Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The Dirt On My Garden

I recently did a post on my family blog about the "real" me. Following a trend in blogging where we seem to put our best foot forward, often presenting a false front of perfection to our blog readers, I thought such a topic would be applicable on the garden blog as well. Well, anyone who gardens knows, gardening ain't always pretty. In fact, it can be quite dirty, and downright messy. After a friend of mine asked to see the ugly side of the pretty pictures I am always posting, I ran right out, and had no trouble finding the DIRT.

We had a huge willow removed by the city this early spring... may have even been winter... a while ago. Remember that? Yeah, my husband still has these huge log pieces sitting in the driveway. Not neatly stacked or nuthin'. Just sitting there randomly, beside the crack garden. You know, the garden he's apparently growing in the crack between the driveway and the street (see bottom of the picture)? I also have about 30 hostas in a pile in front of our garage door. Anyone want some? I've been meaning to Craiglist them. I have already given plenty away, too.

See this mess below?
This is my black gold, or compost pile. This year I was too lazy to spread all of it over my flower beds. Theo tilled it for me several times, and instead of using it, I planted huge pumpkin plants in it. We'll see what I do if the pumpkins actually grow. I have only grown one tiny pumpkin successfully, ever, so the odds are not in my favor.
How about these badly damaged canna leaves? Japanese beetles are here, and they looooove cannas. I can't keep up with them when it comes to the cannas. They eat fast and deep.

The Japanese beetles are also eating the roses. They seem to love the David Austin rose "Brother Cadfael," the most. How heartbreaking is this?

Right about this time of year you will also find some of my less strong roses covered in diseases like black spot. I have a habit of going around picking up the yellow leaves, but that leaves the base of the roses bare and ugly, like this "Fragrant Cloud." I should add, not all roses look like this... just the weaker ones.

And my favorite ugly part of the garden? My yard waste bins. I have 4 of them full (not full to the top, but heavy to where they can still be moved) right now! Full with grass clippings and fallen branches and diseased rose foliage. I tend to put deadheaded perennial clippings into the dirt beside the plant, but those things I can't compost, for space or disease purposes, go in these bins.

All of this will be hauled back to the cities yard waste bin, but not before my husband lets them sit and stink up the yard for a while. The rain water has collected in there, and wow... the smell is terrible right now. My back will not allow me to do the hauling and dumping.
The last dirt on my garden? This blasted tree stump you see in the middle of our front yard. we found someone who will remove the stump and all roots for only $90, but we have not called him in yet. Makes sense that we would not put down new grass seed in the space until the stump is gone.
For now, we have a huge dead spot right in the center of the yard. Also, with the landscaping trim that has been in for years is very visible when the grass isn't growing there. I can't wait to have this all cleaned up!
Hope you enjoyed the my tour of the ugly aspects of the garden. I have to admit, the beauty of gardening is I have learned to embrace all the dirt. I love my yard waste bins, and my dead spot of grass. I love pulling weeds, and caring for my roses. I couldn't imagine gardening without them!
Happy gardening!

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