Wednesday, April 1, 2020

What needs doing

Although I've theoretically had more free time since our shelter-at-home order went into effect on March 20th, hunting down supplies, touching base with friends and family, and a project I felt committed to move along have kept me from doing much more in the garden than watering and deadheading.  I'm now looking forward to tackling the garden projects that need doing.  I conducted an inventory of sorts with my camera yesterday, starting with the projects at the top of my personal priority list.

There are 3 'Bright Star' Yuccas in this photo.  Did you notice the small one between the 2 larger plants?  All of these were planted at the same time and started out the same size.  I'm assuming that the growth of the one in the middle has been stunted by root competition.  It's also being overrun by surrounding plants.  I've been planning to dig it up and move it.

I've even got the perfect spot to put it, relatively close to the larger two plants.  It means moving these bearded Iris.  They didn't bloom last year and they're not looking very promising this year either.  They want more water I think.

This border in my back garden has needed fleshing out since I removed a cluster of woody Santolina.  Although I added a few plants (Astelia, Lupinus, and Scleranthus) before the pandemic got serious, this spot needs more.  I'm thinking of mail ordering a few annuals to serve as a temporary filler until I can shop in person for something more permanent.

One of the front garden borders was torn up when the discovery of a corroded gas line during our remodel required digging a large trench along 2 stretches of the house's foundation last year.  As the stepping stones introduced in this area by a prior owner are no longer needed, my plan is to remove them and replant.  I'll need more planting mix - and plants - to achieve what I'd like here but my local garden center, not open for normal shopping, has advertised online orders and deliveries so I'll be looking into that.


So those were my top priorities.  However, the day before yesterday my husband started one of the projects on his list.  It's a project that benefits me, a new compost bin to replace the compost tumbler that had literally disintegrated over time, discarded during last year's home remodel.  While I'm very appreciative, the issue is that the compost bin is slated to go next to my garden workbench.

And that spot is currently occupied by a pile of cement pavers removed from the back patio when our kitchen was extended.  They have to be moved and my husband wants to store them behind the garage, already occupied with other stuff.


My husband started to move the stone we'd saved when our indoor barbeque was demolished last year so he could put the pavers behind the garage for the time being.  That meant finding new homes for the stone, which isn't something I'd made much progress doing.

I'd laid several of the flatter stones in a muddy spot along this path with the intent of digging them into place but I hadn't gotten to that yet.  My husband decided to extend my little patch of stone (without prior discussion).

The problem with that is that it covers a nice mossy stretch of path, which I'd prefer not to do.  So now I need to find someplace else to move all the small flat stones he'd added.

Some of the larger stones will go into the moderate front slope to allow a degree of terracing.  I have to clean up and clear out some plants, including the poorly performing roses and a mass of horrid asparagus fern before we take that plan too far.

Some stone will go on the back slope too but first I need to clean out another mass of Centranthus seedlings that have spilled into the pathway here


The tasks related to shifting the stone now have priority over my original plans, although I'm still hoping to work in a few mail orders for new plants along the way.  My inventory of what needs doing yesterday also reminded me that I have other no-fun tasks I need to tackle sooner rather than later.

For some reason, Stipa tenuissima (Mexican feather grass) seedlings exploded in the areas between the stone pavers in my south side garden this Spring.  They're much more difficult to pull than the seedlings that pop up in open areas!

The Centaurea 'Silver Feathers' I planted at the base of our mimosa tree last year after digging out a large area of rampant asparagus fern has grown beyond its expected size, blocking the path.  I plan to pull out at least half of it but, as it's already producing bloom stalks, I may hold off a little while yet.

And then there's the gopher problem...I pushed dryer sheets into its burrow (visible on the right below the Aeonium arboreum) and I've seen no further activity but I've no idea if he moved out, or simply moved elsewhere.


I hope you're finding ways to stay productive in some capacity during this most unusual of times.  And I hope at least some your projects are fun!  Take care all!


All material © 2012-2020 by Kris Peterson for Late to the Garden Party


18 comments:

  1. (I'd also move if there were dryer sheets in my home - not for me)

    Your Centaurea will grow very well from cuttings.

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    1. My fear is that Mr Gopher has just moved to another spot in my garden rather than one of those nice empty hiking trails nearby, currently closed due to lockdown concerns. I know I should get a trap but I hate killing anything.

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  2. So many projects chained together I bet makes it hard to know where to start. Is having your 'helper' home getting on your nerves? Mine is - haha! ;)

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    1. My "helper" has been home more often than not since he retired. It's me that's not used to be tied so closely to the homestead, Eliza!

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  3. Wow,that is some to do list you have going. Wears me out just reading it. To put rocks on your moss path!!!! A big no no, naughty boy. I covet the stones you have in that muddy path. I wish I had a stack of them. I even like those stacked stones. You will have some fun with those no doubt. The rabbits ate my yuccas again this winter. I am going to have to remember to fence them in next winter if they recover that is. Don't over do...

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    1. I DO wish he'd consulted me before he jumped on moving the rock to that path, Lisa, but he was only trying to help - and his purpose is to build me compost bins so I didn't make a big issue of it. However, he saw the look on my face when he told me what he done so, even before I told him later that I planned on moving them, he was't surprised. I'll move the small ones myself and get his help relocating the bigger ones.

      I'm surprised the rabbits go after Yuccas. They bite back!

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  4. How is the mimosa tree doing this year?

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    1. No sign of leaves yet, Barbara, but that's not odd, especially as our winter and early spring has generally been cooler than usual. I noticed I have ivy climbing up the tree's trunk I need to remove soon too.

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  5. Exciting times! You are amazing! I have so many ideas for new projects, but I so often seem to fill up my time with simple maintenance.

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    1. It's easy to get distracted in the garden by any new issue that pops up. Or so I tell myself every time I go out to do one thing and end up doing 3 others instead.

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  6. I envy your organization ability. You know exactly what to do and are prepared to do it. No wonder your garden looks so good.

    One thing I learned about TB Iris is they need fertilizer to do well.

    Here the slopes desperately need mulching, and some succulent clumps (massive ones) need re-doing. A short list, but both are big projects that require two arms/hands at full strength.

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    1. As I forgot perhaps the #1 item that should have been on my list, planting bulbs and dahlia tubers I've received in the past couple of weeks, I may not be so well organized after all, HB!

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  7. Looks as if you have lots of outdoor projects to keep you busy. It's nice that your weather allows you to work as often as you'd like. And, you have a helper - of sorts.
    Here, we're still waiting for gardening weather. I'm getting antsy to plant my seedlings out, but those warm enough days are still weeks away.

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    1. My "helper" is great, even though he doesn't always make the judgments I would when he chooses to surprise me. We discussed other options for placing the stone and he's already moved a lot of it. I hope you get your warm-up soon, Cindy!

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  8. Good lord...you've got a lot to keep you busy! I'm hoping our weather improves soon as I've got a lot to keep me busy outdoors, I just don't want to brave cold temperatures and rain to do it.

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    1. And here we're still hoping for a bit more rain! The current forecast is showing an increasing chance of that late Sunday into Monday.

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  9. Sempre bellissimo venire a trovarti! Quel vialetto in pietra è proprio nel mio stile, mi piace davvero molto! Complimenti!

    Ti auguro una buona giornata :)

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