Monday, April 22, 2013

Snap to grid

I'm at that point in the gardening season where I want to do something, but if I want to do that, I have do this thing first, which means that I might as well do this other thing while I'm at it . . . and so now I have a bunch of projects going all at once and nothing's finished and everything looks like hell.

It started with this area on the back of the house, which faces north. I had the two shrubs back here ground out so I could start fresh.

This is the first time I'll have an area in shade that isn't dry. Hooray! So I started removing sod. But first I felt like I needed to address the area under our little deck, which is weedy and pitted and not sloped correctly.

I took some of the gravel that had been languishing on a tarp in the front yard and dumped it under here until everything was level.

You'll never guess where the tarp used to be.

I had to stop to take photos because the light was so good that night. Also, I was starving.

The back rain garden

I put down rock and I started planting, grabbing ferns and hostas from the side entrance, and the shrub mint and oakleaf hydrangea from under the cedar. And damn it if I didn't plant everything in two perfectly straight rows. What is wrong with me?

Every time I'd dig something up to move it so it wouldn't be in a line I'd somehow have a brain fart and the thing would end up back in line with everything else. And I ran out of rock, so this bed still isn't finished. How do you like that reveal?

As a palate cleanser, let's admire my new Darmera peltata. I bought it at the HPSO sale and the cashier proclaimed it "so ugly only a mother could love it."

This Oregon native is a relative of rhubarb and its leaves will grow to as much as two feet in width. And they also have flowers, which aren't very exciting.

I told the cashier that, come summer, she'd be jealous of my ugly plant. She just may not be jealous of the rest of my garden, which is a swampy half-finished mess.


  1. I am really enjoying your sense of humor. Quite sad that I've only now just become acquainted with your blog. Great looking rain garden. You're like a poster child for Multnomah counties soil conversation department. :)

  2. Oh, thanks! Because I'm an over achiever I was like, "I'm gonna harvest ALL my rain water!" so my rain garden is comically large.

  3. Your beds are looking good! So is the Darmera. As to being planted in two rows, maybe they always end up that way because that's how they want to be planted.

  4. Well, yes, it's a mess now, but all the plants will grow to different sizes and shapes and blur the lines. Any newly planted space looks terrible / bare / too straight / a swampy mess / pathetically empty until it grows together. Then you will be happy to see how fine it looks!

  5. Oh, your first sentence is just how I feel about my garden right now - so many projects, nothing gets finished, and it all looks terrible. But I think your garden is looking great! I like your darmera plant. And after everything grows out, you will not be able to tell that things are planted in a line.

  6. MY big day of gardening (weeding) resulted in 4 ticks and an out of place rib that caused heart palpitations. (Rib put back in place by chiropractor. Tick bites unbelievably itchy). Still have four shrub/trees I don't know where to place.

    Re: straight lines! Maybe the bed should be curved. (More sod!)