Friday, January 22, 2010

Garden Thursday

I was so caught up helping the kids roll their Canadian coins, in preparation for our trip down to the Big America, that I forgot to publish my Garden Thursday post! Some takeover I'm managing, eh?  I even had The Grand Reveal ready, too. Not that it's all that exciting, but I did manage to finish it, one yard of drain rock, 12 concrete pavers, a 20' long piece of PVC drainpipe, and a bunch of scrap bricks later. Oh, and let's not forget all that BACK BREAKING LABOUR. Just call me the Hard Labour Queen. HLQ for short.

So here is the finished path. Instead of a long stretch of slippery mud we now have a gravelly space with enough concrete spacers that the wheelbarrow won't get bogged down when it's negotiating the path with a full load. Which is, yesI'mtalkingtoyouRichard, fairly frequently, in answer to your question, which was: "Oh come on, how often do you wheel that thing from the front yard to the back yard with full loads of dirt?" (and if memory serves it was accompanied by a rather skeptical facial expression).

 Here is another view, this one from the deck, after I wetted down the drain rock, because it's quite nice-looking once all that mud and dust is washed off.

I'm impressed that I got the bricks relatively straight. Me and straight lines have a long and complicated history.

 The drain rock was so nice-looking that I decided to yank out the disease-ridden cotoneaster from this spot against the tap and replace it with yet more drain rock. Look at the lovely gray of that rock - and how it sets off the lovely gray of our lovely stucco box. Now there are no more wolf spider dwelling spots to worry me when I have to set up my water timer system this summer.

 In other garden news, we're having such a mild winter here that things are sprouting early. I hope we don't end up with a late cold snap. I was on the back deck the other day and noticed that a little mouse or squirrel had got into my cold frame window and chewed up all my winter lettuces. While I was glumly determining to buy some chicken wire to cover up the back I noticed that the two tarragon plants I'd hoped to transplant before the winter came were sending out sprouts as well. For some reason my rodent friend isn't chewing on the tarragon. Good thing too or I might feel more vengeful. We love tarragon here. It's one of the more versatile herbs for the herb patch: a slight licorice tang and really amazing in a cheese sandwich.

 The miniature irises coming up all over the place. I used to begrudge buying bulbs when we were still renters, because they always seemed to have such a brief lifespan in the garden, but seeing these irises come up each spring, with their crisp and brilliantly purple and yellow blooms blazing in the drab brownness of the post-winter garden, is such a welcome experience that I buy more each year if I can. Funny how one's garden fancies change.

My next project is roses: apothecary roses and old roses. I like roses because they bloom over such a long period of time and the flowers always look so wonderfully atmospheric floating in a glass bowl on the table. Now I want to put in some shrub roses for jelly and a couple of climbers for butterflies and aesthetics. They have such a curious history, too. Someone gave me two David Austin roses last summer and they transplanted so well and look so superior next to my sad and straggly hybrid teas I can't help but want to know more...

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