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Friday 1 May 2009 - Filed under Plants

Bamboo and stuff
This time last year, I had just spread a fresh load of compost. This week was too busy for that, but it looks like next week could be my window, finishing up one freelance project before beginning another. It just kills me, looking back at the pictures from last year, how much better the garden looks with fresh compost. This photo also has the yellow wave new zealand flax I think I lost this winter. There are still no signs of life.

Tulip and bindweed
When you move into a new house, you’re advised to wait a year to see what you have in the garden before you dive right in, which I did, mostly, but the weeds were the biggest surprise. One the first things I realized I had a problem with was the bindweed, which tangled itself around all the existing shrubs, and everything new I planted. Now that I’ve had 10 years of keeping on top of it-which consists of persistently digging up as much as possible every time I see it, and on occasion unwrapping it from a plant it’s gotten ahold of- I’d call it merely a nuisance and not a disaster. Except of course this weed patch that is not under control. Back there, it’s still winning the war, the best I do in that area is pull the vines out before they bloom and send more seed everywhere. This is the time of year it starts growing in earnest, and so the battle continues.

Fern fiddleheads
Every year I mean to cut my ferns back in time. But I want to wait until the last possible second so I don’t have to look at the bad haircut look for long. Every year I miss the window, and instead of quickly shearing back the fronds, I’m out there picking through them one by one to cut the old while leaving the new growth intact. This year I managed not to accidentally cut a single new frond in the process, that’s some kind of record.

This was a puppy from a litter I fostered two years ago, I think they were an australian cattle dog mix. They were found living outside, caked in mud, and eating rocks. They were pretty happy to be brought into a warm house and fed real food. We called this little guy brownie bear.

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2009-05-01  »  megan

Talkback x 10

  1. Victoria
    1 May 2009 @ 10:32 am

    I hate bind weed.
    Do you strip the bottom of your bamboo? We’d seen that done in an Asian garden once and kind of liked the effect, just haven’t applied it to our bamboo yet.
    Cute puppy!

  2. loree / danger garden
    1 May 2009 @ 11:09 am

    Evil evil bind weed. My husband tells a story of his father burning it. Of course everything else burnt too so that isn’t really an option for us. I learned that it can lay dormant for YEARS until you disturb the soil and reawaken it. And it can regrow from the smalled little tiny piece of stem. Or so they say.

    Good job on the fern! I’ve got some on the north side of the house that I need to get to. Someday. Like the compost…some day for that too.

    That puppy is completely adorable. How do you let them go? I’ve got to send my friend Erin in Seattle a link your your blog. She and her man have a rescued pit bull and a rescued mutt, she is as dog crazy as can be. If she fostered dogs I do believe she would never let them go. It takes a very special person to do what you do.

  3. megan
    1 May 2009 @ 11:24 am

    Victoria – I do strip the bottom of the bamboo. I was trying to figure out why other bamboo looked so tidy and mine looked so ratty, then I realized that I could strip off the lower branches. I like it much better that way.
    Loree – That bind weed will haunt me forever. Sigh. The deal with foster dogs & puppies is that they’re so much extra work, even though you love them, it can be kind of a relief to let them go. I did keep just one of my fosters, but with two dogs & two cats of my own, it’s a full house with any extras. When it’s really tough to let them go I remind myself that if I were to keep one more dog, it would make it unlikely that I’d be able to help others that needed it down the road. That’s my mantra when it’s time to send them back.

  4. tina
    1 May 2009 @ 2:32 pm

    I have to forget about the plants (all except that great fern) and say awwww to the pup!

  5. Karen
    1 May 2009 @ 4:33 pm

    OK, that one’s cute for sure, no qualifiers needed. I took pictures of my evil freaking bindweed the other day too, yours at least has the benefit of a pretty flower (ew, I know, you’d probably just let it strangle that one because it’s not white, right?). I am too lazy to dig so it sleeps under the ground no matter how many shoots I pull. I’ve hardly let any go to flower but I guess that doesn’t matter when the roots are so plentiful. Ugh. Hope you get your compost soon!

  6. megan
    2 May 2009 @ 6:44 am

    tina – the puppy really does upstage everything else
    karen – You have the bindweed, too? Isn’t it just the worst? I really don’t mind the flower on that tulip, I don’t have the restraint for an all white garden, no matter how hard I try.

  7. Germi
    2 May 2009 @ 10:38 pm

    Oh, Megan, the PUPPY (imagine me making embarrassing cooing noises)!!! I am in awe of what you do – I fostered a few dogs years back and my heart broke everytime I gave them to a good home. But they went on to have great lives – I still see two of them!

    I think it might be a good idea to wait and cut the old growth away from your beautiful fern after the danger of frost is past – I’ll bet the old stuff helps protect the tender fiddleheads! Sometimes, the path of least resistance is actually the right thing to do…
    Beautiful garden! Your bamboo – YUM!

  8. Germi
    2 May 2009 @ 10:42 pm

    Your pictures could not be more beautiful – just STUNNING!

  9. James
    4 May 2009 @ 7:47 am

    Why is Germi commenting twice. She is sucking up. Just saying…

    I like the unfurling of ferns so much we finally picked one up this year. I can’t imagine having a huge one like that unfurling in bad haircut fashion. Awesome.

  10. megan
    5 May 2009 @ 7:37 am

    Gerni – You are required to make embarrassing cooing noises at puppies, it’s the rule. Isn’t it great when you get to see your foster dogs? I’m lucky enough to still have a couple in my life. My mom adopted one, so one’s still in the family. Thanks for your compliments on the garden-I love your garden style more than my own, so it means a lot!
    James – I’m perfectly okay with sucking up. I prefer it, actually. I wonder how ferns do in Texas? If they grow well, you should get on it and get more than just one. There are just so many great ones to choose from.