Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Weeding, Hedge Trimming and Tasks In The Garden

When summer hits on the north coast I know there will be so much growth in the garden that my husband and I will spend much of our garden time pruning, trimming and weeding. As wonderful as it is to see the plants blooming and growing, along with the beautiful blooms we encounter weeds that grow just as vigorously. My husband decided to give the front hedges a serious trim since even after my initial trim back in the spring and my hand trimming of the top of the hedge it was growing a few feet taller with the warming weather. My husband trimmed off a good foot of hedge off the top and trimmed back the sides. The hedges really needed this kind of trim and luckily my husband is good at getting the hedge down further than I generally am able to, since he has more practice using the hedge trimmer. He also cut back the undergrowth of the curly willow tree so we can mow the front lawn more easily.

Weeding is something I'm not fond of doing since I don't seem to be able to get all the roots I'd like to, typically what we battle at this time of year is the overgrowth of grass that gets into the flower borders. Our front and back yards are not blessed with real lawns but scraggly grass that has been here for years before we arrived. The previous homeowner thought using large river rocks of four or five inches tall and wide would be a good idea to line the flower beds in the front and back yards. No, not such a good idea of course, and since that time, long before we arrived, the rogue grass has made a home everywhere possible in the yards, creating quite a mess in spring and summer.

I began my gardening time weeding around the two new fuchsias near the obelisk near the back gate. Not a great job of weeding but it did clean things up and gave the new fuchsias plenty of room to breathe. The upright fuchsias are blooming like mad even though they are a small 4 inch pot size and were only planted last fall. The next weeding time I spent was in the front yard where the penstemon and rhododendron are planted. This time the results were better than usual for me, giving me some encouragement to tackle the next area to weed, which will be under the climbing roses. Of course, there was the mandatory trim of the climbing roses and their tall shoots of new growth, often towering a foot or more over the rest of the rose shrubs.

In the future I'm hoping to get some bender board, railroad ties or bricks as a barrier that will actually work between the rogue lawn and the flower beds. There is so much else to do that adding barriers around the flower beds may take a while to complete for our front and back yards. Still I'd like to start with the front yard and experiment with something that works far better than the large river rocks. As pretty as the river rock idea is, unfortunately it is not the way to keep the grass separate from the flower beds in our garden. The real question will be what can we do with all that river rock once we replace them with a real border. I'm not one for maintaining a pond, especially with a lively neighborhood of cats around. Time to ponder what to do with so much river rock that will help, not hinder the garden.

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