September 5, 2010

Rocks, Roots and Clods

Gardening isn’t for sissies. We’re learning that with our backs. We've pulled lots of rocks, a network of old roots, and solid dirt clods out of the yard. The rocks and dirt go into the backyard to raise low spots. Then we dig, dig some more, mix good, new soil with old in the wheelbarrow, shovel it back in around the new plant, pat it down, repeat. So far we’ve repeated this process 26 times, not counting the two flats of ground cover that we cut into more than twenty little squares each and followed the same steps.

The dirt (I hesitate to call it soil) in our yard is adobe, a dense clay that just dares a plant to grow. It has to be amended in order to break it down into something that will drain properly and have the right mix of nutrients for our new plants. Of course, everything we’ve chosen for the front yard requires good drainage.

If When the plants take root they’ll be low maintenance, colorful, and fragrant. Our front yard will be the best smelling in the neighborhood. We’ve put in a variety of salvias, rosemary, a couple kinds of lavender, lambs ear, and lemon verbena. They’ll grow tall and lush and we’ll be glad to have worked so hard to help them along.