You know how sometimes you get to the end of the day and you just hurt all over? Your eyes are tired from staring at the screen, your hands are worn out from typing. Your shoulders hurt, your back hurts. And you can’t figure out what you accomplished, other than putting in your time at work?
On the other hand, this week I spent about 4 hours every morning working out in the garden. I came in at lunch time so tired I could barely put one foot in front of the other. It was all I could do to peel off my grimy gardening clothes and get in the shower.
Once I was cleaned up and fed, I could look out any window on the back of my house and see what I had accomplished.
Remember the old grass garden that needed refreshing and redoing? It took several passes but I am done! Step one was putting the stones at the front. That allowed me to raise the level of the soil and decrease the slope.
Step two was taking all the pieces of slate that used to run along the side of the path and arrange them about halfway back. I was able to raise the soil level behind them to create a more level space in the next area. Don’t get me wrong. None of this is flat and never will be, but we now have a gentle slope and some physical barriers to deter runoff.
The front section has one of my all time favorites – silver mound artemisia. It not only looks cool and elegant in the garden, but it feels so sensual and silky. A purple scabiosa is between the two artemisias. Why would anyone name such a cute little plant such a disgusting thing? Pincushion plant is much nicer and so appropriate for a quilter, don’t you think?
Next is some short lavender and sweet thyme, followed by a taller lavender on the other end paired with sage and veronica.
Behind the rocks are the only annuals – a row of white wave petunias that should cascade down over the slate wall. I am not allowed to cascade onto any area where the grass will be mowed or there would be more of this happening throughout the garden. Behind the petunias are an assortment of phlox.
Most of these perennials will bloom throughout the season. I am a greedy gardener and like to see lots of flowers.
The second major project was to create a space where I could grow beans and tomatoes. This area was previously in the shade and was filled with hosta plants. I moved them so they are nestled behind a large ornamental grass. You can see them through the bean netting.
The netting is strung on three poles arranged like two sides of a square. This allows them to shade the hosta and still leave us a path along the back of the garden. The grass you see in the far distance is on the left hand side of the new terraced garden shown above. The taller grass on the left is on the front right hand corner of that garden.
These two new garden areas meant digging up lots of roots and rocks. It also meant carrying literally dozens of buckets of compost. As a special added attraction, I got to flip over two of my little cow pies so I could get to the most usable part at the bottom. This is the kind of work that uses all your muscles and which I wouldn’t do for money. Funny what we will do for love, isn’t it? Like changing diapers but more tiring. But it is a good kind of tired.
That’s helleborus blooming in front and painted fern to the left, in case you are keeping track. The helleborus makes me smile because a friend gave it to me from her garden. Those are the best kinds of plants, aren’t they?
P.S. You might already know about www.perennials.com but I found it by accident as I was checking my spelling of plant names. What a terrific resource!