Almost Midnight in the Garden

I had a wonderful day in the garden yesterday, about 16 hours worth ending at 8:15 pm. Until then it was light enough to weed out plants with a spading fork, light enough to tell weeds from desireables, light enough to prune the Sargent crab, which will develop vertical branches no matter how I cut it back in the fall. The temperature was just right for hard labor tonight and the mosquitoes haven’t hatched yet, so I used the time to dig a wheelbarrow full of “generous” plants.

I’ve been reading Gaia’s Garden, Version 2.0, and in it Toby Hemenway has a great rant about plants that have been termed “invasive”. It’s all about niche: water hyacinth loves polluted waterways, and subsides when the pollutants have been filtered out, kudzu loves disturbed soil and thrives in the poor, sunny margins of construction sites. I planted valerian and didn’t take into account the vast amount of poor soil and droughty conditions in my garden. Valerian will grow on in 1/4″ of wood chips on top of landscape fabric. So will rose cambien, dyers woad, weld, heath, and Japanese buckwheat. I dug up a wheelbarrow full of those “generous” plants tonight, and will plant them today at the garden’s sunny, poor frontier.

2 thoughts on “Almost Midnight in the Garden

  1. Cherie

    I keep hearing about this book, so I suppose I should get it. However, I know it’s just going to get me all excited and then he will start talking about nitrogen levels and I’ll have to hang myself in despair.

    Reply
    1. admin Post author

      I’m about halfway through and so far you’d be safe. Permaculture, I’m starting to understand, is more about conserving than in-putting. I probably like it way too much because TM and I share a lot of the same buttons. Like the one that gets pushed every time the park eradicates a plant because it’s not native. Native to what? And since when? Every damn plant on this piece of rock came here on a bird at some point. It’s so pointless – if the niche is open (because of construction, or poor drainage or some such thing) then something is going to fill it. And here, because the niche is so perfect for it, that filler is going to be lupine. Just get over it, already.

      Reply

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