Sunday, June 12, 2011

Eating the Elephant One Bite At a Time

It never ends, does it?

By the way, the mosquito situation in Connecticut is out of control.  Out of control!  As one who does not use pesticides, I am seriously considering doing SOMETHING as getting chewed out of my skin at Noon is so unacceptable.  The mosquitoes land on my Skin-So-Soft swathed skin and giggle.

Enough of that.

I am overwhelmed.  It's a condition that is not new to me.

So I've decided to tackle this situation one square foot at a time.

We spent the weekend (when it wasn't thundering and raining) working on Dogwood Alley.  The Mayapples are not doing well.  I don't understand why the leaves are looking so stressed.  Everything I've read about this offers no solutions, although it appears that it could take up to two years for these plants to take off.

These were pass-alongs, and I don't usually do well with pass-alongs as they seem to just sit there in a mopey mood, ticked off that I moved them from a happy home to mine.  Whatever!

I can see that these are starting to bear fruit and am tempted to cut them down to the ground in hopes that the roots will survive and take off.  For now, the leaves will remain, if for no other reason, to remind of where they've been planted.  I may move them a little deeper into the woods (Mosquitoville) where they will receive even less sun, although now, they get none to speak of that could make a difference.

I've edged the border of Dogwood Alley, and of course, every time I pushed the half-moon edging tool into the ground, I was greeted by rocks.  So I used my little hand trowel to dig the edge, removing the pebbles, stones, rocks that prevented me from going a few inches deep.  I only hope that the next time it rains, soil doesn't fill the areas again.

Speaking of soil, you know that this house was built last year and contractors raped my land with no consideration of much of anything.  The soil in Dogwood Alley is reddish brown.  I've looked into what that means and it went over my head, but suffice it to say, I really, really need to amend the soil by way of compost, mulch, and anything else I can come up with that doesn't require heavy tools.

Our fire pit will be at the base of Dogwood Alley and we tested it tonight to be sure it wouldn't burn down the forest.  It didn't.  But I think it burned a mosquito or two because there wasn't a single one to be found.

The mosquitoes were vicious today and I only managed to plant three hostas (Halcyon).  I have such a fondness for these perennials.  I love their foliage, their color variations, and I tend to snip the blooms as they're coming up as the flowers do nothing for me.  With hostas, it's all about the leaves!

I'll be adding other perennials to this border, planting them between the five dogwoods, focusing on foliage more than anything else.

Slowly but surely, we'll get there.  I can't wait for the Spring of 2013.  Things will look so much better by then.


  1. You will be so rewarded when spring of 2013 comes around! The first year, bleeah, but slowly and surely plants will settle in and start to fill out. You are planning well by putting in multiples (five dogwoods, multiple numbers of other plants). That's good. I planted too sparsely at first and found out later I needed many, many more of everything!

  2. Thanks for the vote of confidence, Laurrie. I know this intellectually but that part of me that looks for the instant gratification is not getting it. I remember when I lived in Mystic I went through the same thing my first year. And then within a few short years, I'd forgotten how everything started out. I look at some of those photos and can't believe how gleeful I was over the most pathetic looking beds. :-) I'm sure the same will happen here but I sure do wish we had done this fifteen years ago. I was younger *smile*, Frank was stronger *double smile*, and I would have had that many more years to enjoy this.

  3. If you're having trouble with transplants, maybe the construction equipment seriously compacted the ground. Best thing to do is instead of making ahold just big enough for the root ball, dig on twice as wide and deep and refill the dirt loosley. It give the roots a better chance to start growing out.

  4. Mary, I think you're right. The soil is compacted around here. I do dig deeper and wider but probably not every time or often enough. I'll have to be patient and work it like a fool. Newspapers are at the top of the list. Amend, amend, amend!



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