Thursday, March 10, 2005

Once Around the Garden

Originally uploaded by Rozanne.
Don't let anyone ever tell you that gardening isn't a lot of work and a major time commitment. Not that gardening isn't rewarding, but there is always--always--something that needs to be done if you don't want squalor and anarchy to gain a foothold.

I've been out in the garden for some portion of every weekend since mid-February, and yet...I don't have much to show for it. My main problem is that I seem unable to systematically assess all that needs to be done.

To illustrate what I mean by this, I'm going to try to approximate the thoughts that pass through my mind when I step out into the garden for my daily inspections:

Jesus H. Christ--look at all the weeds, where did they come from? I wonder if the compost I used last year was contaminated? It must have been--otherwise how could there 1,000,000 weeds of the same species? I need to pull all of them right now! I should really get a dozen bags of mulch and mulch around each and every plant after I get all that weeding done, so that the weeds don't come back. Plus, it would look so much nicer, and it would cover up all the drip hoses that are so aesthetically displeasing--and it would conserve water. Yeah. I really need to do that right now. Arghh! I really need to install more drip houses for the plants around the Doug fir. They got so parched and pathetic last summer. Do I have enough hose and drippers? God, I so don't want to have to go back to the irrigation store. I hate going there. Blech! Maybe I should just plant something else there. I'd better water everything right now. It's been so warm and the last time I watered was last week and it's prime growing season and they need an inch a week (at least!) and it hasn't rained in, like, forever! I wonder how high our water bill is going to be? The patio is a frickin' mess. I need to clean the table and the patio furniture and hose down the surface. I should also cut up and bag that huge fir branch that's been sitting next to the table since November. Fuck. Look at those hollyhocks. They are totally skeletonized. I need to put out slug traps. Do we have any cheap beer?* I should go to Fred Meyer and get some. While I'm there I should pick up as many bags of bark nuggets as I can fit in the car, because the garden path really needs to be replenished. No wait, I need to buy mulch. Which is more of a priority? Maybe I should just order a truckload of bark nuggets. Or a truckload of mulch?

I think you get the idea. And I think you can see why very little progress gets made. The above is really a fairly accurate representation of what goes through my head, and I spend so much time thinking about the monumental amount of work that needs to be done that I get overwhelmed and all that actually gets done is some random weeding--not enough so's you'd notice either.

Actually, blogging about this should help. I've just listed--in stream-of-consciousness fashion--most of the major tasks that currently need to be accomplished. If I'd convert it into a orderly, prioritized list and break it down into manageable tasks, I think I'd be able to make some headway. And that would be highly satisfying.

Seems simple enough.

Anyway, despite the fact that the garden is at sixes and sevens, some early perennials are starting to bloom. I took some photos today, but I don't want to blow my whole Flickr quota early in the month, as nothing is really at its peak yet. So all I'm posting for now (at the top of this entry) are some lungwort (dreadful name--apparently someone thought the blotchy leaves looked like tubercular lungs!), which are just starting to bloom with some creeping veronica 'Georgia Blue' in the background. Both will be much showier in a few weeks, but I couldn't wait. These are both plants that do well in shade--for those of you who like to know these things. And, OK--throwing caution to the wind re: squandering the Flickr quota--here are my trilliums with a meadow rue (Thalictrum flavum 'Illuminator') in the foreground. (Kindly ignore the unsightly drip hose and leaf litter. These eyesores will be dealt with in the fullness of time.)

*Slugs love to chomp on all my most precious plants, but they love to swill beer even more. Actually, I don’t know if they “swill” beer, but they do like to crawl into it and drown. At least they die happy.


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