Thursday, September 11, 2008

Old post, 9/17/07, Secret Garden

Note: I love looking back on my old posts! I especially love that there has been progress since this was written. I'm so glad I took pictures and recorded my thoughts.


We woke up to some beautiful fall-like weather yesterday morning! So as long as it lasts, my early morning will be spent with coffee on the porch rather than here at the desk. Don't worry, it won't last long - it never does! Rolling Eyes

But it's great while it lasts. I was out in the back yard yesterday and decided to pull a few weeds on my way to do something else, and got completely sidetracked!

The background - our back yard is an odd shape. There's an interesting little area right behind the sunroom, then the shop juts out to separate that area from the main part of the yard where we have the pool, trampoline, shed, vegetable garden, etc. My plan when we bought the house was to make the small area a lovely butterfly garden. I was working on it before the hurricane, and parts of it actually survived! However, in the process of removing the pine tree and rebuilding the fence, what survived Katrina was devastated. The area has been ignored for 2 years, other than the dog digging holes in it. Every once in awhile someone mows a path through the weeds to the gate. I've put working back there on hold while I concentrate in the front porch area, mainly because the pine tree pushed the concrete patio slantwise and it needs to be removed first (lest it all be destroyed again!). The insurance money for that was long ago spent while H was unemployed, and it's not high on the list. So there it sits, a jungle of weeds and mud puddles. Sad

So I passed through yesterday. My plan was actually to mow a path, but it didn't need it too badly and I was lazy, preferring to join the kids in the pool. But I stepped into a small area of the garden where there is still a lemon tree. We had placed a small garden fence there to keep the dog from watering it...LOL. At first glance there was nothing left there but the tree and some elephant ears. Everything was tangled in some kind of vine that seems to have taken over! My initial thought was to kill everything but the tree and start over, so I went in to ruthlessly yank some things out. Once I got the big stuff out, I could cover all but the tree with plastic and kill it off.

But I can't do that! You see, once I started pulling, I found all kinds of treasures down in the weeds. Just like the potted plants from the ruined patio that I couldn't believe were still alive. Everything buried under weeds 2 to 3 feet tall. There are actually lemons on the tree! Lots of lemons! Cool A little creeping plant called "Ragin' Cajun", with gorgeous bright red flowers that attract butterfiles and hummingbirds, is right under the tree where I planted it.

There is an interesting plant my parents brought me from Hawaii - I don't know the name of it. I planted it after the storm; it lived through Katrina forgotten, in the nursery pot next to the house. Didn't even topple over, LOL. It's there and has spread as well.

There's a beautiful fern that apparently grew wild, and a couple of nice shoots of the lantana that was destroyed when the fence was put in.

I couldn't believe it. The beginnings of a great garden, hidden in the weeds and vines, just like in the book! Shocked

So I got into it, and spent a couple of hours back there! Rather than ripping things out as I had planned, I had to be careful not to disturb the good plants. The vines could easily pull lemons off the tree, so I had to cut, untangle, cut, untangle.

I have to admit, it felt great. Garden therapy at its finest. I hope I can get it looking good again. This spot should be far enough from the patio that it isn't harmed when that gets chopped up with a jackhammer. I still won't put effort into finishing yet, but I can get it cleaned up. Cool

So, here are pics! Click on the thumbnail to see it big if you're really interested. Razz

This is a view of the whole little side area where I worked. You can barely see the tree! Shocked

The tree tangled in vines

Lemons on the tree. I counted 10, which is a lot for this tiny tree! I can use them in my Mulligans. Wink

You can't really tell how BIG this pile of pulled weeds/vines is. Just trust me. Rolling Eyes

This is the outside corner by the roses. Shocked

That used to look like this:

This is what the dog has done by the sidewalk:

View of the cockeyed patio and remains of the pine tree stump from both sides:

The archway trellis was an anniversary gift and will be used as a divider between the garden and the rest of the yard when we finally get to work.
(This one was right after the stump was removed)

Another view of the side garden

Found these under the weeds near the roses. It's vinca vine.

A surprise lantana by the roses. I don't want it there so I'll probably remove it, though I hate to! Laughing

Vine covered roses

Yep, they sure do need a trim. Shocked

Ick. Not looking forward to this. Sad

The possibility is what motivates me.

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