the lay-out of the new Sunny Border; now that I’ve dug half of the planned area free of turf it seems quite clear that this won’t make the sort of impact I want it to, regardless of how lush and colourful the plants decide to grow.
I might have to double the radius of the semicircle, and this will of course quadruple the area that needs to be cleared. (A = π x r2 for a circle if I remember correctly – when I was a kid we used to always ask our maths teacher “but what will we ever USE this for?”, and I guess he should have just told me that when I started a garden it would be quite handy to know basic geometry… I also use the Pythagorean number sets quite often – a triangle with the lengths 5-4-3 will give you a straight angle since a2=b2+c2.)
Still, I’m making headway, and my back is actually less sore now than it was after I’d dug out the first square meter. My body is getting accustomed to the work, it seems.
I still need to work out how I’m going to dig out the turf around the young clematis. I suspect I might resort to just scraping off the grass and the top roots, lay down a thick layer of cardboard around the plant and then mulch that over with compost so it doesn’t show. It won’t remove all the roots but it should at least limit the amount of grass that manages to get through to the surface.
Plastic would probably be more efficient, but I think I’ve made enough concessions by deciding on a vertical 8-inch corrugated plastic barrier between the border and the lawn. The cardboard will decompose naturally and actually add something positive to the soil, whereas a sheet of plastic around the clematis would just be an atrocity that will disintegrate but not decompose, leaving me with small bits of plastic in the soil for years to come. (At least the plastic barrier towards the lawn has an expected durability of 5 years, possibly more, given that it will be completely covered on both sides, and when it does start to disintegrate the border should be established enough that I can maintain the edge by cutting it with a spade every spring.)
Anyway, enough of a break; back to the garden – and the heavy work – I go!
(EDIT: And now it started raining – just a slight drizzle, but enough to turn the soil into mud if I walk around digging. Armchair gardening it is for now!)
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