Monday, March 21, 2011

Gardening Spring 2011

Yesterday was the first day of spring, the vernal equinox, and it was just lovely on Long Island. All the nasty dirty snow is long gone, the sun was shining strong, birds were twittering tweet tweet and it was just fine digging in the dirt, trimming various firs and cleaning up after winter and decades of neglect. It's a barren rock strewn front yard of a house in my neighborhood, with ancient Montauk Daisies that attacked me last week when I went in with my bare hands. It isn't just poison oak or ivy that'll get you - the plants themselves defend themselves. I have such a rash!!! I finally sought medical intervention and my wounds are healing nicely.

Meanwhile, I have been working this little piece of earth for a little while now, and am really paying attention this year. The owner, who is blind, moved in over ten years ago, and I think it's been that long since anyone worked it seriously. She has some beautiful roses, heirloom, with a lovely aroma. Remember when roses had scent, and not just beauty? Right now of course they are just thorns sticking out of the ground, but new buds are emerging, and I put good dark composted dirt on them, and it's raining today.


These are just some of the remaining Montauk Daisies I have to trim back. This is what an overgrown bush of daisies looks like. The base is actually woody, like a shrub. Hopefully this year the flowers will be thick and pretty.


This is the daisy that attacked me last week. I have learned my lesson - always wear gloves! I have a nice pair of old red leather gloves that are definitely past their prime, and I wear them now in the garden. It's still cold out there for all the sunshine.

This is the front walk/driveway, with overgrown firs and spruces. Last week I cleaned off and swept the porch, made that tidy and inviting. I
left this horizontal branch for a bannister and the large vertical branch for safety, as there is no railing on this porch, and we would sure hate for someone to fall.


Now to tidy up the driveway. Before...


And after...I need a pair of big loppers to get those thick branches that are so unsightly. I know where I can get a pair, and will be back...


The good dark dirt I found under the firs overhanging the ashpalt went on the thorny roses.


There is still a ton of work to be done. There are irises and a yucca buried under overgrown firs in front of the house.


The child of the house came out to help and keep company. She got a pricker pretty quick, so she drew with her chalks while we chatted.



In a couple of hours it was gettting pretty chilly, so I swept up and put the tools away. Today it is raining, so it feels like the circle is going 'round and 'round.

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