Things are really popping out in my garden these days, and I’m spending hours every day working and puttering around out there. My nails are completely trashed. I have scratches and gouges up and down my arms and legs. (Purple spray paint, too!) The knees of my favorite overalls are permanently mud-stained, and my allergies are in full attack mode.
I couldn’t be happier!
I spend a lot of my time weeding. My garden covers . . . a lot of ground . . . and every spring, there is a ton of cleaning-up and weeding to do. I hire some help for the big seasonal clean-up, but that doesn’t take care of all the clean-up chores. (No one loves a garden like the gardener, y”know?) And I always do all the weeding and deadheading myself.
Our trash collection service offers yard waste pickup (our community does composting; no garden waste is allowed in our regular trash, so this is required) — and we order two 90-gallon carts for our yard and garden waste.
I know this sounds like . . . overkill.
But I actually fill both bins most weeks.
That’s . . . a lot of weeding!
It’s been especially weedy for me this year. Why? Well . . . I didn’t weed my garden at all last fall. Between the deer (I got a little discouraged) and the Great Roof Siege (I couldn’t access most of my garden beds for nearly two months), my garden wasn’t really “in a good place” when winter arrived. PLUS . . . I didn’t mulch last year (big mistake). PLUS . . . our winter wasn’t cold enough to kill most of the weed seeds. So . . . I’ve been working extra hard to get things in good shape, and Tom’s been a maniac with the mulching. I still have a couple of beds to go, but then it’ll be just “maintenance weeding” for the rest of the summer, and that’s much more manageable. (Or that’s what I tell myself, at least.)
I’ve also been sprucing up my collection of garden structures and obelisks with coats of spray paint. I’ve had three sculptures in my garden (from a local garden artist here in Kalamazoo) for several years. After many years in the sunshine, the structures have faded quite a bit. The artist recommends just retouching them with spray paint. So I did.
And it worked so well – and was so easy – that I grabbed several (boring) obelisks I have and painted them, too! Now I have fun punches of color all over my garden!
In other garden excitement, we’ve replaced the “deer flags” with solar patio lights. The light strings serve the same function as the flags: creating a “trick of the eye” for the deer, by appearing to be an extra layer of “fencing.” It seems to work well to keep the deer out of my backyard — and the lights are much more charming (and a whole lot gentler) than the flags!
And I got a new potting bench. It’s smaller than my old one, but nicer — and a bit more sturdy. (The old one, which was close to 20 years old, finally rotted through and fell apart.) It’s nice to have a new “desk” in my “office” outdoors — and this one give me better access to my compost bin, so a big win for the garden.
And that’s it for today’s Tales From the Garden! There are lots of things going on out there in my garden, but I’ll save those tales for another day.
What’s going on in your garden?
I think your light trick is just marvelous! (what a treat to see those lights all along your fence!) Take that you darn deer! I thought it was just me on the over-abundance of weeds this year… my gosh, they are insane this year! We had rain on Saturday and yep… that just teased more out of the ground here. Grrrr!
Your metal sculptures are so cute. I love the pop of happy colors.
Let’s see …………..the Kousa dogwood is blooming and the peonies are going crazy!! No wild rains to beat them down this year. The clematis opened it’s first flower and the weeds are having a rave out in the front bed by the driveway.
The lilac is done (boooooooooooooooooooooooooooo) as are the sweet viburnum. Now it’s mostly just green until the daylilies do their thing.
Oh wow, the lights look AMAZING!! And your repainted sculptures are great! It’s nonstop glorious weather here this week, so it sucks to be at work, but it looks like MDW will be nice, too (for a change)!! I’ve been letting my personal gardener take the reins around here, but there’s plenty of outside work to go around!
The lights are perfect and the garden sculptures look awesome! I wish I could sit and enjoy your weed free garden with you. XOXO
I hope the lights work for the deer! OUr landscaper ominously told us last fall that if the deer are hungry enough, nothing will deter them but I”m keeping my fingers crossed for you!
Your garden is looking beautiful! You’re so lucky that your community does composting – we don’t all have that luxury for garden waste! I pay an additional company for composting, but they only do food waste. Your garden structures look great and I love the colors! I also love your lights.
Things are looking amazing Kym! We finally feel like spring here and will get the boxes planted this week. The lily garden is coming up nicely and Doug’s sunflower seedlings are popping up like crazy!
The lights are a great idea. Your garden looks beautiful. I did a good thorough weeding last fall and it made a difference this Spring. That doesn’t always happen but I might be more motivated now that I see the result. The sculptures in their new paint are such a nice touch. Here, everything is planted. I sowed some seeds. One hill of cucumbers will need to be replanted. I’m waiting on the zinnias to germinate. The iris are in full bloom.
I’m currently on vacation and I have a terrible feeling that my lilac (the only one I have) is blooming while I’m gone. I’ll be so mad!
This is the second summer in this house and last summer was spent doing some major work in all the beds. The previous owner seems to have been a “plant it and ignore it” person and everything was SO over grown. It was so much more than I could take on myself so we hired someone to come in and do all the heavy work. So this year, I’ve been really excited to see all the hostas we thinned and transplanted coming up just fine under the trees, the peonies we moved seem to be none the worse for the transplanting, and in general, everything seems to be happy. Hallelujah!
It is all looking amazing, even before things start blooming and really exploding. I’d love to pass a nice summer evening sitting in your garden and enjoying the sculptures and lights! I’m jealous that your town collects and composts yard waste. Our city does yard waste collection, but I’m pretty sure it just ends up in the trash. I compost what I can, but it would be nice to have a large-scale effort. Enjoy your time out there!
of course nothing is going on in “my” garden, but Marc has a few tiny, green tomatoes and a bunch of cucumber blossoms!
Thank you so much Kym for this post. Almost missed it because I had a date yesterday with my husband which included a Yarn Store. I so appreciate the Krylon tip (last seen during my Crafty Mom days) for our slightly rusty outdoor bistro set. And Google piped up to suggest the nearest retailer which is within walking distance, of all things. Now to buy the Sunday edition of the New York times to provide a good surface to spray on.
The lights are perfect! So much work to “spruce” up your garden, but a wonderful pay off. I hope you can now spend many nights on the patio enjoying the fruits of your labor.