Gardening Resolutions –Midseason Check-Up

Rustic cedar boundary fence repaired!
Mid-August is already upon us, so it’s time to check how much progress has been made on integrating my inner gardener’s 2011 resolutions into our garden sanctuary. It’s a good way to stay on track with gardening hopes and dreams and make any necessary mid-season corrections. 

First, the unfinished, or never-started, projects from 2010. The undergardener/woodworker had promised to get that fallen cherry tree out of my rhododendron patch on the east side of the house before it rotted into worm food – two years ago. Not only is the log gone, but it was also sawn up into boards that will be used in other projects.

While the tree cutters were here, we had them fell a half-dozen dead trees that had come part way down during the course of several severe winter windstorms. I also had them do some high-limbing. Some trees were sawn into boards; the rest are only good for firewood.

  Sometimes a project creates itself, as when the tree-cutters dropped one on my rustic cedar fence. Repairing that was intended to be a project for next year, but the undergardener couldn’t stand how the yard looked without it any more than I could, so he repaired the fence, and added a new section that I’d been asking for, all within one week.

Undergardener installs Corinthian Bells chime
Early in the spring, we bought a 65-inch bass windchime that was the exactly-right piece to hang from a tree that marks one edge of the garden. It hums the sound “Om” at the slightest breeze, a pleasant distraction from the road noise down below and a soothing incentive to get out there and do some weeding.

Our major project for this year is the expansion of our deer exclosure, which began last week. The undergardener/engineer finally figured out a solution for a gate across the driveway that satisfies both of us. This will have a major impact on how the garden looks, since we’ll be able to remove the plant cages (ugly, ugly) and actually put flowers in the front yard. The undergardener/artist will eventually use copper sheeting to decorate the gate in an as-yet-to-be-determined design.

There weren’t a lot of new plants installed this year, just a few here and there that wouldn’t let me leave the garden center without them and some trial plants that have to wait for the deer fence to go up out front. It’s just as well. I’ve spent the major portion of my gardening time trying to eradicate ground ivy from the lawn – over and over.

We decided that the blue globe thistles we planted in front of the propane tank screen are too large for their space and I’ll replace them with sea holly in the fall. We thought we’d move the thistles outside the exclosure and see how they fare.

The white crocus, daffodils, and tulips we planted in the white and fern garden and mixed pink and purple tulips in the lily bed put on a great show this spring. Eventually I’ll add more, but first I want to get some yellow daffodils going along the driveway – a project we’ve put off for far too long.

The blue garden and the berm got ahead of me in mid-June and I never caught up. Well, there’s always next year. The new "courtyard" seating area out front looks great, although some of the ferns got nibbled by deer early in the season. They’ll do fine next year. I moved my Sago palms here for the summer. They create the right atmosphere and are too tough for the deer to bother.

This year my gardening resolutions required a lot of help from the undergardener and paid help. The undergardener/chime-hanger/tree-chopper/fence-builder/engineer/artist should be ready to move into maintenance mode next year and return to his primary role as hole digger. And I should be ready to install some new plants.

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