Saturday, April 24, 2010

Goodbye Ugliest Bush in the World

I can completely understand how it happened.  It had to have been the lure of the amazing catalog picture.  Looking at this flower up close, I really can't blame the old owners of our house for planting this bush.  I imagine they had visions of orange spring loveliness when they saw its close up.  It had to have been that.  No sighted person would ever buy this thing once they saw a long shot of it.

My mission today was to purge the yard of this Japanese Beetle attracting, blob of sticks topped with orange.  It would be a dicey mission.  Rain was forecast for the entire day.  It came only once, for about twenty minutes.  Just enough to make lots of slippery clay and gunky soil.  Otherwise the air was just thick with humidity, like a rain forest only way cooler.  About sixty degrees.

It took an hour to reduce the Ugly to this.  During removal, I discovered that Ugly had yet another charming aspect to its personality, very sharp thorns.  These thorns easily pierced my gloves and made chopping Ugly down difficult, since the thorns of each cut branch would grab the other leaves and branches and dare you to yank hard, lest you whack yourself in the face with the branch.  Ugly gifted me with small flesh wound.

It took an additional two hours to remove the base of the Ugly.  The former brilliant owners that bought this hideous beast made real sure that it would be hard to get rid of.  They mulched around it with lava rock.  Lava rock gradually sinks into the soil over time.  Clay soil studded with lava rock cannot be dug in at all.  You have to scrape it, bit by horrid bit.  

At this point I took a break from the patch above.  There was so much work to do in it and I was so far behind what I had hoped to get done today that I walked away from it.  I was secretly hoping for another downpour so that I could go inside and snuggle up with a book to purge my brain of the Ugly adventure.  No such luck though.  Instead, in my wanderings around the yard, my eyes fell on the tomatoes in the frame.  I decided today was the day for the first five to hit go into the ground.  I put in Gajo De Melon, Chocolate Stripes,  Crnkovic Yugoslavian, Amerikansky Sladkiy and San Marzano (Pagano seed).  They went in without incident.  Recharged I decided to get in another rain barrel near the Ugly spot and to start cleaning up the bed.
I quit around 5pm.  I did not finish, not even close.  Work got broken up when I had to run to Home Depot to get parts for the overflow thing for the rain barrel.  It took forever.  The guy that was helping me pick parts will probably drink tonight.  I don't think he appreciated me repeatedly telling him that what he suggest was unacceptable because it would look cheesy.  Heh. 

I like the way this rain barrel came out though.  The little hosta that I planted in front of it was rescued from under the rubarb to the left.  The tiny green spikes in front of the boulder are leeks.  The mulch is grayish because it was molded in the bag.  I will look OK once the sun hits it and as yuck as it is, its still way better than the Ugly bush.  : )


Tatyana@MySecretGarden said...

You worked hard! Reading about Ugly, I started to think that I made a mistake yesterday. I took a huge clump of unknown plant from my friend; it needs to be divided. I think I can spend as much time doing that as you spent with Ugly.
As for tomatoes, you got some good ones! Amerikansky Sladkiy means American Sweet in Russian. I am trying Gajo De Melon for the first time this year. Good luck! BTW, the rain barrel looks good!

Stacy said...

Oh no! Beware massive amounts of unidentified giveaway plants. That's how my mom gets rid of her ugly daylilies! : P

I'm glad to hear Amerikansky Sladkiy is tasty. So far as a seedling has been ahead of many of the other plants for growth. GDM is new for me this year too. Fingers crossed it grows great for both of us!