Friday, June 5, 2009

Garden Renovation Project

This small patch of urban wilderness belongs to my parents. This is the home they bought when they first came to Canada some 40-odd years ago. It's also the former lawn I played on with friends until I was about 10 or 11 years old. Everyone has moved on, of course, but my parents kept the house, renting it out over the years. And over the years, as people came and went, the front lawn has had several incarnations as a garden and/or weed hot spot.

The space is wildly overgrown with weeds, a few choice hostas, and more weeds. Honestly, I was stunned by the sheer volume of weeds. The biggest offender is what I believe to be Star of Bethlehem. While I can see the charm of a small clump of blooms, an entire front lawn full of them can only be characterized as weedy. Their days are numbered because this space is about to experience another incarnation. With a "thumbs up" from my folks, a desperately needed garden makeover is underway.

The garden doesn't have much going for it. The soil is of particular concern. After weeding for three hours today I walked across the soil and sank right into it. I can only compare the experience to walking across a very sandy beach. Dry, sandy soil. And not a worm in sight. Whatever gets planted here will have to appreciate heat and very lean soil. So how bizarre is it that the highlights of the garden are several mature, gorgeous and gigantic hostas? I know they can take drought once established but never expected to see that in full sun. Kudos to the hostas for their adaptability and perseverance. Needless to say, I won't be touching these beauties. They will stay put and I will build the garden around them.

This is the garden after my weeding session today. It's looking better already. Along with the hostas there are several very large clumps of violets. They are obviously very happy where they are so I'm leaving them as is. I am very tempted to get rid of them altogether because of their crazy capacity to spread. Maybe once the rest of the "real" weeds are cleared out, I'll have a better idea about how to deal with the violets. I have several more sessions of weeding ahead me. To beat the tedium, I imagine all the possibilities for what I can plant in each spot formerly occupied by an unwanted plant. I feel very lucky to have a new garden space to work in. I hope I can make it beautiful for all the neighbours to enjoy.


islandgardener said...

Would love to hear further about what you will plant in it!

Sandy aka Doris the Great said...

I see a wonderful challenge! You did an awesome job of weeding. Can't wait to see the finished product.

Nutty Gnome said...

What a great job you did there - can I borrow you for a few days please?!

What fun to plan and plant up a 'new' garden. Keep us up to date with how it's developing - I can't wait to see it bloom!

EAL said...

Good luck! Sandy is good, though; it indicates good drainage.

And if all else fails, you ca plant lots and lots of hostas. Wow, violets and hostas--sounds like my clay-ey, root-choked front yard.

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