Friday, August 2, 2019

Fighting Back

Our weeds have really taken over this year.  Early weeks of nearly daily rain allowed them to grow unchecked.  Recent hot days have limited the number of hours that we can safely work outside.  Our gardens have always exceeded our ability to properly care for them but this year has been a real nightmare.

These stones peeking out between rampant flower growth and runaway weeds is our signature wall identifying the location of Stone Wall Gardens.  Close to the road, it usually stands out easily seen by drivers speeding up the road.  Today this mess finally saw some much needed attention.

Several years ago the farmhouse was purchased by a young couple.  Proud of their new home, they worked feverishly to restore the appearance of their grounds.  At that time our efforts were directed toward gardens out of sight up the hill.  Only a couple of passes with our walk behind mower kept the driveway passable while weeds freely grew on the rest of this ground.  The new owner approached me to talk about a screening fence to separate his manicured lawn from my untended mess.  I suggested a garden instead.  This dry stone wall was built to define the beginning of the garden.  Each year we would work to keep the finished sections of the garden presentable while converting new ground from pasture to properly planted ground.  Some weeds are always present but this year they simply took over.

Just over half of the length of the wall was cleared of weeds today before the sun drove us inside.  A new layer of reground bark mulch was spread on the now weed free area.  We intend to finish the section near the wall tomorrow.

Despite the heavy presence of weeds, many flowers can be seen by people speeding by.  Red Bee Balm has colorfully held its ground for weeks.  Three different Daylilies now peek out above the wall.  Gloriosa Daisies make a bold statement closer to the road.  Cardinal Flower adds its bright red flowers next to the planted side of the wall.  A Ruby Spice  Summer Sweet bush is just now coming into bloom.  Somehow we have plants that provide a changing display of colors that tends to hide the presence of weeds.  That image is possible largely because of the speed with which the cars fly by.  Also, the farmhouse is some distance away so all that the neighbors see is patches of color.  Recently a highly respected gardener of many years identified the presence of weeds as a necessary component of gardening.  Most would agree that we have taken that reality to new limits.

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