After the monsoon rains of the past few months, I took a breather last week and took a walk through my garden in one of the moments of fleeting sunshine. As I walked around the yard, I discovered that there was no longer a garden or what could be defined as a garden. It was a mass of vegetation, with the Lamium vines winning the jungle war to take over the shade areas and the Poa annua veritably skipping through every open gravel area and bed that it could find in the sun. I wonder how it got this way; no, I know how it got this way. Eight months of solid rain and cold weather kept this gardener inside and unaware that the garden was disappearing under a blanket of weeds.
Weeding gardens after cold wet springs is like raising teenagers; you pick your battles and go for the areas that promise best results over the long run. The berry rows can wait; for now cover the weeds with black ground cloth to smother them. And the ivy growing up the fir tree can wait till late summer; the best way to get rid of ivy is to cut it at the base of the tree (Use loppers or a small hand saw to sever the trunk of the ivy). After a few months the ivy will die and release its hold on the tree bark.
Today I go for the vegetable garden; time to weed around those struggling peas, put out slug bait and add some compost tea. Then it’s time to plant the squash and basil seeds. I’ve found over the years that basil planted from seed starts slower than transplanting basil plants, but soon catches up and produces more leaves for pesto per row.
This weekend is shade garden weekend. Time to get rid of the silver vein creeper and find my Rodgersia and hostas buried in the mess. Loosening up the roots with a shovel works best, slowing pulling the ivy out of the bed. This time I will remember to apply some fir mulch to deter the baby plants from regrowing and creating a jungle again. Shade garden additions this year will include some white astilbes for slug and deer resistant summer blooms.
Next week I think I’ll find my arbor; I know it’s under that tangle of rose branches somewhere. Or is that the wisteria sneaking over from the other bed? Oh well, the best part is that I’m finally soaking up some Vitamin D and working on my gardener’s tan.