Saturday, April 7, 2012

My Garden's Progress, and My New Philosophy

Note: this is NOT my garden.

by Katie

I have decided that my new philosophy of life is that I am going to think of myself as an alien. An alien with a quest.

My quest is to discover how these earthlings manage to get through the various crap and diamonds while ultimately, consistently, growing to be better people. My quest is to discover how people can make themselves happy and make others happy while not being totally at odds with their nature.

I think I'm on to something here. Consider yourself as an alien for a second. Don't you get a brief moment of clarity? I tiny minute of objectivity? A mere second of removal from your own self-involved day-to-day reality?

Just a thought. Gardening seems to be something an alien would be interested in--figuring out how humans work with and manipulate nature to impart our own vision on our little piece of land... seems like a worthwhile endeavor. Plus, I'm totally obsessed.

Since our brief bout of awesome summer weather in early March, we're back to a normal Wisconsin spring, which means a lot of days hovering in the mid-fifties and nights plummeting back to freezing temps. I just want to plant my seedlings, dang it!

Because of the weather, it might look like I haven't made much progress. But I have. Believe me. I have!! Plus, showing you where I am now will make the future pictures all the more impressive. And it is my goal in life to impress you. And to learn the meaning of human existence. And be happy most of the time. Lots of goals. I'm a goal-oriented person.

Here's the progress so far.

Side of backyard that needs a bit o' privacy.



We went with arborvitae, the classic fast-growing natural "screen," and a river birch (second tree from the left)


We got most of our plants from the existing landscape and from my mom's mature woodland garden in Illinois. 

 Since we planted all of these beauties (most of which you can't see, because we don't have much money, so we have to buy or procure small plants), we discovered the rhododendrons are sensitive to the toxin Black Walnut trees produce. So we had to move them. They're the pretty bushes with the pink flowers, if you didn't know. I didn't know what they were until I bought them. I'm learning as I go here.

Also, side note: in addition to taking advantage of my mom's generosity and taking a butt load of her plants, I also scavenge curbs, Craigslist, and garage sales for unwanted perennials because I like getting something for nothing or close-to-nothing. Nothing wrong with that, right? :)

Our front yard:



The layer of paper you see under some of the dirt is one method of laying beds--suffocating the grass underneath and laying soil and manure on top, planting directly in that. It's a good solution when you want beds, fast.
I found this star-shaped rock and made it the first in my future stepping stone path


The other way of creating garden beds is by taking out the sod, amending the soil, and planting directly into the ground. This is MUCH more time-consuming and back-breaking. I hope the transplanted rhododendrons appreciate it!

Day lilies in the foreground; invasive milkweed growing despite our valiant efforts in the background (those white looking little points--they are IMPOSSIBLE to kill!)

Rhododendrons, transplanted safely away from the Black Walnut trees. They've lost their flowers, but they'll be back next spring (I hope!)

I clearly like making things look like a hot mess as I go. Then the "after" pictures (whenever they actualize) look even better. You can see all of my scavenged finds in the background--things that eventually will be used as trellises for morning glories, containers for flowers and herbs, bricks that will actually be laid...but for now we just look like hillbillies.

More to come!

P.S. Crystal totally helped me plant some of these plants in the front yard. 

No comments:

Post a Comment