Saturday, March 05, 2005

Cloudy Can Be Sunny, Sometimes

It has remained overcast and around 60° all day today...which is just about perfect for planting stuff.

And plant I did, now that several of the backyard beds are cleared of debris. I put two of my three Devil's Tongue (dracunculus vulgaris) bulbs -- already sending out a large cone on top and lots of roots below -- and a Lilac "Sensation" (Syringa vulgaris 'Sensation' ) by the driveway gate. Hopefully the nice scent of the lilac will cancel out the stench of the dracunculus, the latter of which many have compared to rotting flesh.

Maybe I should refer to this as The Vulgaris Bed, eh?

Apparently the Devil's Tongue only smells bad for a day or two. This is a new plant for me, and while I think the look of it is totally cool (and not a little erotic), I don't want anything that smells like rotting flesh right by my back door, thank you very much, although my two doggies would probably like to put it to a vote.

I also put my little cauliflower and broccoli seedlings into the ground. The soil in that bed is just fabulous, although I think I'll have a problem with Bermuda grass later on during the summer. There are earthworms everywhere...surprising since the previous owners had Chemlawn out on a regular basis.

Got to visit a very sweet lady neighbor who lives directly behind us. She too is a gardener and has offered to divide and share stuff. "I have lots of Coral Bells," she said, "do you know what those are?" I didn't tell her I wrote a gardening column or sense coming off like a smarty-pants know-it-all...especially since I ain't one in the first place.

This lady (I can't for the life of me remember her name) has a serious orchid greenhouse too. Gorgeous vandas hanging everywhere. I need to ask her for some growing tips, for sure.

The rest of the afternoon was spent ripping out more landscape cloth from the long back flower bed that runs parallel to the swimming pool. I was afraid of yanking too hard on the cloth and tumbling into the frigid water, but luckily that didn't happen. Between staying dry and only chipping one fingernail, I think I did pretty well today.

If the rain holds off tomorrow, I'll tackle the rest of the landscape cloth and the wild strawberry growing in the patio bed. Ugh.


TK said...

So Chemlawn kills worms? That seems counterproductive.

And what is landscape cloth?

How's the bat-house doing?

Tamara said...

Certain synthetic fertilizers can indeed kill earthworms and other microorganisms in the soil. (And of the 34 most used lawn pesticides, 33 have not been fully tested for human health hazards!)
Landscape cloth comes in many forms, but the one throughout my yard is a thick, tough fibrous cloth that is literally nailed to the soil with large pins in a feeble attempt to block out weeds. Doesn't work.
Unfortunately, I haven't even mounted the bat house yet. We're getting a cap put on our chimney this week, though, so I'm going to ask the guy to nail the bat house to the chimney for me while he's up there.

TK said...

(I tried to post last week but Blogger was being wonky)

So the landscape cloth is like those plastic barriers you can lay down under mulch or chips? I seem to remember helping Dado with that back in Fox Chapel.

Great close-ups; how about some more overall garden shots so we can get a feel for the bigger picture? :-)