Saturday, May 29, 2010

Instead Of Roundup

On my day off I was put to work. Now mind you work of some sort would have occurred on my day off no matter what. My assistant gardener duties have not slacked off since the return of the resident gardeners. There actually seems to be a growing list that appears more important than my exit from the luxury basement accommodations.

So vibrating weedwacker in hand, all the paths through the ridge top garden and the sunny utility meadow were mowed. An instant defining passage through the Lush was made. It had been the habit before my arrival to spray all the paths with Roundup. You have to cut 80 plus year old gardeners some slack. You don't fuss at them about some things. Still there was the ongoing debate between them about the collateral damage from spraying with Roundup.

This year with an assistant gardener on hand, the mowing method was used. The mowing method looks so much better than a brown stripe that takes weeks to appear and lasts way to long. And after years of experience, I qualify as a precision weedwacker. There was no unintended tattering of nearby innocents.

I pretty much know what is in the sunny utility meadow now. I know what thrives in abundance and can be sacrificed and what I need to whack around.

The paths are a long time well traveled and I know where they are too. A certain someone just has a tendency to plant things a foot off the path on both sides of a foot path. Coreopsis are good. I veer around those.

Last fall one of my assistant gardener duties was to dig and transplant several peonies down to the sunny utility meadow that had been over shadowed by large shrubs and would never get enough sunlight again. It is said peonies resent being transplanted. They all came back and actually bloomed. They had not done that in years.

The Lush was removed before hand with Roundup. When all hope of weeding is lost, the kill it all and start over approach is used. Now if I can just get some of that mulch down there to cover the bare ground before the Lush returns.

Digging peonies means there are likely to be divisions. While there are different colors in the new peony area, shock of shocks, Bulbarella is going to have a drift of a single color of peony. Now if I can just get some of that mulch down there to cover the bare ground before the Lush returns.

Now what started this whole move the peonies business was that more had been ordered with no real home for them in mind. There really was no place to put them in the ridge top garden. They had to go where the sun was, down in the meadow. Some of the new ones bloomed too.

It has been such a good year for peonies. More will be ordered. Maybe I can landscape the old chimney with some old fashioned peonies.

The sunny utility meadow really comes to life in the summer. It is chock full of Beebalm, Rudbeckia, Ox-Eye Daisy, goldenrod and asters to name just a few of the inhabitants. Goat's Beard, Aruncus dioicus is one of the earlier bloomers.

I had time to water the roadside vegetable garden. The thunderstorms have been missing us and my germinating seeds need water. Just look at those sunflowers I did not plant. They are growing huge like the rest of the Lush and my sugar snap peas in the row behind the lettuce and blooming chard are just sitting there. I seeded them in mid-March. Tomorrow they get fertilizer when I do my second potato planting.

My front flower bed is a child of the lush, filled with Ox-Eye Daisy, chicory, hollyhocks, Verbena bonariensis, echinops, eremurus and Miscanthus. It will be blooming shortly and will blend right in with the Lush. Only a trained eye could tell it is organized wildness.

This was a surprise. All of the Verbena bonariensis actually came back. I expected it to be an annual and hoped it would reseed itself. I think I have spotted one seedling. This is so not this verbena's zone. Now all but one did come from Fairegarden Tennessee as babies. Perhaps they are rezoning themselves. They are in front of and on the left of the rush.

It might be my tired eyes, but many of these pictures look to have a soft focus about them.

It might also be the extra vibration in my normally unsteady hands from whacking clear trails through the Lush for half the day.

I need to do some ciphering or get one of those odometer wheely things and measure just how much trail there is through these gardens.

I would not be the least bit surprised to learn I had whacked a full mile of paths today.


Randy Emmitt said...


Glad you skipped on the Roundup, that is evil stuff. We are building paths here, must have pulled up 200 mimosa seedlings. Your verbena will be permanent in the garden mine always has seedlings, the gold finches eat the seeds so do not top it.

Siria said...

Hi Christopher! Those paths look so inviting and I agree with you and wouldn't be surprised if you cleared over a mile of paths. I need to do the same thing in my woodlands, but am so afraid of the feared poison ivy and poison oak! I love your lushness and the peonies are gorgeous!

Lisa at Greenbow said...

I will try not to whine the next time I weedwhack around my tiny little garden.

Larry said...

Most interesting! Is that chimney for real? I love it! Larry

Lola said...

Great going with the weed whacker. It is much more friendly. That round up is wicked stuff. I used it to clean foliage out of gravel driveway when in N.C. & couldn't figure why I could never get grass to grow in the grass area. Yep, you guessed it, run off of roundup from spraying the driveway. Quit spraying, got grass growing.
It all looks super.

Anonymous said...

"Now what started this whole move the peonies business was that more had been ordered with no real home for them in mind."

LOL! Boy does that sound familiar. They are hard to resist when in their all-too-brief bloom.


Anonymous said...

What a good assistant gardener you are, Christopher! I can feel the vibration of the machine as I read your words, having walked those paths that a certain someone planted so closely. I would love to give you every single peony we have for her collection, it is far too shady for them by the heater now and other things would do much better there. Next time you come this way....

Good deal on the Verbs, they are a tough lot!

That is the campanula we grow as well, it can flop, but seeds about nicely and the blue is stellar. Just say no to roundup, but I understand that sometimes it was the best choice available at the time.

Lola said...

I meant to mention that planting the Peonies near or around the old chimney would be great, almost like something or someone is there to be entertained by all that beauty.
Just stand still for a moment with eyes closed & imagine the family moving about this long lost home.