Wednesday, June 10, 2009


This is part 1 of 2 garden day posts for Karla

Bring the usual tools – mostly we will be cleaning up the beds (I know, it’s mid-May and I haven’t done that yet!!), composting, mulching, trimming – planting a few things. My goal is to have breakfast on the table at 8:30 so we can get in the yard before the temp reaches broiling point.

I might need some limbs cut on the ligustrum, Glinda, so if you want to throw your pole cutter in, that would be great. The only tilling we will need to do is a small bed beside air conditioning unit.

Looking forward to seeing everyone!!

By 8:30A the buffet table was ready and the flowers were on the table. One-by-one 5 Divas arrived for Karla's May garden day, dressed in work clothes with every tool in our arsenal. Diva-Annie was not in town - we'd miss her calm presence. With Karla almost everything has a backstory.... usually one that has us in stitches. It turned out that Karla saw the flowers when she went to check on her sister Callie's house while the family was on vacation. Such a giant bouquet obviously needed a group to appreciate it so Karla liberated the lavish floral arrangement and brought it where it could be admired.

We enjoyed Karla's menu of Baked French Toast Casserole w/Maple Syrup, Hash Brown Quiche, Berry compote and juices - isn't the Scottie napkin ring cute? After breakfast we went out to survey the garden and take a few "before" photos of the areas that Karla wanted us to do. The Rose of Sharon in the front corner was getting an established look and the parkway (AKA Hellstrip) mainly needed tidying - that rosemary badly needed pruning.

When grass grew in the parkway it never did well but the Lantana that replaced the grass was very happy indeed! A little snipping and mulching and they'd look great.

This didn't look like too bad of a work day - the long front border we worked on last year looked pretty good - just needing neatening and cutting back, composting and mulching.

The edge where the entrance walk meets the foundation bed has been a problem area for most of the years we've worked in Karla's garden. It gets too much sun at some times of the year, not enough sun at other times and gets washed away in heavy downpours. Karla wanted to plant some variegated liriope in this spot - it's a tough plant that might be able to take those conditions.

Karla was right - that ligustrum needed the pole pruner.
After Karla's garden day last summer we'd left this path edged and ready for decomposed granite. Since then a mountain of granite had been delivered and used to fill in the very Austin looking walkway. We like the result, Karla! In back the beds needed a Spring Cleaning, too - Karla and Mattie had some ideas about a compost corner and screening shrubs for the utilities. Maybe this wasn't going to be a short day after all!

CRACK!!! Thunder and lightning suddenly changed the focus of the day - we headed inside, in hopes it was a passing shower. Weather info was pulled up from TV, phone and computer. Mattie decided to work on the houseplants while she waited - taking them to the kitchen for grooming and watering them one at a time. "What's the usual procedure when weather interrupts a garden day?" Mattie, our newest Diva asked.

The rest of us looked at each other and realized we'd never dealt with this situation in 10 years of Diva-Days. We'd cancelled a few dates the night before and or very early in the morning, and on more than one occasion we'd worked through steady drizzle but we'd never had a lightning storm hit after we were already together.

The weather reports grew more ominous - it was time to quit and go home. It wouldn't be fair to make Karla cook breakfast again - we'd eat that at our own homes next Saturday, then arrive at 8:30AM ready to work....but would still hope for a great lunch.

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