The Lazy Gardener, 2020 edition

Prairie Rose

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Thanks, Bay! Unfortunately it looks like I just had visitors, there was nothing in the hive. I went ahead and made the decision to go ahead and seal off the entrances to keep a swarm from moving in. I don't like where that hive is, and I'm still very allergic to bee stings. I promised the family no more bees without some immunology treatment first, and that still hasn't happened.
 

Prairie Rose

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Hi all, I know it's been a very long time since my last post, but life happened! I'm still trying to garden, but not doing any better at it than I have in the past, I'm just too stubborn to give up trying.

I was doing very well with my houseplants and making slow but steady progress outside this year when I lost both of my cats and my dog in a very short amount of time, and they were my companions and my support system. After working with the public all day, their quiet companionship keeps me sane, and losing them one right after the other almost ruined me.

It became everything I could do to just get out of bed and keep going to work to keep a roof over my head and the lights on. I'm not gonna lie...my yard and gardens are bad in a way I have never seen them before. I haven't touched anything in my garden since mid-spring. The grass is only getting mowed once a month. It's just....bad. I cringe going up the driveway and am embarrassed that someone who knows where I live might see my yard.

I have been feeling better the last week or so and have started slowly tackling the mess. Today I set up a new, bigger compost bin using pallets and zip ties, and dug my gloves and wheelbarrow out and made a dent. There's a new vine that is taking over my place, and this section of town. It actually seems to have outcompeted the bindweed I was having problems with before, and it creates a lot of biomass. It has completely enveloped my bee hive (I have no idea how the bees are even getting in and out of there, but they are!). It has killed two of my climbing roses, strangled out my flowerbed, and now it's trying to work on my grapes. I don't know what it is for sure, but I am pulling it and tossing it in the compost bin. My goal for this week is to get it off my hive so I can get in there and look at my bees for the first time since the swarm settled in in May.

Today I also emptied a bunch of empty flowerpots (if it couldn't survive entirely on its own, I have killed it this summer), and stacked them next to my storage container to wash and put away on my next day off.

After that? Who knows!
 

digitS'

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Welcome Back :frow

I do lots of tasks only by schedule and habit. Caution must be given to adding to that or those new tasks may serve as distractions for what is required to keep pace with Life. (I've said before that I thought that I would be a dairy farmer when I grew up. You know, milk the cows twice every day, feed & care for them :). Dad said that I had to learn to do chores and that stayed in my mind from age 6 ;).)

Life includes Plant Life and a return to your involvement with it will be a healthy and full-filling experience.

Steve
 

flowerbug

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i'm sure many do not think it very comforting at all but i do consider it such that where i live with the rains and surrounding plant life that if i were to stop gardening within a pretty short period of time this place would return to forest land (poplars can grow to 40ft in 4yrs, pines and oaks would eventually take over from those).

i'm sorry you had such losses all at once and i know how tough they can be.

i'm glad the bees have survived and i hope you can enjoy being outside again.

one thing to consider when redoing is thinking about how to make it easier to care for.
 

Prairie Rose

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Thanks for the encouragement!

My whole goal as a gardener is to make things as efficient and fuss free as possible, cause I'm a bit lazy when it comes to gardening...or rather I have too much to do and not enough time to do it all! And yes, I really really miss having actual livestock. Got myself into horses as a kid, then got my own and started taking care of my friends, etc etc. I truly miss the routine livestock chores add to my life, now I don't have anything to give me that bit of routine and it tells. I have just enough empty space I could do goats or a couple of mini horses, but that part of the property is in city limits and they're not allowed. I'm saving up to get a few acres out in the country somewhere, hopefully in the next few years.

Last night after work I went outside and ran the string trimmer until the battery ran out; cleaned up the long grass around the back porch, my apple trees, and started working on the knee high weeds in the dog's old wallow. I want to get all the holes in his area filled in and seeded with grass before the first snow. That trimmer is too small to work on the taller-than-me weeds in the vegetable bed, though. After that I pulled some more weeds out of the flowerbed until the bees got too testy with me, then scooped up bunch of the grass clippings and dumped them in the compost. After that? Emptied some more flowerpots and stacked them outside my shed until dark.

I'm not making much difference yet, unless you know where to work, but I can see the change, and that's enough to keep me going
 

digitS'

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Fall clean-up is important. It gives the gardener a clearer, near-horizon in the Spring.

Ah, Spring!! Opportunities open up after months of hunkering down under blankets of snow and darkness. But then. There's Spring's changeable weather! And, the difficulties in getting started ... heavy, wet ground, seeds that don't arrive on time, the lawnmower ... And, far horizons! Travel! Away from home!

;) Steve
 

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