Ever feel like you’ve bitten off more than you can chew? That’s what I’m feeling today. The photo above is of the stone patio on the southeast side of the house. There is (was) a perennial garden that ran around the edge of it that has been there since the beginning of time, I swear. It had irises, phlox, peonies, various herbs and enough daffodils to populate the sides of every road in town.
I have been thinking about digging up this garden for a few years now but every summer it has been just too hot to do it. With all the other gardens I’ve dug so far this summer I figured I would tackle one last one. The decision was made earlier in the year when only a few of the irises blossomed. They were too crowded. The daffodils were insane every year for decades but this year there weren’t quite many blossoms as I’m used to seeing and I took that as a sign as well.
Today was the perfect weather to spend outdoors doing anything. Blue sky, breeze, cool. I started digging at 8:30 and finished around 3:30. Well, I stopped because I couldn’t dig anymore, my body wouldn’t let me. I dug and divided oregano, three huge clumps of iris, three huge garden phlox, a sedum, a patch of chives about three feet in diameter, a small peony and hundreds of bulbs. I must confess I divided the first phlox and planted six good size plants in the front garden but the other two I dug up went out to the compost heap except for a small piece that I gave to a neighbor. Other things were moved to other gardens but the rest of it is in buckets waiting to go back into the ground.
I have a very large bucket full of bulbs, it weighs over 50 pounds and the digging is a little over half done. Those daffodils started out as a forced pot of six in 1978 – a gift sent to my sister during a hospitalization. My mother planted them in the spring and for the last 36 years they have been expanding exponentially.
The interesting thing about this garden is how it has gotten higher up on the wall as the years have gone by. The lawn has gotten higher and the garden seems to have gone along for the ride. In digging this side out I have been able to expose more of the wall of the patio. I think this is due to mulching the grass where it’s cut over so many years. It creeps up on you and always comes as a surprise to me when I start digging.
The plan is to finish digging the rest of it in the next day or two and plant everything that’s staying by the end of the week. Fortunately most of the heavy digging is almost done, I have about a third of the garden to go but I have to tell you, the way my body feels right now getting back out there tomorrow morning is making me wish for rain.