So now it’s August. August fourth to be exact, and I’m not sure how we started into the month already when I only just realized July was ending, but here we are. Weeding continues and with the front yard relatively under control it’s time to give the back some attention. The potager is always ground zero for mayhem.
From the right angle and with some nice morning light the potager looks like a flowery wonderland, but an actual visit would show plenty of weeds and needs. Staking, deadheading, dividing… they’re all on the list somewhere, but weeding is all I really manage to get to. In my new lower-the-maintenance kick I’m trying to think of better edging and maybe some raised beds and trellises but that’s a whole ‘nother lever and I don’t know if I can pull it off without someone else noticing that the closets still need new shelves and back in June in a moment of clarity that was chosen as the real summer project.
I was kind of inspired by how well the phlox were flowering and didn’t really mind all the hard labor out back. There are a few seedlings which are nicely fragrant which I always appreciate, and in general quite a few have decided to flower instead of die, and for me and my phlox that’s a big step.
I don’t grow the phlox well. There’s always something they don’t like and I would guess that in any given year for the half that do well there’s another good half that look downright miserable. I think they’d like a looser, more fertile soil with even moisture levels but that’s just not going to happen and they’ll just have to deal.
I made it all the way to the ‘forgotten’ beds in the far back, which are less flower beds than they are just planted areas which I don’t mow. The double tiger lily (Lilium lancifolium ‘Flore Pleno’) is back there and has finally opened up its congested and twisted blooms. I never know for sure if I really like it or if it’s just too interesting to not grow, but I’m beginning to think I actually like it 😉
I was about to tackle one of the worst of the ‘forgotten’ beds when I noticed someone else had moved in before me. I treasure yellow garden spiders (Agriope aurantia) so when I saw this darling sitting in her web I decided enough was enough with the weeding and frost can level these things just as well as I can.
I’ll regret letting this messy plot go to seed but in the long run I always opt for interesting over pretty so each afternoon I check out how well she’s respun her nest and weather she’s looking a little thin. Every now and then a Japanese beetle gets flicked into her trap just to make sure she’s plenty plump by autumn.
Opting out of any more weeding really gave me a new lease on gardening. Weeding the whole garden only to start weeding again is about as rewarding as mowing the lawn every time the lawn needs mowing, and it makes me feel like a dog chasing its tail except I’m not that into tails. These never ending tasks just wear me down. So the lawn is getting tall and the less noxious weeds are enjoying summer and I’m moving on to projects. I finally decided to address the pile of flat rocks I had collected last fall and had been mowing around ever since.
For me projects make you feel like you’re actually making headway. I want my garden to grow from year to year as well as season to season so changes always make me feel like that’s the case. The reality is that the photos sometimes say it looked better in the before state, but where’s the fun in that? Also I bought four new pitcher plants for like $15 on clearance so obviously I needed to invest hours of time and at least twice that much money in peat and sand just so they had a comfortable place to live.
Someone might notice that adding beds to a garden that may already be too much might possibly be a move in the wrong direction but of course I don’t care. Hobbies should be fun and you’d be amazed at how quickly a weed whacker and a pile of mulch can tame just about any mess.
The bog is settling in and the bench now overlooks a patch of hellebores which have finally been moved out of the vegetable garden. I would have taken and posted a photo but was so sweaty and disgusting the mosquitos even avoided me. So much for the fun part of the hobby 😉