06 October 2010

Garden Woes

I have been in the midst of my biggest garden project since I purchased my house.  Sadly, the soil in Raleigh is all red clay, which isn't the best for growing much of anything.  Two weekends ago, I set to renovating my entire front flower bed.  It's not huge, but it's big enough to make me wish I still had that initial gusto.

As the bearded giant and my mother can attest to, I go whole hog with these gardening projects.  I can't do ANYTHING half-way.  I started the project on Saturday, September 25.  Wielding my grandfather's wooden handled garden tools, I started digging.  I dug up nearly the entire bed in order to remove the rocks, mix in soil conditioner and compost and then actually plant some stuff.  The clay was so hard that I could hardly make any progress digging down as far as I wanted to, or even just getting it out of the bed.  With the giant's help, I managed to get the process started.  Mulch on one tarp and clay soil on one tarp, I started picking out rocks by hand.  Well, it's not much of a surprise that when darkness fell on Saturday, I wasn't too far along.  Sunday, I spent the day plugging along until just after lunchtime when the heavens opened and unleashed buckets, nay, barrels full of water.

It rained Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Thursday.  When Saturday, October 2nd rolled around, I had to bail out the void that was formerly known as my flower bed.  It's a foot deep...and at least 6' wide.  It took six mop buckets full of water before it was empty.  After that, I commenced de-rocking, mixing new soil and, finally, planting.  I planted some of my anemones, fritillaria, naked ladies (a type of amaryllis) and surprise lillies.  I also got a newly purchased dwarf fountain grass planted as well.

I'm not yet done with any part of the process.  I still have a coreopsis, and more bulbs to plant in the front...  And then there's the back.  I've got 2 dendranthemums (perennial mum), some loiropes, some creepers for around the pathway in my backyard AND some hardy asters.

Jeez.  What did I get myself in to?

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