Monday, January 26, 2009

On the Back Garden Again

The spot where I planted the back garden was initially growing: a rose that never flowered, raspberries whose berries were the size of peas, the orange lilies, and some very healthy grass. I hacked out the berries and the rose and put my compost pile over any pieces I couldn't dig up.

Oh, yes, how could I forget? There was also mint, LOTs of mint, and tons of violets, too. Now, a lot of you will say, "Oh, how lovely!" But let me tell you about something called totipotency. That's where a cell has the ability to divide and produce all the other cells of the organism. It would seem that mint and violets can produce whole new plants from a few cells left in a flower bed (slight exageration). I have seen these plants growing from a piece of stem or root smaller than my pinkie toe. And then they take over. I found over 50 unhappy bulbs under a mat of violets. They turned out to be some awesome white daffodils-- yay! All that said, I do not deny that mint and violets are lovely. If you'd like, I could pot some up for you. I still have plenty.

Where was I? Ah, the healthy grass. We are blessed with some superb grass in our yard. We do nothing to keep it that way so there are places where weeds are making headway. But Something about the conditions in our back yard has yielded thick grass mixed with soft, spongy moss. It reminds me of "The Horse and His Boy" when Shasta is learning how to ride Bree and keeps falling off onto springy turf. Sorry that reference will be obtuse to many. At least two things are true about that grass: it is wonderful, and it is hard to dig up. I will think twice before I dig up grass to make a flower bed again. Besides being hard work, the roots are so thick that they remove several inches of dirt with them. So I ended up with a a hole that my moldy, compacted into bricks, purchased on sale, "compost" could barely fill. So far all of my gardens have that sunken look. That's how I measure wealth these days--"Wow, look at that raised bed! They must be rich!"

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