The Garden - Spring 2009

The first real sign of spring was when the grass, which had been a depressing yellow-brown all winter, finally started getting a nice green tinge to it.

Then, of course, it started GROWING (with the encouragement of a treatment from Scott's Lawn Care. And surprise, surprise - it turns out that Eric has never had a lawn before and doesn't mow, so guess who's job *that* turned out to be...

Thankfully, after mowing the yard ONE TIME with my old mower last year right after I moved in, which about killed me, Eric okayed the purchase of a self-propelled mower, which makes the job a LOT easier.

One thing that has amazed Eric is how fast everything grows in the spring here. The bare root grape vine that we planted not so long ago, is quite vigorous and branching out nicely. I'd say we briefly considered getting a "Wilson Wineries" sign for the gate, but it's a table grape, not a wine grape.

Another thing that has amazed even me, the Vitex tree that the nursery cut back to mere twigs to fit in my car, is now already as high as the wall and has put out a bunch of flowers.

The one area that could use some help -- the front yard. At first I thought it just wasn't getting watered properly, that certain areas weren't getting reached by the sprinklers. But I think just the opposite was happening.

One of the two live oak trees was no longer "live" and when it became apparent there was no saving it, we went ahead and got a new tree and set about digging up the old, dead one. We immediately realized why it had died -- it had drowned. The soil all around the rootball was solid clay and when we finally got the tree out, the hole was full of water and the rootball was completely sodden.

So, one afternoon over the Memorial Day weekend, in 90 degree temps, we started digging. We got rid of some of the clay and added some decent topsoil and dug it in. Then we planted the new tree and hopefull have given it enough room that it's not going to be sitting in water for days every time it rains.

I'm going to have to do something similar in the main front border too. Some of the bushes look okay, but some look a bit sickly and I can tell the ground is very clay-ey. I'm going to take it a bit at a time and add in humus and decent topsoil and cover with mulch. I won't do the whole thing at once, it's too big, but bit by bit, I'll get there.

In spite of the lousy soil, some brave plants are blooming.

This chrysanthemum was grown from the seeds of the mums I had growing in the front garden at my cottage!

We've also got daylilies and African lilies, but I think I'll wait until I have mulched and it looks nicer before taking photographs.

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