Sorry that this post is a bit negative. I don't find gardening relaxing or meditative. I'm actually a little apprehensive, each morning, when I walk through the yards. Did the moles destroy all the work I did yesterday? Are any of the drip lines detached-Is everybody getting water? Now we're getting too much water here and not enough over there. One challenge of my yard is the heavy clay soil. I've dumped/tilled yards and yards of compost in to the soil, and try to mulch every season, but it's difficult to incorporate the amendments when I have so many established plants. Some plants get stuck in their planting holes, basically growing like a potted plant. To fix this requires digging around and under the planting hole, and filling with compost and top soil which is very time consuming. I'm also constantly fighting blackberry vines and english ivy from my neighbor's yards. Summer is the worst because this area is getting hotter and drier every year. I thought native plants would flourish with minimal care, but I am finding that not to be the case. With climate change, invasive pests and plants, and bad soil, it';s a struggle to keep all the plants hydrated and disease free. Hopefully it will get easier as they get more established. I spent $600 dollars on water, last summer. Here's to hoping for a cooler, wetter season this year! There. Feels good to vent...
I saw this Pacific Dogwood seedling, at the nursery last week, and it looked pretty sad, but they are difficult to find for sale. It was suffering from a small container, mites and a little powdery mildew. When I got home, I also noticed chlorosis in the leaves. Once it's disease free and healthy, I'll find a spot in the yard for a permanent home. I gave it some chelated iron today, and sprayed it with neem oil a few days ago.
The subalpine spirea is is starting to bloom. The bees love it.
My next project is to get some beneficial insects, like parasitic wasps, green lace wings, and ladybugs. The first step is to plant food for them, like cosmos, daisies, dill, and cilantro. Then I'll order some livebugs/eggs. It's too much trouble keeping a handle on the pests and spraying all of the plants.
I finally finished spreading my wood chips on the yard! I think this load was closer to 14 yards. Thought it would take me the weekend, but took the whole week. The moles love the mulch, so spent some time throwing smoke bombs in the tunnel, and sealing up entrances with hardware cloth. I went to Portland Nursery and bought an evergreen huckleberry, an Oregon Tea Tree (ceanothus sanguineus), and a salal. I planted the huckleberry to provide some shade for the bunchberry. The other two plants replaced non-native plants, like hostas and hellebore. Full disclosure: I hate hostas, but I know they get a lot of love here...
My drip irrigation system developed a leak, so off to the hardware store to buy more hose couplers. I love drip irrigation because it doesn't require digging, it's easy to add new plants, and I can install myself. I hate drip irrigation because plugged emitters leak. Sometimes emitters leak, and need to be spliced out. Some emitters have higher flowrates, even though they are all 1gpm parts. No matter how bad it gets, it's so much better than hand watering, and the plants are happier.
The cornus nuttallii bare roots are finally starting to break dormancy and leaf out. Took around 4 weeks, and I thought they were dead ;) I also try to save all of the conifer seedlings that I find, and have a nursery of baby douglas firs to plant next spring.
Creeping buttercup is taking over. It's very time consuming to kill because it grows back if anything is left behind. Definitely my most hated weed. Curse you, Creeping Buttercup!!! ...but the little yellow flowers are kinda cute