Wednesday, August 29, 2007

help needed

in planning my garden layout.

i'm thinking my gardens need an overhaul from the raging heat spells we had this year, a weird short period of drought, my neglect, weeds taller than a building, 71 pound dog running rampant, etc etc etc.

i have garden beds that, despite some amending of the soil in the spring, are mostly clay based and in full sun. right now the only things that are growing well there are hostas, typical orange day lillies, and weeds. so i need some help in getting some garden flowers and plants that will tolerate those conditions fairly well. i will have a 1 year old running around next summer, so i also want plants that will be kid safe (although every year i get some weird plants that just show up from a neighbor's garden blowing in the wind) and if they can stand up to a dog that will run over some things even better (but not a requirement).

i'm also thinking about putting up a garden fence that is hopefully not that obtrusive around the garden beds to that, at least for the time being, my little bugger won't be able to easily get in my garden beds. any ideas?

i also really really really like the look of russian sage, but i don't know if that is a plant that grows well in my garden beds, or if it is kid friendly or not. i read somewhere that it might create an allergic reaction if handled? anyone?

the fruits of little labor

my poor, neglected garden, i vow to make it better next summer.
as i was hacking through the 3 foot weeds and starts of trees this past weekend, this is what i found:

the majority of my sweet peas (which have taken it upon themselves to grow all over my garden) are going to seed.

some sort of morning glory or other vine is crawling up my fence.

and crawling around the only bush that grows well in my clay side beds.

and yet another mystery plant (or tree) that is growing and crowding the only bush that grows well in my side beds.

i have volunteer tomatoes growing in 3 different places. they are about 6 inches tall, and while most of the tomato growers are harvesting fruit, mine are just starting to bear any fruit at all (actually, just this one. the others look like their flowers are just starting to die off).

ivy is fun.
but it's a love hate relationship.

i love the look of ivy. i hate how it's so invasive. i love the evergreenness. i hate its creepy suction feet.
i tend to cut it back to a manageable growth every year. this year, not so much. it, not unlike the rest of my garden, i have neglected, and it's pissed and taking its revenge by growning rampant.

and it's growing in my gutters, windows, and starting to grow on my roof. so, of course, i freaked out. i don't want it infiltrating my trim and under my roof shingles. so i cut it and ripped it down. but it did not all come down, leaving a little on my chimney and a long, free swinging bushy tendril to sway in the breeze.

but then a pending severe thunderstorm starts to move in with the POSSIBILITY of gusty winds up that MIGHT get up to 65 mph, and i start to freak out again and irrational thought takes over and i start to ACTUALLY BELIEVE that if the wind gets my "free swinging in the breeze" tendril it will rip off all the brick from the side of my house and cause my chimney to come smashing down and through the roof causing irrepairable damage until i can get a ladder and chop it down. but the ladder is in the garage, and honestly, i'm a little afraid of ladders, so i nix the ladder idea and hope. all the while trying to balance out of my window with a extendable hedge shears in the middle of diagonal shooting rain and wind, swiping at my extremely long awkward gardening tool trying to cut off at least the bulk of the free swinging vine.

and after 5 minutes, the wind died down, the sun (or sunset) came out, and i'm sitting soaked looking at my still intact chimney and brick house.

now, for all of you ivy lovers out there aghast while reading my story, i did not rip out the root, because i do like a little ivy, and feel as though i will have fun watch it grow again next year (if i haven't killed it...but i haven't killed it in 4 years).

amazing that MOUNDS and mounds and yards and yards of ivy (and heaps and heaps of irrational thought) have come from just these 2 vines.