Friday, February 3, 2017

Boldness First, Pain To Follow

Digging out stumps is not my favorite garden activity.  Oww!  
But hooray!  The stumps are out.  Replanting can begin--after I put the soil back where it belongs, get rid of the rat's nest in the clump of Aloe megalacantha, tweak the irrigation, and figure out how to lift those heavy stumps over the wall without hurting either myself or all the roses behind the wall.  One must accept the consequences of bold acts.  
 The Calothamnus continued their consistent good behavior even when leaving:  they were fairly easy to get out, though that isn't saying much--stump digging is always tough unless you get someone else to do it for you.

We've had a lot of rain, and I also pumped 150 gallons of collected rainwater into this area a few weeks ago.  After all that, the soil was just barely moist, though it was soft and fluffy. 
  
In between digging and yanking,  a pause or two to enjoy the delicious color of nearby Aloe cameronii:
 Now I need a rest.  Natasha knows how to rest.  She was very, very busy sleeping through my whole digging ordeal. 
Now that looks like fun!
So, what is your least favorite garden task?

24 comments:

  1. My least favorite garden task is digging up bamboo rhizomes. Twenty years ago, not knowing better, someone planted a running timber bamboo in the ground with no barrier. It was a bold move and now the pain of digging continues through three seasons. A bolder gardener would simply get rid of the grove but it's a favorite feature of the garden and all that work would reduce my time for Natashaesque pursuits.

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    1. You win the Horrible Garden Task sweepstakes! I don't want to even imagine how difficult that must be. At least you don't have to pay for a gym membership. Running bamboo without a bamboo barrier may cross the fine line between Bold and...hmmm...something scary.



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    2. I believe the word you're looking for is "awesome". Not that I'm biased or anything. ;)

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  2. My least favorite gardening task is cleaning up after a bad winter. If not for the promise of a beautiful summer to come I don't know if I could do it.

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    1. And it looms ahead of you, doesn't it? :( Let me know if there are any Agaves I can send you, though after seeing the A. neomexicanas in the Joy Creek post, that may be the way to go.

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  3. Gosh you have been working hard!
    Dogs know just how to relax - mine do so after a spot of digging, usually where I have just planted something new!

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    1. Winter is extreme gardening time here. Summer we spend sitting in the shade complaining about the heat.

      Ah, yes. They are just checking your work to make sure you loosened the soil enough. Natasha likes to "help", too.

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  4. Crikey. I'd need a week of rest after all that.

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    1. A week of rest sounds really good now. A hot bath, drugs...

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  5. I don't know about boldness, but I tweak the garden all the time, including removing thriving plants. Does that make me heartless maybe? I think of it as perfecting our craft. I love how Hercules really gets to shine now. Mine is young, not on a slope, and I'm beginning to worry about his plans on remaining upright with all this rain...

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    1. But you get such great results doing that. It is how the great gardens get great. I remind myself that the plants I remove go on elsewhere in the world.

      It was a surprise to see how exposing all of 'Hercules' to view made him into a real Wow! Is your soil still moist? Mine is already pretty dry again. With all the fallen trees in the neighborhood I worry a little myself. My A. dichotoma fell over rotted at the height of 5 feet.

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    2. Denise, I was worried about my 'Hercules', too, but it's stayed firmly upright in spite of all the rain and soft soil. A 12-foot Aloe marlothii hybrid fell over on the UC Davis campus.

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  6. My least favorite task is bringing things indoors to overwinter (which often involves digging). I should grow less of the plants that can't take the cold, but they're so great!

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    1. That does sound arduous--I think you are close to a tie with Outlaw for the Horrible Garden Task Award.

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  7. I'm glad you didn't hurt yourself yanking those stumps out.

    My least favorite garden tasks include dealing with leaf drop in prickly plants and general cleaning. I'm much happier when I can focus on planting :-).

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    1. Thanks--I was careful, and the stumps cooperated. I ended up busting an irrigation pipe. Fixing busted pipes is another of my least-favs.

      Leaf drop in prickly plants--that is a pain. I'm starting to get oak leaves in an Agave now that the Oak is near 9' tall. Planting is fun, but plant shopping might be a little funner.

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  8. Hercules Rocks! So much better without the other shrubbery. My soil's almost dry, too.

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    1. It does look better de-shrubbed doesn't it? Now what do I do with the new shrubs I was planning to put there?

      Maybe a little rain early early Monday morning--here's hoping!

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  9. My least favorite gardening task is one that closely resembles digging out stumps: removing or reducing large clumps of ornamental grass. {{Shudder.}} Dreading this very project, scheduled to be done in the next month with two 20-year-old Miscanthus 'Silberfeder's.

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    1. Umm, that sounds seriously scary, yes. I think you along with Alan and Outlaw are up there in the Horrible Garden Task winning entries. Yikes. Be careful!

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  10. Well, stump digging is definitely up there as least favorite task. And big things. I seem to do a lot of digging up of things. Finally figured out that it's better to pass them on to someone stronger, and have them come and dig it up and haul it away. That revelation has made my life much easier. :)

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    1. That does sound easier. Also brilliant idea. Good for you!

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  11. One hundred and fifty gallons of water and the soil was barely moist? Now that's good drainage! Congrats on accomplishment of the stump removal - that's a miserable task, for which I've been lucky enough thus far to employ my husband. Digging up the lawn (after having different garden service providers dig up the top inch) to ensure that it didn't come back until the end of time was my least favorite garden task, now happily behind me. I look forward to seeing your "new" area after replanting.

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    1. Yeah, seriously good drainage. Maybe a little too good. Dear Husband is willing to help, but I need the exercise, and have the time. Digging up the lawn here wasn't too difficult as it was so weakly growing--the seriously good drainage did that.

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