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Normally I don’t get much help gardening apart from lawn mowing, branch removal and that sort of thing. But since absolutely nothing was done last summer due to our bulding project and a miserable spring, I convinced himself to get out the tiller, appointed two beds where nothing had survived and asked to have the roots and crud raked away. And look what an amazing job he did!

Now it’s my turn to try to salvage my strawberry plants. Ahem. Can you see them? Somewhere in that dandelion strip right there… These are much better berries than any modern plants, so I stubbornly fight to keep them alive. Unfortunately I’m so slow that the ground has dried up and I can’t even hack through it with a spade, much less pull out deep rooted grass and weeds.


So now we’re just looking at a cold week ahead, hopefully with some water in it, so I can move as many strawberries as possible and start improving that concrete with compost. I’m uncertain about the asparagus, when to move them safely, but I guess I’ll have to look it up.

garden10Keeping a garden in heavy clay with weeds from the fields blowing in is really a back buster. I’m trying to find ways to convert it to a low maintenance area.

For now the decision is sort of counterintuitive, keep the open, bare beds which makes the weeding much faster. Improve the soil, a year, two? Keep turning it over. Because every time I’m tempted to plant something, grass happens.

And don’t talk to me about various covers. Weeds grow just fine on and through anything I’ve tried, but you can no longer hack at them.

G did this bed as well, although the edge is mine if I want to preserve the primula. There’s already green sprouting, but now it’s mostly borage which comes back every year. I’m sure a few Celandine will appear too as well as the huge bags of marigolds and purple poppies that I showered it with. There’s weeds you know, and there’s weeds. And they can all be tilled and cleaned out again in the fall. Unless we get two months of rain, in which case I don’t maintain it and we’ll have to start over. 😉 Still, tilling takes a day, handweeding takes me weeks.