I've been spending the past 2 days (mornings) working over the Front Bed and I'm pleased with my progress. Yesterday, I transplanted 3 peony clumps into the bed and tidied up the mulch over/around them. Today, I tackled the next section, dug out an enormous amount of couch grass (nearly 3 wheelbarrow loads, plus other weeds) and the mini-comfrey. I like the mini -comfrey as a ground cover, but it really spread all over that bed because I'd been neglecting it. I got the 2 remaining blue rug junipers thoroughly cleaned out; they had couch grass all thru/over/under them. Now I've got about an 8 square foot area that's clean, turned over, raked, and ready to work.
I also got both clumps of iris cut down and ready to lift. I've decided to run a "dry stream bed" of pebbles from the front porch, curving gently thru this bed, down to the retaining wall above the driveway. After much thought, discussion and debate, I've decided to lay this down in concrete, in sections, and before each section is dry, embed pebbles into the concrete. There is method to my madness: if the pebbles are simply put down on the ground the hens will have them scattered in 2 minutes. If I only use big "hen proof" pebbles, I'll still have the problem of mulch kicked over them (impossible to clean off without moving the pebbles) and weeds. But, if the pebbles are embedded, no weeds can come up, I can sweep mulch off them without dislodging them, AND I may be able to actually use the "dry stream bed" as a water course to help divert water from the downspout into the bed.
So, tomorrow, I'm hoping to lift the iris clumps and lay out the path of the "stream bed." If I can replant the iris, I'll be happy. It's supposed to be very hot and humid again tomorrow and for all of next week, so I'm going to have to do only a little at a time. Plus, I've got a ton of office work I need to get thru in the upcoming week.
I'm really tired of the summer weather; it's been so hot and dry for so long (we had a heavy rain over a week ago), and I guess I'm just "done" with this. I want it to be cool autumn weather. My idea of joy right now is temps in the 70s and constant drizzle for about a week.
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