Friday, July 24, 2009

The Lay-Off Week Project

This space has held, in the past 12 years, a couple huge, aphid-infested photinia bushes, a purple potato-bush shaped into a tree, Mexican bush sage, calla lilies, tomatoes, spinach, chard, daffodils and tulips, a pink bougainvillea, lavender bushes, purple lantana, and a lot of weeds.

Not all at the same time, of course.

I've been itching to clean it up and re-purpose it once again, and this time, Bernie had an idea that really sparked my interest.

"Let's do three raised planters," he said. "They'll be easier to weed, and they should look good there."

I found my shovel and removed every weed, loosening the soil and pulling the weeds, lifting the daffodil bulbs and the persistent calla lily bulbs. (I love callas, but they simply cannot be trusted -- they multiply like rabbits.) Bernie pulled out the last roots of the Mexican bush sage (we've been trying to get rid of it for two years) and built a prototype of the planter.

The planters will hold, in winter, onions, spinach, chard, lettuce, and maybe a few turnips. In summer, cucumbers, squashes, and nasturtiums.

We put down a pre-emergent to keep the weeds between the beds in check, and covered that with soft cedar bark. (Easy on our normally bare feet.)

A geranium in the white pot to the left seems to look on in interest -- after all, removal of the bush sage liberated an irrigation emitter that properly belonged to the geranium. And in the background on the right, the stuff crawling halfway across the walk is a spider plant colony whose origin we can't recall.

In point of fact, whoever it was who dropped a piece of spider plant on the ground has deliberately wiped the incident from their mind so as to be able to pass a lie-detector test.

The planters look good from both angles. It was a successful project.

Our reward will come later, with veggies in season; and also came that day, with our chairs under the tree and a mister going to cool us as we sipped wine and surveyed our handiwork.

No comments: