Wednesday, September 09, 2009

How My Garden Grows

Before I started digging yesterday:

"After" photo taken today, because I forgot yesterday:
It did indeed rain today, so it's good that I got a bunch of digging done yesterday. The area under my air conditioner was still really soggy right by the wall, but the rest was okay. (It's been hot this week, so the AC has been going non-stop.) I placed the soggy bits of turf upside-down in the sun to dry for a bit before trying to knock the dirt off the grass.

I didn't finish all of the sod removal on this side, but I did make progress... just a bit left on this side. I stopped after three hours for three reasons:
1. I was tired.
2. I had filled the six big buckets my dad loaned me... he's using the weedy sod as fill out at his shack.
3. It was 3:00, which was the time that dad had said he wanted to leave to go to his shack.

While I'm showing photos of the garden, here's some more strange gardening done by other people:
That stump is the stump of the weed tree I mostly removed the last time I was out gardening. *Behind* the stump (which itself is behind a fringe of bushes) someone else planted... half dead things. The deadest patch is bachelor buttons (the small kind), and I think one of the other plants might be sedum... but I haven't really tried to identify them yet.

At first I thought that the sometimes drunk lady in the building had planted them (she's been at the booze again, and pestering other tenants for money and/or beer... but thankfully not me), but it turns out it was the caretaker. The drunk lady had... "acquired"... them somewhere, and placed them in ice cream pails beside the stairs on the lowest level. The drunk lady told the lady across the hall that I could plant them if I wanted to (but she didn't speak to me, and the lady across the hall didn't pass this info along until after they had been planted), and I think she told the caretaker that she'd help him plant them... and then never did. Finally the caretaker plopped them in the ground because he got tired of the bugs coming out of them into the apartment building.

The caretaker asked me to remove the stump and the scraggly bushes in front of it... so the placement of the flowers makes a bit more sense now. (He figured they were tall flowers, and wants tall flowers in front of his bathroom window.)

The lady across the hall came out, and her kids "helped" me garden... mostly they dug in the soil I had already dug. (I knew they wouldn't be much help, but I invited them anyway, because I figured they'd enjoy it.) The lady pulled some weeds from the lawn, and made sure her kids didn't cut off any fingers. ;)

Near the end of the time I planned for gardening, she asked me if I'd mind watching the kids while she went across the bridge and got some money from a friend. Thinking she wouldn't be long, I said it wasn't a problem. (I don't think she thought she'd be long either.) I ended up babysitting for another 2.5 hours!!! Ack! All I wanted to do was have a shower and take a break after all that digging in clay! *sigh* I sure have been doing a bunch of babysitting lately. I think this makes four sessions that she owes me for now... she says she's planning on paying me $100 once she gets money again. (She's having problems getting her cheques right now, because her ex hasn't filed his taxes, and the last time he filed he used her address (even though he was in jail at the time)... so they're saying they need his taxes in order to compute how much she should get on her child tax benefit. So that's $500/month that she's not getting right now, until she can get things sorted out. Whee. I know that I may or may not get paid, and understand that I'm doing this out of the goodness of my heart. I have told her that I can't do any more right now, though, so that I can get ready for teaching on Friday. Eeeeek!)

PS: My landlord said he's bought me two big bags of peat moss. Yay!!! (I'm going to dig in a bunch of peat moss and some compost from my mom's composter to amend the soil before I plant the perennials.)

PPS: Does anyone know how to get more hours in the day?


Allergy Mom said...

answer to PPS: move further up north where you can get a 6 month long day...hehehe, couldn't resist being an annoying smartass :-D

How come you are gardening? And what kind of composter does your mom have? My first attempt at composting is not turning out quite right...but then I'm using a trashcan with holes punched all over

noricum said...

It's exercise, I kind of like gardening, my emotions are affected by the conditions of my surroundings, and the caretaker asked if I would plant some flowers.

There may be a six month long day somewhere up north, but I think the total number of daylight hours per year is the same as here. ;) Of course, if I *was* living that far north, I wouldn't have to worry about gardening. ;)

My mom has a black plastic structure with ventilation along the sides, no bottom (it sits directly on the dirt of the yard), and a lid that can also provide ventilation. The key is to turn the compost frequently... stuff sitting on top doesn't compost well. Also, if it is too dry, you want to water it. (If it is too wet, give it some more ventilation.) Having some creepy-crawlies might help too... try tossing in a shovelful of your garden soil with whatever is in there, to see if that helps.