Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Small chores

(Border bearded iris 'Jazz Echo,' from the old yard)

Yesterday was spent in a flurry of chores - groceries, laundry, dusting, vacuuming, tidying. It felt good to catch up on some stuff, and the kids needed some space after a very busy weekend.

Still, I made some time to wander the garden too. I planted bush cucumbers, and a couple kinds of cosmos. I hope the cosmos take off - they're in the back corner bed of the back yard, where the drainage runoff goes through a rocky/sunny area. The soil is so-so, and it can get very dry on the surface, which is what cosmos prefers. Rich soil will cause cosmos to make lush foliage, but few flowers. I'm hoping for the reverse - modest foliage, lots of flowers. And if they self-seed there, they're welcome to go wild.

That back bed belongs to our neighbors as well - it's right on the property line - but we have their blessing to do what we want with it, since it's mostly castaways from another neighbor's job at a garden center, and no one pays much attention to it. It's a total mishmash of plants, so I can hardly make it more eclectic. It's a real weed-fest, too, and I cut out a bunch of stuff last year, and have been madly pulling stuff this year to get the upper hand on it. I'm not so sure I'm winning, either! So I'm content to let some things just go wild there. It will never be a manicured "border." It even has some milkweed, which I'm happy to encourage in modest amounts to attract butterflies. Less appealing is some nightshade-relative with nasty thorns - I'm ruthlessly eradicating that, since two of our neighbors have little kids who might be tempted to try the pretty "berries."

Oh, some bluebirds chased the sparrows from the nest box, and there are now two bluebird eggs in the nest! I'm really excited about that. I think I might put up a second nest box next year.

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