Monday, May 07, 2012

Gardening all weekend

The weather was absolutely gorgeous this past weekend: highs of about 18C or so with a light wind and sunny with only wispy clouds in the sky. It was the perfect weather to be outside working in the yard so that's what we did.

I spent quite a bit of time pulling out weeds. There seem to be an infinite number in the yard: I can think that I've finished a particular area only to discover more and more weeds. I'm not even pulling out all of the weeds because there are so many! The low-to-the-ground weeds with pretty, small flowers are staying until I've got all of the dandelions and thistles and others (I don't know their names) out.

I also spent some time dealing with that damn vetch. I'm not sure it's an actual vetch plant - it's most likely Everlasting Pea, which isn't technically vetch - but it's certainly invasive, just like vetch, so I just call it "that damn vetch". Whatever it's called, I trimmed it back and trimmed the roots of the bigger plant so that it (hopefully) wouldn't grow more up than out. I tried to pull out the smaller plant by trimming it right down and digging out its root. I was only able to dig about five inches down where the plant's taproot was still a full inch in diameter. I cut it off there and I hope that it won't grow back. We'll see.

In addition to all that weeding, we finally planted all the plants that Ian's mom gave us. There were a ton of them and we used them to fill in the beds where the previous owner had put annuals. We started by putting a few of the hostas in the bed that's just in front of our front porch after reshaping that bed a bit. It looks like it was originally a corner bed which was then extended the length of the porch. Ian pulled out the stones defining the previous corner bed and used them to make a short retaining wall thingy. Between that change and the added hostas, our front yard looks so much better than it did before.

In the backyard we planted all the different plants where we thought they'd thrive and look good. If it turns out that they don't look as good as we think they will then we'll move them next year. We did realize that we missed one spot that we had wanted to fill in at the top of the waterfall. It gets full sun all day long and there's a hosta up there that just doesn't thrive. Hostas are shade plants, after all, and there's no shade up there. Next spring (or this fall) we'll divide one of our tall sedum plants that has grown quite large and put a clump at the top of the waterfall; it'll go nicely with the large lupin and small bush that are already there.

Speaking of lupins, one of mine has aphids. Sigh. I spent some time killing as many as possible but I suspect that it'll be a losing battle. I love lupins, I do, but I really don't love the aphids that feed on them. They deform the plant's stem, leaves, and flowers, and make it ugly. And once they've overrun one plant they head straight for another one. Hopefully the aphids will stay confined to the one plant and won't be as bad as they were last year. If the aphids take over again I'll have to get rid of those beautiful lupins.

After all that work in the yard and a couple of long Gozer walks, I was (and still am) physically tired but quite content. I love puttering around the yard when it's warm - but not too warm - and sunny. I can hardly wait to see how much better our backyard will look with all these additional plants.

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