Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Brain Wrinkles and Random Thoughts

Well, I'm halfway through the Master Gardener training and it's been an absolutely kickass experience thusfar. Every week we learn so much interesting and cool stuff. It's really been fun, and everyone involved in the program is incredibly nice and encouraging.

Following each week's class, however, I find myself going home and getting mildly depressed at how much work my own personal landscape needs. The lectures we had on trees and other woody plants yesterday convinced me that I need to do some serious branch trimming this weekend. And we won't even talk about what the Turf Maintenance discussion did to my horticultural confidence.

To be fair, the weather has been truly awful here in N. Texas -- mid- to upper-90s every day -- and everybody's lawn looks pretty charred. We got about 10 drops of rain from Hurricane Rita. I've been running the sprinklers every three days, but certain patches of the yard just aren't getting enough water. So...I'll be hauling out the soaker hoses this weekend, I guess.

Other updates:

  • The SW front yard conversion has begun! I built a circular bed around the Chinese Pistache tree and put some ferns in. It was so easy; I laid several layers of newspaper, making sure they overlapped, then watered well. I then applied 80 lbs. of top soil, 80 lbs. of humus and 40 lbs. of cow manure. (This sounds like a lot, but isn't.) Then I topped it off with three big bags of shredded cedar mulch.

  • The lone hummingbird I had coming to my feeder has departed. The window for hummers around North Texas is surprisingly short. Makes me kinda sad.

  • I'm developing a serious ornamental grass obsession. Already, I'm establishing a border along our property and the next yard. I've got a pampas grass, two purple fountain grasses and a lemon grass in a line (you can kinda see them in the pictures above). I also picked up a Red Yucca and put in further toward the street in a dry, sunny spot in the yard. These look really pitiful at the moment, but they'll fill out quickly. I have a Pink Pampas grass coming in the mail as a replacement for one that died last year. (Actually, it got plowed over during our 4th of July pool party and never recovered, but that's another story.)


TK said...

So what does the newspaper do? Is is a sort of biodegradable barrier?

Tamara said...

Exactly. It kills whatever lousy grass is there, smothers weeds, and eventually breaks down to add organic matter to the soil.