Thursday, February 28, 2013
Judging from the recent flood of mail order plant or seed catalogs filling our mail box, this must be the season of extreme soft headedness for those of us that garden. We have been successfully prompted and are now placing new orders. Our pot of forced tulips looking out on the snow covered square may have pushed us along in our desire to get into the garden. Weeds are appearing at the base of the tulips. With so little garden to tend now, there is really no excuse for weeds.
We were aware of the wet conditions near the road when this garden bed and wall were planned. No drainage exists alongside of the road so water running downhill is trapped here. Deep sandy deposits were dropped here by the melting glacier. Surface water quickly soaks in unless the ground is frozen. When we returned home three hours before these pictures were taken, standing water extended across our planting bed into the neighbor's field. Most of the water has already disappeared.
This wet condition might be seen as an opportunity. Some native flowering plants would thrive if planted in a moist spot. Without intervention the water stands here only rarely. I have considered digging this area out then placing a plastic liner in the hole. Refilling the hole with soil would protect the liner from puncture when deer walked across it. Damp soil would open up this spot to all manner of plants that struggle with our arid gravelly soil up by the house.
One immediate problem with this plan is the clash of the rectangular structure of the planting in front of the wall with the flowing free form that would be required for a soggy wild garden. Digging a hole of adequate size would require moving a dump truck sized pile of dirt. Likely no action will be taken to begin this new project. Trapped indoors a gardener gets all sorts of wonderful new garden ideas. Soon the ground will thaw, the days will warm and the existing gardens will demand the full measure of our attention.