It has been a while since the first crocus bloom sent me over the moon. I always forget that the wait for spring blooms really does some take some time. But things are definitely happening now.
The sunny yellow blooms of the daffodils are about a day away. Until then the Iris danfordiae are brightening the spring garden. The pictures don't quite do these flowers justice. They are such a bright yellow that you really need sunglasses to look at them. I can see them from my front door and even from about 10 feet away, I squint at their brightness. It may be a while before these beauties bloom again. Based on what I have read, the bulbs have a tendency to break up into mini bulbs which then take several years to gather up enough energy to bloom again. This gives me a good excuse to plant some Iris reticulata to fill in for the danfordiae. Then one day, years from now, the deep purple and the canary yellow will bloom together. That will most definitely be a sight to behold.
I've got a new garden project underway in the front yard. I'm taking back some of the lawn and proclaiming it the new partial/deep shade garden. I like sweeping curves so I've outlined the outer edge of the lawn with said sweeping curve. My neighbours have a front yard garden. You can see some of the grasses they're growing. We talked and agreed that it would make sense to allow the gardens to grow into each other. So there will be no separation of gardens along the property line. Ideally, everything will grow lushly and beautifully and both sides will enjoy an expanded garden view.
However, and it is a BIG however, I have no qualms about putting in a below-ground barrier to stop a patch of goutweed they are growing in a shady spot. A few years back, in a very friendly and concerned way I mentioned the invasive nature of goutweed. They took it into consideration but came to the conclusion that goutweed is well-behaved in the shade. Oh so foolish! Anyway, the goutweed will not be allowed to encroach!!! Perhaps I'm the fool to think I can stop goutweed. Ha!
Last time I took out some lawn I spent a lot of time tearing out the turf. I composted what I could and paid to have the rest trucked away. This time I'm trying something different. I'm digging over the turf and breaking it up as I go. On top of that I'm placing a layer of decomposed leaves (saved from my spring clean-up.) On top of that I'm laying down a thick layer of compost. I'm soaking it all with the hose and then leaving it to settle for a few weeks. Then I'll bring in some triple mix soil, let it sit some more and start planting. A thick layer of mulch will finish off the completed plantings.
It would have been ideal to do the soil prep last fall but I was busy bulb-blitzing the community garden (pictures of that soon). Nevertheless, the front yard garden is looking good so far. The layer of compost alone looks great. I figure I've still got three days of digging and composting ahead of me. As for the evenings, there's no better cure for an aching back and arms than pouring over garden books and making plant lists. Spring is really here.