Wednesday, July 9, 2014

First Lessons from the New Garden

I'm spending half of each day in the garden and half of the day in the house, attempting to make this place home. It is a lovely place. It just needs a little love. 

Just one corner of a very large space

I think we might all learn some important lessons from my first few days in the garden at the new house. Here's what I've come up with so far.

1.  Weed fabric is a certified agent of Satan. 
This is something I already knew, but my recent trials in attempting to plant anything in this garden have further solidified this important point. Weed fabric is not your friend. It does not save you any time in the garden. All it does is make it difficult to plant other things when you decide to add them. And after 15 years, it just settles further into the soil, leaving future gardeners to deal with your mistake in making friends with Satan. I have been digging into weed fabric since I got here. It doubles my work. It also chokes lovely plants that would be so delighted to spread in your garden. If you don't want future gardeners (or your future self) to curse your name for eternity, don't even consider weed fabric. This same lesson holds true for red lava rock, especially if you live in the sands of Florida. I still curse the person who put those in my garden in Orlando and will likely continue to do so until the day I die.

2. The purchase of lawn/garden ornaments is a slippery slope.
I know. I included a photo of my ornaments in a row like a police line-up last time. And it troubled me. I thought I had a problem. But then I came here, and discovered that I have a long way to go to problem. In the fenced area alone, I counted no less than 17 items. It's not a big area. If you want little creatures in your garden, choose wisely, grasshopper. Otherwise, you risk being that freaky person who is found dead with 72 animals running around inside your house and using it as a restroom. And if you're not going to take care of your garden, be aware that your little critters might be swallowed by vegetation.

An entire girl with dog is under here.

3. Ivy is a thug. 
If you don't intend to keep it in check, it will take over your entire existence…or the existence of the next gardener. Think carefully. 

My mom pulled ivy for 3 days. It's still there.

4. If you plan to pillage your previous garden to improve your future garden, mark the plants you dig up.
I dug up over 30 plants in Orlando and safely delivered them here. I recognize most of them, but since I dug up 7 different day lily plants, I have no idea what color each one is until it flowers. I've planted them in clusters, but I'll likely have to move some later. A simple label would have saved me some work.

5.  You should always plan to pillage your previous garden to improve your future garden.
I may have been planting like a maniac over the last few days to get everything in, but the plants I brought from Orlando are so beautifully filling up my garden here--at no cost to me, I might add--that if I ever had to move again (please God, no), I would dig up even more.

6. Using a pick-axe is the most incredible workout.
No one said that gardening in Georgia clay that hasn't been worked in years is easy. In fact, it has proven itself a rather formidable opponent to all my garden tools save one. The pick-axe is the bully on the block, and it breaks up everything, including my shoulders. If you have seen me previously, I just have to warn you that you should add some serious muscle to my shoulder area in your mental pictures, or you won't recognize me in future. I'm about to be ripped from swinging that axe. It's a necessary exercise if I'm to get anything planted.

That's what I've learned so far, but I suspect I'll get plenty more lessons in the future here.


  1. I agree with all your points. Especially #3. When we moved into our Atlanta garden, we had 4,000 SF (yes, really) of ivy to remove. It's a nasty beast that takes over at the drop of a hat. As for the ripped shoulders, just think of all the gorgeous summer sleeveless dresses you can wear...

  2. Mia!! Initially, I was thinking of just cutting the ivy back really hard, but I think you've convinced me to take it all out as best I can. Hope your preparations are coming along well!