Today in the Garden

July 27, 2009


It was a beautiful sunny (and hot) day here in Pennsylvania.  This summer has been cool and beautiful overall, but with quite a bit of rain.  With rain comes weeds when the sun comes back out.  But I am not complaining.  Well just a little maybe.  About the weeds.  Not the rain. 

So bright an early this morning (6:45 am) the Fashionista and I went out to weed.  It was pretty wet so the weeds pulled out pretty quickly.  But we have weeds the likes of which I have never seen.  We pulled out three 55gal drum size trash liners full of weeds off the back slope.  Now this is a teeny, tiny little patch of dirt.  How so many weeds grow is beyond me.  See, we took the flat part of the backyard and poured a concrete pad last summer.  Onto the concrete pad we put a big old hot tub the table and chairs and began to plan for this year.  Because of the slope, a retaining wall was necessary behind the pad so we built a pretty wall and a set of steps down to the driveway.  ($6k!!) Along the side and back property line I put some arborvitaes, a couple eastern red cedar, a pair of English Holly.  This year I put in 5 viburnum seedlings.  2 more will come in fall.  A couple blue cedar rugs.  I also put in some Little Spire perovskia along the stairs…to be filled in with some guara, some agastache and some lavendar in the fall.  In the little planting space between the edge of the wall and the concrete pad I put guara Whirling Butterflies, lavendar Munstead, agastache Tutti Frutti and some more Little Spire.  These teeny seedlings have begun to bloom.  You’ve got the palest pinky white of the guara, the fuchsia sunset of the agastache, the cool lavendar of the lavendar and the deeper lavendar of the perovskia.  It is SO beautiful.  Smells good…the hummingbirds love the agastache.  Knock on wood the drainage is such that they will return next year.  But the hill, which will be planted in the fall, is still very, very bare…and so very, very weedy.  A 10 man job every two weeks.  We pulled til 10:10 am.  I inquired if this all constituted exercise.  The Fashionista said “uhhh NO”.  SIGH.  Well, it’s done again.

While I was rinsing mud from my sneakers, the patio, the stairs, the gloves, the tools etc, I noticed a hawk flying overhead.  Or so I thought.  He glided in huge circles and I could hear him calling.   About half a mile or so up the hill I saw him meet up with another…I assumed his mate since hawks by nature are territorial.  I watched him cover a lot of ground for about 20 minutes or so wondering when the pair would make their way down over our yard.  In a little bit I heard his call overhead and looked.  BIG bird!  But only one of them.  As it got overhead it became clear.  It was not a hawk.  It was an eagle.  Not too surprising.  We live just above the Lehigh River and it’s pretty wooded.  We see a pair of eagles about once a year flying over the river and the devlopment.  Not usually during the summer, in the Fall so this was a bit unusual.  But a glorious sight to see.  That bird hardly ever flapped his wings.  He just glided and glided.  SO beautiful.  So big!  And that made my day let me tell you. 

So now, I have to go out the next two mornings…front and side yard weeding beckons.  The big guy is retiring…maybe October…maybe January.  Next spring I see a retaining wall and a waterless waterfall in my backyard future and the planting done.  Hopefully I can get enough perennials in to keep all the weeds out!  I love my garden.  But not my weeds.  I don’t want to spend the rest of my life weeding.  Know what I mean?



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