Saturday, June 21, 2008

. . . started the process

of rehabbing the shade garden yesterday. The sun garden is pretty and pretty much done. I don't think I can cram another plant into it. So I'm turning my outdoor attentions to the shade garden. I started gardening in the shade, and I really prefer it . . . it's generally cooler, for one thing. The shade garden is a long narrow kidney-shaped space that encompasses three stands of "trash trees". . . locust and hedge. They are messy, but the homes association has very strict regulations about cutting trees; it's just not allowed. Which is really okay with me. Anyway, a few years ago I made an attempt to garden in this area. I placed a border around it, one brick deep. The area slopes both from the left to the right and from the front to the back. The bricks did nothing to keep the soil in the garden during our spring torrential downpours. So now my plan is to terrace the area in three or four levels from left to right. Each terrace will be evened out, with small stone retaining walls running from front to back. So the first thing I needed to do was to pull up the bricks. I did that yesterday on the first third of the garden. I felt kind of bad about abandoning the bricks, but my son bought me a gardening magazine with an example of a brick path that I am going to copy, so now I have a use for the old bricks. We will have to haul in some soil to even out this first level of the terrace, but first I need to find the stones and build the first retaining wall and borders of the garden. Hard dirty nasty work. And today I will have to transplant a bunch of the hostas that occupy the ground that will be amended with the new soil. I know it's probably not the ideal time to transplant, but hostas are pretty tough, and it's still cool here; later this week it's supposed to get hot, really hot. And from past experience, I know that after about July 1, we can expect no rain until September. So I must hurry. . . I would at least like to have the first part of the shade garden done before I wuss out in the heat and quit till fall. And I still have to unpack all my art stuff and reorganize the studio. . . it's a huge mess. But later today, I will also get to visit with little Joe, poor baby, who is getting his first molars and is such a little trouper despite his discomfort. I'm thinking my next painting will be some variation of the picture above. At least it's a start.

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