Sunday, September 30, 2007

Today, cow manure

Ah, compost. Also known as plant poop. Is there anything it can't do? My sweetie helped me create my own compost bin. It's in the garage, a big plastic tote with holes poked in it, stuffed with grass clippings and other plant waste. I now know I shold not have put so many roots in it but hopefully that won't be a problem if I pull them out before using it. It should be usable by next spring I hope! Black gold, they call it.

Today, we have a sunny cool day and I plan to work in the yard a bit. Yesterday we bought 3 bags of cow manure and one bag of mushroom compost. I hope it will be enough to enrich all the flower beds. Some of them have fairly rich, well-drained soil already. Some have dry, sandy soil. Some have okay soil but it is full of roots. And some of the soil is full of clay and has lousy drainage. They say compost is the answer to most of these issues, except the roots, which need to be pulled out by hand.

I still have tulip, hyacinth and daffodil bulbs to plant but will wait until after the new moon, and when temperatures are cooler. I got two nice salvia plants with bright blue flowers yesterday at Loews for fifty cents each! Should have gotten more. Plant markdowns are a great deal there. I got two clematis vines for $3.50 apiece last month.

I am also waiting on some plants to arrive that I got via mail order (a purple smoke tree, some daylilies, peonies, alliums and English bluebells). By this time next year our yard-wide "cottage garden" should be well on its way! Between buying a few things at bargain prices (hydrangeas, and replanting a whole lot of stuff from previous gardens (irises, peonies, sedums, hosta), as well as some well-timed purloining of native weeds or overflowing perennials, we have a nice selection of growing things without spending a whole lot of money. By next year though I hope to integrate more annuals for color, once the perennials in the beds are more established.

photo: That is a dahlia planted in front of our garage. It is known as "Tout a Toi" and is a compact variety. It has always done well for me, although this one probably needs a bit more sun.

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