Sunday, January 31, 2010 – gotta write that down since it was one of my most favorite days in the garden EVER!
Well, being a full moon weekend and all, I was a bit in a quandary over what exactly I would do in the garden today. It’s still too chilly to start planting stuff, which is what I usually do up to the full moon. There will be absolutely no trimming or pruning until the moon begins to wane again and I’m sure there’s no such thing as limbo in the plant world, so I just headed out the door and figured I’d let the garden tell me what it wanted. Apparently, I haven’t been keeping up my end of the bargain out there lately because the moment my feet hit the dirt all I could hear from every corner was ME! ME! ME! Here’s what ended up getting my attention:
An old https://paminthegarden.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post-new.phpcardboard file box was set up in a hidden corner for composting grass and weeds that get pulled over the next couple weeks. Since I live in the ‘burbs, I don’t compost food and smelly things outside, only leaves and grass. I do have an electric composter that does foods and proteins and it sits in my garage making beautiful organic goodies for my plants. I moved a whole lot of dirt from where I set up the compost box to a spot that didn’t have a lot of dirt left from the rain and pulled weeds to clear a bed for herbs over in this same corner of the yard. In fact, I ended up pulling a LOT of weeds and clearing up quite a bit of space for planting in spring.
This earth-moving took a while but I didn’t mind too much because at the exact moment I was ready for a break, Tom called me in for breakfast which turned out to be steak and eggs and a big fat mimosa, which he kept pretty topped-off for me. 🙂
Energized from the re-fuel, I headed back out to look around. The poor yarrow caught my attention first. It has been in a spot that gets too much shade too much of the year. After being in this house a few years I finally know where the sun is headed for each season. I have a damp foggy shade on most of my beds until mid-summer, so I’m starting to move stuff around that needs more sun per year. The yarrow came right up and it was so straggly that I split it into five pieces. The biggest piece went into the ground in a year-round sunny spot and the little pieces went into temporary pots in the ‘nursery’.
Remember, when dividing perennials or trying to grow plants from cuttings, leave a pretty equal amount of roots and foliage. You need the foliage to catch sun to feed the plants and you need the roots to capture minerals and water from the soil. If you don’t take this into consideration when chopping stuff up you could unnecessarily exhaust one end or the other while the plant tries to stabilize and grow. Also, I usually use a stimulant designed for transplanting just to give the little guys a boost while they’re fragile. We all need tender care when we’ve been rudely uprooted from our safe place.
The same treatment went to three plumeria that have been withering in the shade. My father-in-law taught me how to propagate plumeria- chop off a piece and stick it in a pot of dirt, severed part down – amen. Apparently I didn’t listen to the rest of the speech which was probably “needs lots of sun, it’s a tropical plant dumb-ass!” Maybe I’ll actually get a bloom out of them this summer.
I put fresh straw under the strawberries. (makes sense doesn’t it?)
Uncovered many wondrous hidden treasures:
Rescued some earthworms from a certain and slow death on the concrete:
Admired the beauty of green moss on one of my favorite statues (thank you Inky – I still have it!):
and finally, it got cloudy and chilly and I knew I would be tired so I went in, much like a petulant child who doesn’t want to come in from playing. Besides, I had to see what Tom had been cooking all day, making whisk noises that echoed through the garden. Turns out it was a lemon dessert with lemons picked off the tree that morning, which made a perfect ending to a pretty damned awesome Sunday spent playing in the dirt and flirting with my husband.