Thursday, March 25, 2010

Interlopers, succulents, and a castle garden.

Look who showed up today! Isn't she lovely?

And this guy...every morning I find him in the pond. Baffles me to no end. Does he want to be in the pond? Why doesn't he sink? Is he "swimming?" Every morning...same dude. I want to Google it..."snails swimming"...but then I'd know and I kinda like not knowing. Sometimes the information age bums me out. Do I really need to know the answer to everything? Then again, sometimes I feel so relieved that I can just walk over to the computer (The Oracle, my friend Michael calls it) and find out whatever I want to know. For now, I'm liking the mystery of the snail in the pond.

Speaking of I took the old cement rings from around the trees in the front, we moved them to the STBBBFO, and there they've waited. I've been hemming and hawing about what to put in them. I had just about decided they were to be herb gardens or wildflower beds, but then I got all fired up about succulents and that's my final decision. I think. I'm pretty sure. I moved all the crap out of them and then faced the old, dead compost pile that was never turned or watered and moved that dirt into the rounds. I think this was a mistake.

See? Looks like things are going well, right?

Doesn't that little sedum and ghost plant (I'm sure the plant police will correct me...I have no idea what these succulents are really called) and Buddha (I'm clear on that one) look sooo cute? Look closer. Just look at all those little somethings popping up out of that supposedly clean composty soil mound. Looks like shoveling it from one spot to another just woke everybody up. I'm pretty sure there might even be some melons coming up. Crap, crap, crap. Over there I've got a damn fruit and veggie garden that I treat like a baby, and it hardly produces a thing. Over here I've got a ratty old dirt pile with old dried-up composting in it that I never touch and I'm growing melons. Sigh. Sometimes I feel we are at odds with each other, this garden and I.

See all these interlopers? These aren't the melony ones, these are just grass or dandelions or some of that chernobyl sticky plant stuff. I just made this bed a week ago and the thing is full of junk. And so it goes.
My castle garden story...I have this dear, dear friend who lives on the other side of town and every now and then she just pops by when she has something to do around these parts. Now this woman has less than no interest in gardening or yardening. None. But she is sweet as pie and a good friend so she tries really hard to act interested. I drug her out back and was showing her The Big Ugly - the part of the yard all covered with cardboard and city mulch that is awaiting The Big Makeover. She listened to me blather on and on for lord knows how long. She did all the right things...nodding at appropriate times, giving a little "uh huh" every now and then. Finally, I see (or at least notice) her eyes glazing over and I wrap it up. She then says real sweetly, "Well, don't you worry. I know how you like to change your mind a lot and before you know it, you won't want a prairie look, you'll want a beautiful castle garden." I drew a big blank here cuz I have no idea what a castle garden is, but I don't want to appear to not know because she thinks I know what the hell I'm doing, and because she's about the only one, I don't wanna blow my cover so I just kinda play along like I know what a castle garden is. She's going on and on about how pretty my yard would look as a castle garden, and how it would really suit my personality and whatnot. Well, finally I just can't stand it anymore, and I admit that have no idea what she's talking about. She starts to act all uppity and says, "What, you really don't know? YOU, Missy Gardener of the garden blog? Why I just can't believe you don't know what a castle garden is, silly. Why, it's a garden with all those climbing English roses and trellises and stuff."
Cottage garden. She's thinking cottage garden.
Hoohaha...I finally picked myself up off the mulch and stopped laughing, and she finally stopped sulking, and we patched it all up. I told her I was going to out her. And so I just did.


  1. I'm reading along thinking, "Hmmm. I want a castle garden and I don't even know what the hell it is!".

  2. Looks like baby Hackberry coming up. I have tons of volunteer melons in my compost pile! I think about moving them, but who knows, maybe I'll actually get a melon!

  3. Castle - Cottage..climbing roses are beautiful and easy (really) The best things I ever ever got was from my compost heap!!! Really !! I got gourds for some reason, and cantalopes, and just couldn't wait to see what was gonna jump out. I LOVE the surprises. Mr. Harry thought I should get chikkens from all the egg shells I had in there. Now I just tuck stuff in the flower beds under the cover of darkness. Heh Heh those pesky grounds keepers who try to weed ME !!Sez Ms.Mudd

  4. Your snail looks extremely lonely. :-) I'd hate for you to have to pay for snail prozac.--It's quite pricey, I'm sure. Does he need some friends? I am more than willing to share. Maybe then the snails could all gather 'round and do some swim meets in your yard or maybe hold a snail olympics or a dinner party. Let me know if you want more, and I'll bring mine over. (Grin.)

    I REALLY like your old tree ring. It has a lot of character. Can't wait till the succulents do their thing.

    You had me going with the castle garden. Like I was thinking, "What the hell is that?" (I thought I was a pretty savvy gardener, but I'd never heard of a castle garden till this post on your blog.) So I have a castle garden...ahem...I mean a cottage garden or at least that's what the goal is most of the time. Sometimes though the goal is just to grow a lot of pretty weeds. I'm good at that! Laura

  5. If you need some more old tires, there are a ton on the street in my hood waiting to be picked up for bulky pickup week, but you better hurry if you want them!

    Love the old tree ring succulent garden idea.

  6. If you have a castle garden don't you need a moat?

  7. Dear gods, I HATE that "chernobyl" weed!! It was impossible to clear back when I gardened in the Gracy Farms area. Hateful stuff!

  8. Laura...OMG I laughed so hard at all you said. I think he's already on snail prozac...he's tres chill.

    Paul..I hate it too AND it makes me break out with angry red whelp things. ugh. Death to the sticky weed. Why can't we make cars run on that stuff?

  9. Merry Merry, I wish my house had a moat! You know I do.


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