Sunday, May 31, 2009

Dirty Little Secrets


Recently, I've shared some pictures of some nice clean beds. Today, you get the dirty little secrets. Behold, the berm bed. I've done nothing to improve it this spring, mostly because there is so much to do, I'm overwhelmed. What you are viewing in this picture are multiple landscape roses drowning under ornamental oregano. You might also identify Jack Frost going to seed and getting lost under all the seedheads, and weeds, lots and lots weeds, Those white specks on the dull and not fresh looking mulch? Gazillion , gabillion maple propellars. That pot stuck around the clematis? A failed idea for a plant support.

On closer examination, the far end of the berm shows just how bad it is. After a bit of weed removal to find a place to plant some cukes, there are still weeds everywhere. They are so big and bad that I had to plant big poofy marigolds next to the cucumber seedlings so that I would be able to find the cukes again.

Sadly, the berm bed isn't the only dirty little secret that I haven't dealt with yet. There are the ant mounds. These are not small. Of course the fact that they are surrounded by grass infested with creeping charlie and various tree seedlings makes it that much worse.
I avoid spraying in my yard. That means this blob of creeping charlie (aka devil weed) gets hand removed. Ant's hate it when you pluck their landscaping. Angry ants hurt. I haven't yet decided how to deal with this mound organically. Meanwhile the creeping charilie keeps expanding.

Pretty lupines no? Look closer. Can you see the dandelion that is two feet high and easily 18 inches across. I wish I could say it was a freakish anonomoly in this bed. It's not. It has friends. How exactly does one kill dandelions with roots like Flakey carrots, organically anyway? Hey is that Endless Summer hydragnea gasping for light next to the lupines? I thought it was dead!

Ah the shade bed. At least I got the pavers down right? Alas, I can't take credit for them. My son put them down. He's eight. I paid him. My husband says I robbed him. I have no shame.
That's the backyard. The sins continue into the side yards and the front yard but I won't overload you type A's with too much ugly in one day.
I wish I could tell you I spent the weekend in the yard fixing some of this, but I didn't. The last DLS I'm sharing is the fact that I spent the weekend, stalking nurseries for cool plants, playing baseball in the yard with the kiddoes, digging up and amending a patch of soil to make it more toad friendly and hanging on the patio with mint mojito tea and a fine Gardening magazine. I did no real work in the garden whatsoever. I'm not mortified to share this. I'm relaxed. Sometimes it's good to be bad. :)



15 comments:

The Impatient Gardener said...

Oh hell, sometimes you have to just say "screw the weeds" and have a mojito and hang out. Oh and I have all sorts of atrocities like that bed, I just try not to capture them in photos!

Heather said...

I really like the honesty. I never show the pics of my problem areas, maybe now I will. I think it really is probably how most people feel about at least one area in their gardens. I have many but I hide them. Now you have the before, maybe you will be motivated to show the after.

Stacy said...

Thanks Heather. I'm a huge fan of before and after shots. They inspire. Hopefully I'll eventually have some for some of these areas!

Heather said...

I LOVE THIS IDEA! I love it that you put your son to work. Now that my eldest is almost 14, he is my hole digger (with 5 gallons or more). Mine doesn't even get paid. I just tell him he's so fast at it, and really good (and I'm not lying...it takes him a minute while it takes me 10).

My mulch has kept most of my weeds down, but I did have a million and one small elm trees growing in my gardens earlier. I don't think the camera would have caught them in all of their glory.

I'm also a fan of before and after shots...or taking shots of a garden on year one, year two and then year three.

So glad you rested. With the size of your land, you deserve it! Happy first week of June!

spotofgardening said...

I'm glad I'm not the only one to post before pictures. I think it's a great motivator to doing something to those spots that need a little lovin' LOL. Looking forward to the after pictures, too.

jezibels said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
jezibels said...

Like my Mom always says "go out and have fun the weeds will always be there"

Helen said...

We all have dirty little secrets. It was fun to read yours. Now I have this inexplicable craving for mojitos.

Stacy said...

Oh Heather I can't wait until my guy gets to be hole digging size! My problem with my mulch is that it is too old to stop weeds anymore. It was on last year's list but got bumped for numerous renovation emergencies. :P

Jez, After today they should pull right out too. Who knew the midwest could have typhoons!

Helen, IMO mojitos are the perfect way to celebrate the start of June!

Stacy said...

Spotofgardening, I love before and after pictures. They are great motivators. Just when you think no one could possibly have a bigger nightmare than you to deal with, you see a massive mess of before and a wonderful after and suddenly your disaster doesn't look quite so epic. : )

Carolyn said...

Thanks for sharing your dirty little secret! We all have those parts of our gardens that we never photograph or blog about. Mojito tea sounds delicious! Glad you took some time to relax!

Heather said...

With the mulch came plenty of places for slugs to multiply. I think I'd take the weeds. I took some pics of my holey foliage on my Alcea to share my misery. Instead of a "dirty little secret" blog, I thought of a "Oopsies in the garden" blog. Please come by...misery loves company! :)

Stacy said...

I loved your entry Heather, especially the daylily fiasco. It was like deja vu!

Thanks Carolyn, it was just what the doc ordered.

Ellie Mae's Cottage said...

I just came across your blog. I'll definitely return. I really like it! Love the hosta post. Your problem areas look good to me. Mine are much worse. I've got a few eye sores I don't even want to look at let alone take pictures of, but I think I will now - maybe it will inspire hubby and I to fix them instead of ignoring them. -Jackie

Stacy said...

Thanks Jackie, I enjoy your blog as well.
One of the benefits of my bad camera and bad photography is that it kind of blurs all the ugly together. ; )
Stacy