Saturday, May 16, 2015


This post “2014 – June GLINDA’S GARDEN DAY” was written by Glinda/AnnieinAustin for the Divas of the Dirt blog.

Glinda here, with a few photos from my garden day in 2014. The project day took place in June, but the project idea was a response to the depressing view of our vegetable garden all winter through spring as we looked out the breakfast room window.

In general, our pepper & tomato plants grow better in containers than in the ground, where greedy roots from neighboring trees steal all the water and nutrients. But our motley collection of big plastic pots was not lovely – worse in winter but bad enough in spring.

The vegetable plot was adjacent to a mixed border but the two areas didn’t mesh right – how could we make them more coherent and connected?

I thought adding planting boxes for iris might work to soften the view and distract the eye without shading the vegetables, especially since I had a lot of dividable iris and they’re usually evergreen here. Ozz built one cedar rectangle and we set it on the grass to see how it looked.

Soon he built the second rectangle and we hauled home a large concrete paving block from the home center. We soaked the area, covered it in black plastic and set the boxes and block in place, hoping a few weeks of hot sun could kill the grass so it would be easy for the Divas to dig out.

By the end of June the weather was solidly summer hot. My friends were coming! A stars and stripes theme would be just right  -it was only a few days before the Fourth of July. Red, white and blue décor joined bowls of blueberries & strawberries and pineapple on the table. Under that mesh guard the Divas of the Dirt would find pecan muffins and blueberry muffins.

The makings for breakfast tacos were set out on the kitchen counter – beef chorizo from Whole Foods, sliced avocados, a few chopped tomatoes from the garden, grated cheese and salsa made by Ozz. On the stovetop, cubed, fried potatoes and scrambled eggs were just about ready. Time for sharing food and conversation!

After breakfast the Divas dived into the project.
But when we pulled off the black plastic it was obvious that the black plastic had not done its job very well! The St Augustine was daunted, but certainly not dead. Digging out the grass was going to be more difficult than expected. We also worked on making the curve of the adjoining bed blend in with the new boxes – scoring a line, moving stones and digging out grass.

Barbie had come to cheer on the workers. Mattie and Karla worked on the new beds and Annie weeded the path.

The work area wasn’t very large so Buffy decided to weed and reset the stepping stones inside of the garden perimeter.

Once the grass was banished, bags of soil and amendments were worked in and the planting began. Some of the tall purple iris (a passalong from Sophia) were divided from the front yard to go on the left, with a small daylily division in the center. The right side would have fragrant peach iris and a small ‘mystery’ daylily start from a garden blogger friend. A large bowl of a small mystery iris was dismantled. Some of it went in the front corners and some of it went home with friends who wanted to try it out.

It was an odd but interesting day. Annie had reached a milestone at work so there were posters & photos. Sugar couldn’t come and Mindy was on the injured list, but conversations are as important as the work! Warren brought Mindy and a couple of Sophia's family members were also there. Everyone could visit while those who were able could dig. Once lunch was ready, Ozz and Warren joined us at the dining room table and Buffy’s sister and nephew arrived in time for dessert.

I never got around to taking photos of our indoor picnic lunch – a simple spread of Mary’s Gone Crackers, croissants, some Artichoke-Spinach spread, chicken-basil salad, small tomatoes and a green salad with avocado dressing. There’s no photo of the double-dark chocolate oatmeal cookies, but this photo from a different day will work – my cheesecakes always look the same!


The day was hotter than expected and the job was harder that it should have been, but the Divas of the Dirt pressed on. By the time my friends went home it was obvious that the boxes and step would work well with the existing path. Here’s the view from our back door.

Less than a week later, the iris were settling into their new space, with the square stepping stone adding dimension and an illusion of height, the curve smoothed out and the reset round stepping stones also giving that illusion of going up… everything working to make a harmonious group.

When September rolled around the total effect was quite pleasant.

And this spring? The new wooden boxes had Iris in bloom!

This post “2014 – June GLINDA’S GARDEN DAY” was written by Glinda/AnnieinAustin for the Divas of the Dirt blog.

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