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. : )