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.
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