Thursday, May 26, 2016

OUT OF SIGHT, OUT OF MIND

You know that old saying. It's not always quite true, because although I kept shutting an area of my garden out of my mind it kept coming back to niggle me. Then when I saw some garden visitors walk around the pool to look at the area I was cringing. I wonder what they were thinking?
The area is located on the short side of the pool and hidden from general view by the massive stand of  Monarda, Peter's purple, cone flowers, Echinacea purpurea, mullein and a plethora of annual bloomers.


That's a tall stand of frost weed, Verbesina virginica, at the very back; a gorgeous flower in the fall attracting masses of bees and putting on another show after a frost when the stems split exuding layers of frozen white material. But this year, with all the rain, it is a monster.
There is an area of crazy paving directly behind the pool; a supposed pathway leading to a gate. We haven't used that gate in years as a Rosa, Zephirine drouhin decided to grow there. And this year the pathway became infested with weeds and flowering plants including, Echinacea, Nigella, Mealy blue sage, some nut grass and that invasive false dayflower. Oh! and a nest of fire ants. The plants in the bed behind completely crowded out so that the Philippine violet could hardly breathe.


This week I spent 2 whole days in the area removing every scrap of visible plant in the paving and removing the sand to a depth of two inches. I'm not finished yet but it certainly is looking presentable.
It took one day to do the paving and the best tool for the job was an old, wide-bladed knife.


 Some of the joints were very tight and the knife worked a treat. Rudyard Kipling in his poem, The Glory of the Garden, talked about the gardeners 'digging weeds from gravel paths with broken dinner knives.' Things haven't changed much.
Then the fun bit. Adding the gravel to the joints. I won't say the easy bits because I had to barrow the gravel all the way to the back gate and then carry it up in buckets. That stuff is heavy.


Meanwhile, I had removed weeds and cone flowers and some S. leucantha from the bed behind and mulched with a thick layer.
I still have to do another section of the paving as far as the rose which I have already started to prune. There was much dead wood caused by last years hail. Plus there are several lantana still to be removed. By the weekend I will be happy for anyone to walk back there. I don't imagine for one moment I have said goodbye to the weeds but I will be jumping on them as soon as they appear.


21 comments:

  1. I'm sure it was all good--as long as they didn't tangle with the fire ants!

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    1. Every time I get into an argument with fire ants but almost as bad are the chiggers. This week I have been wearing long pants with socks tucked in to thwart the devils.

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  2. As big a patsy I am for a bed filled with exuberant blooms, there is now something so deeply satisfying about a well cleared path to me. I suppose that is because of the few paths we've established here, most of them serve as eager hosts for seedlings of all kinds. Despite the drought, the rains we have gotten the past few years managed to wash years worth of seeds out into the pathways. It is rare that any section of the path stays cleared for more than a week or so. When I do manage (rarely) to get it cleared, it feels like a major victory.

    You put in a lot of hard work to wonderful results. Well done!

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    1. I am in total agreement. I keep going out and looking at it, but I can see already I didn't get every weed. It will be an ongoing battle.

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  3. Hope you treated your back to a nice heating pad! :) Like TexasDeb, I love the tumbling flowers and foliage, but there is something so...controlled about a tidy pathway. My Frostweed is also HUGE this year. I'm pruning as necessary, which seems to be quite a bit. Your garden is gorgeous--as usual.

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    1. Actually I haven't had any aches and pains since my hip replacement. Seems I am good to go for another few years, at least. I have already pulled out some frost weed. It is either that or the S leucantha. Theya re crowding each other out.

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  4. So much work. I know how that feels.

    I cleaned the grass out of the veggie bed yesterday....again. I'm not fooled that it will be the last time. There is a lifetime worth of grass seeds I let get away, last year.

    I hope you're taking a couple days off.

    Have a great weekend.

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    1. No rest for the wicked over here! I didn't go out there today but weather permitting the weekend will be spent in the garden.

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  5. Jenny, you really shouldn't post photos of your garden at this time of year if you want us to read what you've typed. One look and I just can't focus on the words, can't drag my attention away from the gorgeousness. Something about weeding? ;) (only half joking)

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    1. Well, thanks Alan. All the rain has been beneficial and some fall plants are blooming now. It may be a pretty flowerless summer once the heat arrives.

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  6. I think the gardener notices the weeds more than any visitor ever would. I'm sure they are just enamored of your garden--trying to take it all in.
    I always seem to have one spot that never gets weeded. Why is that????

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  7. Actually, I think your 'before' picture was quite pretty!

    (Probably not as functional as a path, but aesthetically pleasing, to me at least.)

    The 'after' photo looks good too, of course, and I know you have plenty of blooming, wild-ish areas of the garden to keep pollinators and garden visitors enthused and entertained!

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    1. Aaron, you never saw the before picture and if you had you would not have liked it. I did most of the work int he drizzle and did not think to take my camera out for a before picture. It really was a horrible mess. As to pollen- we have a major problem with the stuff. The pool hs a constant layer of it on the bottom. I know it is my fault with all the flowers we have.

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  8. Weeding definitely never ends, but I think the path looks beautiful. One thing I love about gardening is you get to see immediate results, and I'm sure you're glad to be move the fire ants along! Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Too make matters worse we are on the edge of wildness and there are so many weedy things out there. It will be an ongoing problem. But you are right about the immediate results. Makes weeding rewarding. Thanks for visiting.

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  9. The area already looks great, Jenny! I suspect that most every gardener has an area like that - I know I do. The beautiful display in front of your "out of sight" area certainly provided a good distraction, though. I can't say the same for my hideous back slope - there I rely on the steep climb to keep people from taking too close a look.

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    1. It is amazing how quickly plants and weeds take over. It was literally a jungle back there. And pollen int he pool was becoming a real problem. Of course going away for a month will not help amy.

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  10. I know it always feels so great to get an area looking nice and tidy again! I've spent time weeding some areas this spring that rarely got weeded last year, and they look so much better for it. Your flowers look beautiful over there around the path!

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    1. Is it any different from keeping house. Same jobs over and over again.

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  11. I love how even the plants "infesting" your pathways are flowers... :)

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  12. Well, you put in a couple full days of work! It looks gorgeous — so well worth the trouble. I never really noticed that there was a path there, but I’ve never walked back there. It’s a lovely little area.

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