After ten years, I thought I would have my gardens pretty much the way I wanted them. I just hoped 1.4 acres was going to be enough land. It is. A lot has happened in those ten years. We had a well drilled, a garage/workshop added at the back, a pool installed, and a high fence erected to keep the deer out. I managed to save most of my daylilies, but I lost a lot of irises to the construction/destruction. The survivors are not particularly happy living in pots, so I hope to have permanent beds for them before they have to endure another winter above ground.
My first efforts to create gardens were not as successful as I had hoped they would be because I did not properly prepare the beds. They looked great the first season or so, but the shinnery, briars, johnson grass, and other weeds came back with a vengeance, even though we have experienced one drought year after another for a long time. The undesirables must be eradicated this time!
The first photo shows irises blooming in 2000 after being moved from the old house the fall before. There's an innocent little clump of shinnery on the left side and some weeds mixed in, but nothing looks seriously wrong at this point.
The second photo shows the same area in 2007 after the well drillers created a mudslide a foot or more thick and about sixty feet long and thirty feet wide. At least that thick layer of mud and ground rock killed many of the undesirable plants too, but the shinnery came back everywhere else we had cut it down and tried to dig it out.
This spring I used a little tractor with a bucket to push down shinnery that had grown to a height of twelve feet and then dug out all the roots I could. As soon as it rains (or I give up and run water on the area), I'll spray regrowth with brush killer. Right now it's just too hot to do anything outside.
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