Monday, August 8, 2011

20 hours of work

Green Santolina flowering
20 hours of work – that’s how much 10 people accomplish on a volunteer day, and it showed.

Alison and her dog Peeka sheared (and at points pruned stems individually) the lavender hedge. I weeded it a bit too, and on the whole it’s looking great. I noticed lots of baby lavender plants that appear to have seeded themselves as well. I forgot to water the hedge but will get out and do that next weekend.

Emily worked on battling the weeds in the brights bed at the top of the garden, and laid down some double-thickness weed barrier there. What with all the water that area gets from the one sprinkler head and hand watering the dahlias though, I think it’ll always be weedy. Oh well!

Bill and his sons Julian and Lucas came to help out, and Bill spent aged weeding in the garden pulling bindweed and other nasties very thoroughly. His kids helped weeding, pulling nasturtiums, cleaning up and trimming Watsonia bulbs too – they were very helpful.

John cut the cardoon (Cynara cardunculus) down – it was done for the year, and the space is now cleared and ready for it to sprout anew. If for some reason it doesn’t come back to life I have 4 babies waiting in the wings to take over. Never fear – we will always have cardoons! John also cut back some old Chasmanthe leaves and Achillea flowers, among other things.

Aeonium arboreum
"Atropurpureum"
Angelique who is fresh off the boat from Canada (specifically a place known as Winterpeg in Man-It’s-Cold-Here) came by with her little baby June strapped on to do some watering: she hand watered the beds that don’t get any sprinkler action. I find this display of energy in a young mother astonishing, and her baby was just the perfect papoose – quietly loving every minute, then falling asleep. June wins the award for youngest volunteer – she must be all of just a month or two old? Rock on Angelique and June.

Carlin weeded skillfully behind the wrong way sign (thanks to Matt’s mulching that problem is less and less a problem) and then went down to the Mariposa Center Garden with Emily to cut back the Chasmanthe and remove the old sweet peas from that spot. Some of the lupines there have gone deciduous (as they do in very dry spots) so Emily decided to water them. New volunteer Jeanne helped fill the milk jugs and John wheeled them down the street in the wheelbarrow. We finished up shortly after Jeanne arrived but hopefully we’ll see her again at another volunteer day if it coincides with her time off!

Nate and his sister Beth came by and weeded the last of the corn marigolds out of the back border. Our compost heap has risen to ridiculous proportions and it’s Time To Build The New Compost Bins. Matt, are you reading this? ;)

I ran around as usual like a headless chicken, trying to make sure everyone was supplied with tools and drinks and fun things to do, but I also managed to water the Brugmansia and tree dahlia via the soaker hose. Poor Brugmansia is not enjoying the xeric lifestyle… should I water it monthly in the summer? Will that be enough? Or should I just cut it down and find something more drought tolerant for that full sun, sloping, dry dry dry spot? (And how come Bruggies just 2 blocks away look great year round?) I would certainly miss the lovely scent and flowers of this plant if we cut it down… something to ponder.

Sorry I didn't get any people picture this time - too busy!

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