Friday, November 2, 2007

I'm Posting in the Middle of the Day!

(and I'm awarding myself a miniature rose for having met my goal!)
Wow! I needed a break! It feels good to sit down, but it feels better knowing that I've done what I set out to do this week. (Quite soon, I'll put away the remaining chairs, tables and pots.)

Yesterday, I had only 45 minutes to work outdoors, so I made one trip to the backyard with a barrow full of mulch and my pitchfork. Rather disappointing, but that's often the way it goes.

Today has been a different story! No meetings, appointments, duties (just a couple of errands to run later), no specific demands upon my time... what a wonderful feeling! So, after a breakfast smoothie, I stepped outdoors to see what I could see and do what I could do.

The air was chilly and crisp as I donned my jacket, hat and gloves. My first destination was a large hosta bed in the backyard.

Plan One
After making a quick assessment of the situation at hand, I decided to clear one section of the bed at a time. So, with that plan in mind, I headed back to the garage in search of a small plastic shrub rake and a larger leaf rake. I didn't get a "before" photo, but this is what this particular section looked like after nestling plants in a bed of mulch (and after making several trips with the wheelbarrow). They sure look cozy......but it didn't take long to remember that one pickup load of mulch doesn't go very far. And, there were WAY too many areas needing attention to be working so thoroughly.

Plan Two
"Selective Bedding Method"

Only the leaves that were surrounding the plants would be cleared and replaced with mulch. And that's how I finished the job.

The first photo "rounds the corner"and is part of the section I'd raked entirely. The rest of the photo shows the Selective Bedding Method. The center photo is part of a narrow flower bed on the east side of a little walkway that leads to the shed, and the photo on the right is taken from the center of the bed looking towards the south edge of the house. Still very cozy, a much more effective use of the mulch, and a much more conservative use of my time and energy(!).

This is a photo of one of my favorite little plants in the yard.
Her leaves are very "flowerful."
Little Heronswood Mist Tiarella

This bed has been (and continues to be) "in progress"
for quite some time. The hosta in back is "Sagae."
The one in the forefront is "On Stage."
The last of this post deals with whether I'm really in possession of all my marbles. In other words, am I SANE? As you gaze upon these final three photos, can you Really Tell anything was done out there at all? Especially after I "repositioned" all the leaves (used my rake to throw them in the air and land on everything in the beds again).

Maybe no one else knows, but WE know I did a good thing! You, the plants, and I. And now that I look outdoors, it's less shady and more overcast. Perhaps I'd better again make my way outdoors to put away everything that needs a winter home.


2greenthumbsup said...

Hi shady gardener,

I read your comment on Mr.Brown Thumb's post about lawn being a four-letter word. Curiosity got the best of me and I followed you here. Haven't had enough time to dig too deeply, but I've enjoyed what I've seen on your blog so far.

My vote went to Spring. Can't wait to see the new growth shooting up again through the dead brown leaves.

I too have some shade to work with - not as much as at my previous home, but shade none the less. Have you considered a ground cover for the areas where the grass doesn't want to grow? One of my fav's is Myrtle (Periwinkle)-glossy dark green leaves and lovely purple flowers.

Looking forward to seeing more of your blog!


Bob said...

Bu your last few post you look like you have been very in the garden. I hope you are taking a little time for yourself.
That tiarella is a beauty! A great complement with the hostas.

Shady Gardener said...

It is very hard for me to pick a season, but Spring for sure... and the Fall beauty for sure! ;-)

I'll check out periwinkle.

Thanks! Today I'm baking! :-)

IBOY said...

You're my hero; a disciplined gardener who doesn't overplant all the beds... I'd already have about three times that many plants crowded in there, and pop in a couple of shrubs for good measure, then wonder where my tiarella went to.

Shady Gardener said...

You are too funny. You are MY hero! :-)
Anyway, it's probably been just a time and $ thing (how much can I justify spending at one time), right now. I keep dragging plants home, every chance I get. It's just that I've had so much area in which to plant... and that the beds continue to "grow," as well! And I'm doing the landscaping myself, unless, of course, I can hire my neighbor boys to help! ha.

(My husband has a prairie and woodlands elsewhere that takes his efforts.)