Tuesday, May 6, 2008

I'm Not Stripping Woodwork

Not this week, anyway.

No, I'm out in the back garden acquiring that lovely gray-brown tinge to the cuticles that's such a fashion plus this time of year.

I could have kept on studiously overlooking the river rock riot that continues to overrun my borders (thanks to the POs and the POs-1)-- were it not for a pair of blackberry bushes I acquired a week ago yesterday that simply must be planted as soon as possible.

Wasn't really planning on putting in blackberries, at least, not this spring. But Sunday the 27th I preached on John 15 (Jesus Christ the True Vine) and the day before I got this bug to bring in a real grape vine plant to illustrate the children's sermon. So down I went to the Agway and brought a nice one. And on the Sunday, between that and the grapes I also brought in, I think the kids' message went across well.

But I still had the grape vine in its pot. And, I had to face facts, nowhere feasible to plant it. So I took it back to the Agway and got the blackberries instead. It is said that they can tolerate a bit more shade than grapes can. They'll go in what I call the East Border, which is mostly sunny-- except when the sugar maple's in the way.

So . . . . on Sunday last I shifted last year's casual compost pile, aka the Dead Plant Dump, from the east side of the yard to the west. Should stay moister over there, anyway.

Yesterday, I sifted out landscape rock until I had to go to choir practice. Two loads, out to the alley. Free to a good home! Any takers?

And this evening, hooray, I got all the river rock and landscape fabric out of a twelve or so foot stretch between the big rock pile to the north and the self-sown ajugas on the south.

That's enough space for now. The blackberries have to be planted three to four feet apart; that should give them the room they need.

I found some interesting things under the rock. Anybody know what this larva might be?

And I always find these holes under the landscape fabric. And dried cicada shells latched on to its underside. The two are connected, maybe?

It really is decent dirt once you let the sun work on it.

And clear the roots out.

Not that they'll stay out. About four years ago I had a big branch fall off the sugar maple. Tree surgeon told me both it and the Norway might last another five years, tops. Guess what? Neither of them show signs of flagging. It's probably all down to the nice dirt and fertilizer their roots are finding in my planting beds.


Sandy said...

You have the patience of Job!

Kate H. said...

And it is a Job, I tell ya!