Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Plan Bs

A large part of gardening is dealing with failure and changing plans to fit reality. I've had a couple big doses of that this summer.

This spring, I finished moving The Rocks. This is what it looked like when I started working in April.

The biggest issue with the rocks was figuring out what to do with them. In a fit of genius, I decided that most of what was remaining could simply be used to line the fence that you see in the above photo.

I pulled out the weeds, transplanted the daylilies that were hiding under the weeds, and put down rocks.

Below is the area that is to the left of the above photo. More rocks that had to get moved.

Eventually, I got the whole area clear and had to figure out what to do next, knowing it was just a matter of time before the weeds took over. I decided that in the interest of time and money, I would plant the whole area with wildflower seeds. My favorite garden center had some bags of mixed wildflower seeds, so I grabbed a couple of those and went to work.

I pulled all of the weeds in the area closest to the house, put down a layer of top soil, and spread the seeds out.

I thought I had enough seeds for the whole area, but I apparently didn't spread them thin enough because I only got half the area - what's in the above photo - covered before I ran out of seeds. The side that didn't get seeded looked like this:

 I dutifully watered the seeds and kept them moist for a couple weeks, and guess what? Nothing sprouted except weeds.


In the midst of this project, I had decided that I was going to start adding a few plants to the west side of the wall. In the linked post, it's the area with all of the flowers. For the past couple years, I've simply let what's already there grow, planning to do a major makeover in the future. With the wall construction done, it seemed like I could get started on that, so I placed an order with Prairie Nursery for 32 native perennials. I had a wonderful plan for where I was going to put them, and it was going to be beautiful. As beautiful as all of the wildflowers.

The little babies came as planned and looked ready to grow.

In the meantime, however, we received a letter from the city stating that they were moving ahead with the street improvement project. The street is adjacent to the fence in the above photos. The letter didn't say for sure that the street would be widened, but any construction on the street could mean removing the fence, and my 32 plants were going to be planted right inside the fence.

What's a gardener to do? Plan B times two.

Five of the perennials were planted in other areas of the yard, and the remaining 27 were planted where the wildflower seeds had been. I'm happy to say that they are growing well, much better than the seeds.

As far as the street project goes, we should be getting more information soon. Unfortunately, some of the survey work they are doing in preparation seems to show that the fence in question actually sits on the city's property. Probably more plan Bs in the future.

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