Saturday, May 7, 2011

Bindweed is the antichrist

Saturday's volunteer day was great as always. We had a dozen people show up and work away for 2 hours, putting in a total of 24 person-hours of work which had an astonishing effect on the garden. We got so much done and several people asked if there were additional work days planned before the next official one. Well if they're THAT keen,who am I to stand in the way?

I sprinkled some multicolored California poppy seeds and yellow Calendula seeds along the lavender hedge as I pondered project number one for the day: to remove bindweed from the dog area and lay down weed barrier cloth. After covering this with mulch it should prevent bindweed from flourishing there. No, it won't stop it altogether, but it will put a severe dent in the party scene that the bindweed has been enjoying. Fingers crossed!

Uzuri and David
I'd estimated we'd get one 6' x 100' long strip done, but we got two strips done. Emily led the enthusiastic group comprised of Elliot, Paloma, David, Uzuri, Donna, Francisca and Leslie, who systematically rid the area of weeds. Leslie also pruned the Salvia "Anthony Parker" which was a bit overdue for a haircut.

In the meantime, I worked in the left bed alongside Carlin, who managed to prune back several unruly plants in no time at all. The cardoon, Cortaderia, Euphorbia "Blackbird", Purple Fountain Grass (Pennisetum setaceum), Watsonia and Artemisia "Powis Castle" all got a trim.

Donna and Emily
I cut back the red Canna, a rosemary and a lavender, and together we worked on the Helichrysum petiolare and Coprosma that were threatening to take over the Phormium back there.

Emily moved the two Aquilegias from the left bed up by the bench - it was just too hot and dry for them. Janet moved a Banksia spinulosa over to a spot behind the wrong way sign too - that one wasn't getting enough sun. Dee cut back the Watsonias in the brights bed among other tasks, and Debbie cleaned up a great deal of weeds from the steps area.

Paloma and Elliot
While all this was going on, Matt was busy in the back slope. At the end of the day I was astonished to see how much work he'd done in cutting out terraces, securely marking the area for the new steps, and moving the compost bin up slope to the base of the compost heap.

Go team!

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