Sunday, June 30, 2013


Weeding, weeding, weeding
With chiggers, ticks and buzzings

Keep weeding, weeding, weeding

Yank 'em out
Toss 'em far
Keep on going

Pulling, pulling, pulling

Whacking, whacking, whacking
It's Lawn B for the heiau

Get a shape
Feel it out
More whacking?

The good weeds they are a waiting
For me to weeding, weeding, weeding
By their sides


The flowers are there a waiting
At the finish of my weeding


Saturday, June 29, 2013

I Get Orchids

When I weed.

I have found two populations of the Green Fringed Orchid, Platanthera lacera, in my weeding now.

It is discoveries like these that make me cringe just a little when I have to bite the bullet and go for wholesale slaughter.

But it is my weeding that allows the smaller things to grow, safe from the overshadowing thugs.

Between adding and subtracting, the species diversity has increased substantially. The thugs are great in power, but few in kind. Removing them has allowed things like the orchids to appear.

If I should find something new or unusual coming up in a path or in the Great lawn it can easily be moved to a safer location. In the eight foot tall tangle it was before, there was no way of knowing what else might be hiding in there.

Friday, June 28, 2013


It has been several days since I went on a Clematis virginiana weeding frenzy. The compulsion has subsided. The first real mowing of the Great Lawn led me to discover that a little definition goes a long way in creating order out of chaos. A garden would appear if I carved one out of the Lush. I calmed down when I could see the garden.

I've been spending bits of my time at the end of the day weed whacking some definition into things.

The Creation, now visible again, adjoins the Great Lawn.

Step one in garden making as far as I am concerned is how and where does the human body move through the space. I have no elephant to ride that will get me above the tall flower meadow. There has to be a way for a human to move through the Lush and to move through comfortably.

Do step one and a garden magically appears. For the garden becoming, for my sanity, step one needs to be more routine maintenance. The Great Lawn, the paths, the beds, even the basement patio, all want to be be six feet tall. I have to carve a garden out of all that.

There is no shortage of chaos. It's just more enjoyable to view when it's not wrapped around your legs and slapping you in the face.

I'll get back to my weeding soon enough. I just want to know where the garden is first.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

The Good Weeds

I add weeds in.

I edit weeds out.

This is about conceptual landscape design. The actual final product is unknown and unstable from year to year.

I add weeds in. Some take and multiply in unforeseen places. Some don't take and may linger only to slowly wither away.

I edit weeds out.

I am also adding a stable back bone of structure that will grow larger as the years go by. Around that structure the good weeds will be added in and the unwanted weeds will be edited out. My job is to keep expanding the area covered in the conceptual weedscape. In time, one hopes the good weeds will outnumber the unwanteds.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Now Sit

Of course when I was down there on the freshly mowed Great Lawn yesterday looking up at the garden becoming, surrounded by the Lush in all directions as far as the eye could see, I thought, this is a nice view. You need a bench down here.

Bench? Well. The ground is soft and sloped. To put a bench down here I'll need a proper little patio. A patio will need a proper base and it should preferably be round I think. What will I make it with? When could I get around to doing that so I can have a bench down on the Great Lawn?

Not any time soon that's for sure.

Then they fell from the sky, two benches, not just one. Not the proper bench like I had in mind, but benches none the less. This will certainly do until a proper patio for a proper bench can be built.

The idea of course is that I should sit and smell the lilies of the garden, to relax and enjoy the beauty of my labors. It's a nice idea. Putting it into practice is a whole other matter.

Even these rustic benches give the Great Lawn a stronger focal point, drawing you in and making the space look more like a destination. I'll watch and see what happens next time garden visitors arrive.

The Invisible Art Installation still amuses me to no end.

Having a fire is a good way to induce sitting. I'll probably do that soon since the rubbish pile is messing with the garden's aesthetics. A burn spot would be more attractive.

The garden is becoming more so every day.

And the weed whacking is obviously a crucial component to providing definition in the Lush, to inducing the notion of a garden. Without that negative space it is one giant morass. And yes a few weed flowers were sacrificed in mowing a path through the Lush. It is painful but necessary if I am to derive any sense of order and calm among all this exuberant chaos.

A garden is trying to be born. I can even sit in the garden now.

When I'm not pulling weeds.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

The Great Lawn

The current tumult that is the garden becoming, let's face it, the current tumult that is the entire wild cultivated gardens is overwhelming at this time of year.

My nemesis the Clematis virginiana is having a very good year. The entire gardens are infested with it. Maybe the ample rains have spurred it to massive growth this year. It may also have been laying low and stealthily taking over while I wasn't weeding. Either way, it climbs up and on top of everything else, cutting off the light and smothering every thing in its path. Were there is clematis, there isn't much else blooming.

Where the clematis isn't, where I have planted things and weeded on a more consistent basis, there is a diverse array of blooming weed flowers. That is what I am after. The clematis must go.

To my own detriment I have not been able to remain calm and garden on. I am obsessed with removing this scourge. I want a more civilized garden full of blooming weed flowers now. I have spent many evenings weeding until dark after dinner. The sad truth is it will take me years to be rid of this scourge. I can't have the garden I want right now.

The garden I want will have to expand out from the clematis free zone closest to the cozy cabin.

After dinner tonight I opted out of weeding clematis. Maybe that's a sign of progress. I do need to tend to the baby shrubberies and make sure they don't get completely encased in the Lush. I decided instead to whack the weeds around the shrubberies massed at the lower border. Then I kept on whacking

The Great Lawn got its second haircut for the season. I took this space last year from an eight foot tall tangle of elderberry, blackberry and New England Aster all knitted together with the strong cables of clematis. I was rewarded this spring with trilliums. Every garden needs negative space.

The baby shrubberies and grasses at the border have been brought out of hiding and into the garden. There are already a good number of shrubs planted all around the perimeter of the Great Lawn.

And when I was done whacking, I stood in the Great Lawn and looked up. The Lush surrounded me in all directions as far as the eye could see. For the first time in a while there was a feeling of calm in the garden. The frantic need to weed had slipped away, if just for a moment.

This could prove to be the key to me being able to remain calm and garden on, weed whacking. I had been waiting for my new Troy Bilt weed whacker that I won at May Dreams Gardens to arrive before mowing the paths again. I know for a fact that clear paths through the tumult gives a real sense of order to the garden. Mostly I do it before planned company arrives.

The calm of the Great Lawn tells me I need to do it for myself too. The weeds will get pulled. The wild flowers will fill in. I'll keep planting and adding more weed flowers. In time the Clematis virginiana will just be another weed.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Clear Water

Finally, after two months of potions and plants, the babbling brook and rubber lined pond has clear water again. The algae bloom is gone.

I can see the stones in the bottom of the babbling brook.

I see can see all the goldfish and the water lily pot in the bottom of the pond. I am hoping the pond will get even clearer.

I imagine it is all the plants combined, a suggestion not to over feed the fish and time that did the trick. It really started to clear when I added the submerged plant anacharis though. I know they are down there. I just can't quite see them yet against the black bottom of the rubber lined pond.

The Water Poppies, Hydrocleys nymphoides, that I borrowed from another client's pond have grown and multiplied quite well. I also put some of them in the other much larger water fall and pond on the property. I have never mentioned the other pond have I?

In that pond the leaves of the Water Poppy are twice as big and the surface coverage is pretty dense. The other pond has huge koi and is chock full of nutrients for plants to grow big and fast. It also had a major algae bloom this spring.

I put some of the anacharis in the upper pond of the other koi pond. It has two ponds, upper and lower. The algae bloom is gone, but the water is still murky grey with silt. Now there is talk of me cleaning the much bigger and much dirtier koi pond. I've never done that before. I've never built and planted a babbling brook with rubber lined pond before either.

I think the clients are liking this freshly clear water and want to have the other koi pond as clear as the babbling brook.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

The Weeds Are Blooming

I wait for the bush morning glory seeds I planted to wake up from the stupor that is the seedling phase, grow and then bloom. Why do the seeds I plant up here just sit there for so long after they germinate? I hope they are growing nice big root systems. It's almost July. There is no time to waste.

The Louisiana Iris 'Black Gamecock' has arrived. They were blooming down in Asheville two weeks ago.

I think the roadside vegetable garden is finally growing. The sweet potato vines pouted for a solid month after they were planted. The peppers just sit there. The various squashes and cucumbers are still mostly in the seedling stage. There haven't been but a few days that have been over 80 degrees. We have no hot.

They better be growing nice big root systems. It's almost July. There is no time to waste.

I'm not sure it matters though. I have left so much unharvested. There just doesn't seem to be enough time. I have weeds to pull, damn Clematis virginiana, I will be rid of you one day, and too much work kind work. The roadside vegetable garden is not getting much attention this year.

I have seen the first baby tomatoes and the pole beans are vining. I saw two box turtles down in the sunny utility meadow in a most awkward position. The strawberry crop was certainly good enough for making babies.

I should probably schedule in a set harvesting day and time. Harvest. No weeding. This is real food that shouldn't go to waste.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

A Parting Sight

Sky blue chicory as I leave for work in the morning light. It is closed for the day by the time I return home.

Last year's discard liatris from Lowes are getting ready to bloom.  I am hoping they will be generous self sowers.

A garden of wild flowers is beginning to show signs of some organization around the edges. All I have to do is keep editing/weeding.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Steps From The Front Porch

Is a Thermopsis caroliniana aka Thermopsis villosa.

I sowed a full tray of seeds this week that were saved from last year. I will be needing more of this Carolina Lupine. I hope they germinate. I'll grow them out for planting in the fall.

Then this year's seed crop can be sown directly into the sunny utility meadow.