Garden Triumphs and Tragedies

Two terribly garden tragedies happened this weekend.

First, it was very windy last night, and half our street magnolia broke off: the half covered in flowers and buds.

Broken magnolia

The branch was still hanging on there, so we cut it off. Literally half the leaves visible in this photo were on the branch that broke off. Now the poor tree looks terribly lop-sided and even more tragic than it did before the break. I've been trying to nurse it to better health but I fear it is not long for this world.

Second, apparently the new neighbors behind us have killed the trumpet vine, without bothering to take it down from the fence:

Dying trumpet vine

Yeah, it's really charming to see the whole thing dying up there. I can understand not caring for the vine, and it's not as if it's mine and I can choose whether it lives or dies, but a bit of consideration in killing it would have been nice.

And now our triumph. Today was set aside for clearing the weedy patch in the front yard. We started here:

Weedy front lawn

(What you do not see are about ten 10-foot lengths of white pipe, two 4x6es, and a bunch of flexible drain pipe, all foundation replacement leftovers that the first contractor did not want back.)

And several hours later, we had cleared out the old pipes and junk, moved and weeded the brick pile (which, despite repeated offers to take it off our hands and attempts by us to lure passers-by into stealing it, persists), and cut the weeds and grass down to a nubbin. This in preparation for killing it all off so I can plant stuff there that is not grass, but for now I'm happy with a nubbin of a lawn.

Img 6925 Edited

I also weeded among the roses and around the thistle, leading to massive scratching injuries, and among the poppies and in the back beds. Noel did some mowing until the mower broke in a startling way (the pull-cord broke). I sprayed Roundup on the blackberries trying to reappear in the alley where I want ferns rather than nasty brambles, and started clearing out the amaryllis leaves that have died back and pulled out the smaller weeds that had appeared around them. I did a bunch of watering. Things are looking much tidier. It is definitely a lot harder to keep up on the garden work when you are home at most every weekend, and more realistically every two weeks.

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posted by ayse on 05/27/06


What did you have planned for the nubbin lawn area? If nothing soon, cover the area with newspapers/cardboard and bark mulch. At least while you plant, because otherwise all that stuff there, and its seeds, will be there to sprout again. And again.

You can cut through the barrier and plant, but the weeds will be gone. Well, the bermuda will pop up but that's the ideal situation for RU. You can put newspaper 4-6" back from the rose stem and mulch that all around the roses too. It's best not to (ever!) mulch directly onto the ground. Lay down newspaper first.

(Did I suggest this already? Hm. That area you show just calls out for newspaper and bark mulch, especially if you are really busy with, say, the rest of the yard).

That's a good idea. My idea was to herbicide it to death for a few weeks and then decide how I was going to attack the space, but one or two applications of herbicide followed by cardboard and mulch would probably work better and result in better soil.

I tried newspaper with mulch in the back and the Bermuda only took three weeks to grow through it, so I think I must give it a few shots in the gut first, and using cardboard instead of newspaper seems like a good idea.

And it will give me time to deal with the irrigation system. Not to mention how I really should not be planting anything any more this season because we're getting to summer really fast.

Trumpet vines can not be killed you can round up the leaves and cut the plant back but it is almost impossible to get rid of them. I should know been trying to for four years. Your roses look so nice, could you post more pictures of the ferns.

Well, that's reassuring about the trumpet vine, though we are still stuck with the trouble of what to do with the dead parts hanging into our yard.

I know the new guy is all gung-ho to replace the fence (which is ours), so maybe he just cut it back to make that possible.

I've been trying to take good pictures of the ferns but with all the wind lately it's not been working. Also, they are looking a trifle ragged right now from all the rain we had (rain means water slamming down into the fern walk from 35 feet up where we have no gutters). Soon, though: I'm going to be putting sprayers in there next week.

Note: We're getting pummeled with spam comments, so I've turned off the ability to use any HTML or include any links for the time being. Email with any issues.

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