I have been holding back on you. The last time I posted something about what I am doing in the garden was a while ago. On July 22nd I ruminated on whether my garden is actually “low maintenance.” To be able to answer with an honest and emphatic “yes it is,” I have done nearly nothing in the garden since. Yes, I did do some minor pruning on the young oaks in late August, removed a dead flannel bush in late September, and cut back a crownbeard (Verbesina dissita) but not much else since the wedding.
Today the yard called to me. The lawn was screaming to be torn out. So first I strolled through the front and back yards looking for promising areas. The front parkway stretching between a busy sidewalk and street is one possibility. Two large, ugly sweet gum trees occupy the strip with roots winding through the thin, weedy grass. It will be difficult to grow anything in this compacted, root-filled soil but a layer of organic mulch chipped from my own garden green waste might look just fine. I think I’ll just stop watering the strip and see what happens. The trees are large and probably well rooted into the front yard so cutting the water on the strip shouldn’t be too bad for them.
The second spot that caught my eye is the edge of the backyard “green pond,” i.e. lawn. The small oval lawn that served so well for the wedding is about to retreat a bit. On the east side of the yard is a California Glory flannel bush (Fremontodendron ‘California Glory’). Yes, the same type of plant that passed away during a summertime heat wave. It does not like much water, especially when it is hot. The lawn in front of a shrub on the east side of the yard is brown from lack of water. It needs to go. Several deergrass (Muhlenbergia rigens) mark the transition from wet to dry. I transplanted three more of these from large containers.
I dug out about 25 square ft., turned the sod upside down so roots would dry out and decompose. All I can say is: I am not as young as I used to be.