Thursday, February 9, 2012

"I won't be outside long."

I was absolutely serious when I hollered back to DH that I was just going out to put epsom salt on the roses and I would be right back.  I was so tired that I really wanted to sack out on the sofa, but I was way late with the epsom salt since it takes 30 days to start working.  So... no excuses.  I had to!  But what is it about the garden that wakes you up and energizes you??  Instant pick-me-up.  Sleepy no more.

Two hours later...

Well, I needed to remedy the pruning that 'Clotilde Soupert' received last evening at dusk.  And then I had to pick up the trimmings that I had left where they fell.  And then I decided I had to work on the driveway bed which I had gotten my first look at in months (weeks?) while I was administering the epsom salt.

Gosh!  'White Maman Cochet' is going gangbusters!!  She's covered with red new growth and even has several big flower buds, but she also had a bunch of freeze damage.  And underneath her was a whole crop of undesirable weeds. Now since I only came outside to toss some epsom salt... no, I'm not the always-prepared type of gardener who never goes anywhere without her gloves in one pocket and her pruners in the other. Who does that??? Personally, I prefer to repeatedly go back into the house for every implement and amendment to be used in the garden that day - one at a time.  Why carry them all and strain myself?  Sunday I went back in the house four times in the span of sixty seconds!  Just so we're all on the same page, I did not have my dirt-proof, latex-coated gloves on my person.

Eeewww!!  Damp, black compost under my fingernails. Yuck, is this what gardening is?  Not in my garden!

But I got over it and then persevered until all the little weeds were gone. Is it oxalis that sort of looks like clover? Those buggers have deep, thin roots/runners that really need to be grasped deeply in the soil.  My disgust was great, but it was tempered by victory and the presence of lots of little Purple Coneflower seedlings.

I moved around the bed, and after much trimming of the 'Victoria Blue' salvia from last year I finally just pulled out its ten-pound rootball, realizing it was going to be too large growing under WMC which, after all, isn't a baby anymore.  I pulled dozens of salvia seedlings before making this decision, and I was wishing I had just one to transplant near this spot, because I loved it last year.  Even better, though, I just sprinkled some coneflower seeds from the surviving deadheads there instead. 

Then came 'Madame Antoine Rebe' who has never had more leaves in her whole life.  It's amazing what some sun will do.  She even has some of her signature long, slender, red flower buds, but she also had freeze damage that needed to be removed.  She has put on lots of growth since being relocated here, and much of it was crossing and closely parallel canes. With leaves obstructing the view of her structure I really didn't make much of an attempt at thinning her except for one sizable side-shoot grouping.  It's hard to remove something like that that's flourishing with growth, but it had to be done - and even more that didn't get done, but that's another day.  It's a good thing that this rose has never indicated any sensitivity to chopping.

Then I had fun sprinkling more echinacea seeds among the daylilies I planted near 'Mme Abel Chatenay' and between the old SDLMs and other places. I've got lots of deadheads and seed packets.

Tomorrow it's on to 'Louis Philippe' who is completely leafed out and huge.  The rope that had been holding him vertical broke recently, so he's leaning over.  He's definitely a project.  And definitely, I won't shear him too short like I did last year.  I really don't think he liked it.  I'll only trim away enough to clear the path and give a little sun to the daylilies and 'Richard's Rose' who is all of eight inches tall and directly north of Louie, meaning Louie basically eclipses the sun.  Hopefully, all will be sunnier when that golden orb rises higher in the sky.
Sorry about the lack of photos. Dirty fingers and cameras don't mix well... plus I forgot.  Remember, I was only going out to throw epsom salt.  Oh, well, here's an ad lib.


  1. How well I know this scenario! In it's highest form, the gardener eventually deals with so many pesky little things that he/she forgets the original mission. Any time in the garden is good time.

  2. This gardener smiled will she was reading, for she too knows just what you mean! Preparation, what is that? And to add to the shame, run to the grocery store only when you swipe your card at checkout do you notice how dirty your fingernails are!!!!! Ugh....:)

  3. Don't worry - your DH didn't believe it. It's like saying "I'm going to the garden center for fertilizer (or whatever), but I'm not going to buy any plants". Yeah, right! Sherry, I have a little basket with pockets on the sides and a handle. It holds most of my little tools and my gloves, and I carry it everywhere with me. That way, unless I need a shovel or lopers, I'm usually good to go. But I'm worried about one thing you said. I just planted oxalis in my garden. And it's a weed???!! Oops! :O