Thursday, May 28, 2009
So I have this addiction to mulch lately. This is the first year, since we bought our house in 2006, that I've really been working on the front yard. For the past three years I sort of let it "maintain" itself. In fact, I've treated it like my writing, peeking in once in a while and not staying very long out of fear. I avoided the perennials that were healthy and lush as much as I avoided the barren, weedy, overgrown sections, because so many of the plants are plants I've never grown or taken care of before. But Lily is teaching me to just barrel forward into the unknown, (hello raising children!) and see what happens.
There are parts of our front yard that have survived my neglect, and then other parts where ugly things like quackgrass and creeping buttercup have taken over entire sections of the garden beds. And of course there's the very hardy blackberry vines, that happen to love my neglect. Even the sections that look like they did maintain themselves are overgrown and stagnant.
Avoidance is never good, so this year I decided to dive back in and try to recover the front yard. And I've had tons of help, which always makes the seemingly impossible more like a fun challenge. Greg's mom, GramS was here a month ago, and she and Greg spent hours digging up the brick path and turning over tightly bound grasses that had pushed their way into everywhere they didn't belong. She also cleaned up the raised beds in back and planted strawberry seeds for Lily. We had so much fun, I just wish she was still here to see how things are progressing. Of course the reason I get to spend so much time in the garden is because my own mom, Nana lives with us and helps me keep track of Lily. My friend Joie did a ton of manual labor too, showing me how to lay down cardboard over the grass and then mulch over it so that it will compost over time. And our neighbors, Andy and Mary Ann stop by and help me identify plants once in a while; plus they always have dog biscuits for Dizzy .
And then there is the mulch, thank goodness for mulch! Lily loves the mulch, (not sure if that is a good thing or not...) I feel relief once the mulch is down because I feel like I really can maintain things now, like beginning with a strong foundation so that I can move forward, and not keep taking ten steps backward.