Monday, November 20, 2006

Garden for sale?

Someone keeps calling me and asking if the house with the vegetable garden is for sale. They are very bold and tell me to call them back with a price.
The house is obviously NOT for sale. There is clearly activity going on over there. Gardening materials, a yard full of mulches, beds with plants in them, plants in the's driving me crazy.
I find it incredibly rude and abrasive that someone thinks they could call me (and how they got the number?) and I would just toss out some number that my home was worth. This has been going on for months. I have also noticed the previous owners driving by a lot, and they live nowhere near here now. So it makes me think they want the house back, after all we've done it it. And I tell you, it's a MAJOR improvement inside and out. And I'm not selling it. No way, no how.
Slowly that yard is being transformed into a garden.
When the weather was a tad warmer I had been working on this:

Believe it or not, people actually thought it was a great idea to put HUGE thick layers of broken concrete slab just under the grass surface. I think they were attempting to stop errosion, but of course that didn't work because water couldn't perculate through the soil. SLOWLY, I am digging up the darned huge hunks of cement, cleaning them and turning them on their side as raised bed gardens. For now I am just throwing OODLES of leaves and compost underneath pinestraw. In our heat and periods of rain, this breaks down quickly and can be dug into the native soil which is red clay. The trick is to get all the invasive plant material out before I can accomplish this. Monkey grass, weeds, vines with tap roots, and of course the yucca that refuses to die (at least I've slowed most of it down. I swear I had to dig to China to do this!!). Notice that we are slowly EATING UP THE GRASS WITH GARDEN :)
In front of this narrow "border" (imagine no fence, the border goes right out to the sidewalk) will be a walkway. It's hard to put much more garden area in around here because there is a rather annoying maple tree in the middle of the front yard. It's not a beautiful tree, however it's a tree so it stays. Of course it's shallow roots make it hard to garden around, and simply not a good idea to "smother".

There has also been tree and rose liberation. This tree, which isn't my favorite tree to begin with, took a total of 2 years...TWO YEARS of digging out weeds, monkey grass, orange ditchlilies, ivy, nasty privit bushes along with massive amounts of this terrible spined vine and poison, trash. It was mean to the tree, which isn't in the best of health. About a week ago I finally got the job finished and then mulched well. Normally I wouldn't mulch around a tree like this, but this tree had always had it's roots covered up, and so it needed protection. The rose was in a trash pit of some sort. It took me the 2 years to remove the trash which had become a rat and snake infested scary mess, and fill the pit with sand and clay and let that all settle. Again, weedy trees, vines, monkeygrass and orange ditchlilies were strangling the now beloved "K-Mart" rose. I have no idea what this rose is but it smells fantastic and it is always in bloom. It can be leafless in July and August and still be covered with flowers!

Do you see the boarded up home? Soon it will be inhabited with some very nice people! They are very into getting the privit and tree weed "hedge" out and replacing it with something evergreen and easy. And hey, they would prefer it be planted on my side! Oh...can you say CAMELLIAS FIT THE BILL, at least in the front yard area. The back will eventually be set aside for native plants. I already have many buckeye seeds in pots waiting to jump to life in the spring. Bottlebrush, red and painted buckeyes.

Please be kind to your yard and landscape. Keep it healthy, make it happy. Care for it as you would care for anything in God's creation. I believe that we are only stewards of this earth, that when we buy a piece of property we are really buying a share of stewardship that we are to maintain.

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