Ed's sitting in the curve of my arms as I type this. If there's an unusual number of typos, chalk it up to my communing with my cat...
Yesterday, I spent about three hours in the gardens along my driveway. I saw some weeds encroaching on my peonies that I knew had to be dealt with. Several years ago I used the lasagna method to reclaim the center section of the garden along the lower driveway. That bed is probably 60-70 feet long, and has three distinct sections. The center area is still rather bare, but I've got rudbekia, perovskia and some salvia started there. I believe that I will be transplanting more plants into it fairly soon. The north end of the bed needs weeding to kill off an infestation of Bouncing Bet, a plant that I put in the gardens years ago and can't seem to kill off, but there are day lilies, daffodils, iris, lamb's ears and more salvia settled in there.
The south end of the garden is really in disrepair. I had planted physostegia and echinnacea over two-thirds of it, but the physostegia has died out, and there are places where I have sumac, poison ivy, grapevine and some shrubby volunteers that I really don't want. I think I may transplant some of the purple coneflower to the center part of the bed, and move one beautiful meadow rue plant to a more shaded area, and then ask Dear Husband if he will help me take the rest back down to dirt.
Which brings to mind.... I called a local gardening company which is just getting established. I asked if it would be possible to hire gardening muscle for either a morning or an entire day. I need just one man, I think, to help lift lilies in mid-June. When the owner called back to talk to me he told me that the best he could do was two men for an entire day, complete with truck, trailer and tools for $800.00! HOLY COW!! I COULD put two men to work for a full day, but the price is simply outrageous. I hope DH will take this as a sign that my garden time is really valuable!
I think I will try calling a few other landscapers to see if they are willing to spare a laborer for half a day. I need someone who understands about lifting the iris with as little damage as possible, and once they have been lifted and stored where I can work on them in the shade, I want the soil amended so that I can replant. I could put someone to work for an entire day, but not for the first price I've been quoted. I hope there will be someone who wants the work.
I spent this morning raking up the weeds that I'd pulled on Friday. I sawed down a few branches on the pear tree that had died, and I used the weed-eater to clean out an area that is getting infested with weeds. I used the weed-eater around the edge of the front lawn gardens, and along the south side of the house. It made me run a bit late for the Red Hat ladies, but it was worth it to get it done. The next time out, I'll need to cut down volunteer shrubs and mulberries, perhaps on Monday.
It was good to get some of the cleanup done while the grounds were still moist and easy to work with. There's a lot left to be done, but I'm glad I made the start.