We're home, and I have many things on my plate. But none of them are so compelling as the garden. As I am a creature of whim (and an avatar of chaos), I went with the flow and picked up where we left off with the landscaping plans and let the laundry and housecleaning sit. Maybe I should just hire a service to come in Wednesday and clean the whole house and the apartment... You see we have two sets of company twining through our lives this week, and I want everything to be ship-shape for them, though they do not require it. It's a hostess thing. I also hope to convince another friend from Dallas to come down the following weekend to help me put in plants (Debbie, you know who you are).
But back to the landscaping plans! I had a set of objectives and a rough timeline set out before I left, but the warm weather and abundant rain have caused every species of burr grass known to Texas to flourish and I simply cannot leave the existing garden beds to languish while I focus on the new beds. I simply must amend my plans. So I tugged hard on them, and twisted them into a new and interesting shape. Current additions to the old plan: All existing garden beds (front and back) will be mostly--if not all--cleared, with new dirt added, and mulched by Friday ready for planting next week. (Cleared, by the way means burned off with a massive propane torch called a "pear burner" in Texas. Why pull the weeds over hours when you can whack them with a weed whacker and then burn them over minutes? And who doesn't like a good fire...) The stream bed will be cleaned out, the new pump will be installed, and the stream will be running by the end of the week. (wheee!)
On the old plan, The new beds have all been constructed--only the pond is left to do in terms of rock work. The concrete footings for the bog pond will go down this week, but the rock work, liner, skimmer, bog pond, waterfall, pump, etc., will not begin for at least a week. Current schedule reads: Mulch and make firewood from the final trees removed (mostly dead from a neighbor's property) starting tomorrow. Dirt delivery is supposed to start tomorrow with three truckloads and then an additional two loads on Wednesday (over 50 cu yds total). There is a big chipper/shredder being delivered tomorrow to mulch everything, we have a coupe of chainsaws for the firewood, and there is also a skidsteer being delivered to move the dirt and pull the last tree stump (don't you love all the toys used in this project? I love toys). By the end of the week all the holes for the new trees will be dug (by machine and man, not solely by man). Finally, the tops of all the rock walls around all the beds will be set in place so we'll have a nice wall to sit on. Because the dirt will be in, and I both already have plants and I'm going to Medina Garden Nursery tomorrow to pick up another batch of plants they've pulled for me (and probably more they'll recommend), I'm sure I'll end the week with a LOT of planting! Soaker hoses, here I come.
Next week will be the pond and bog pond, and the piping for the pond and the irrigation to all of the beds. The week after that will be the building of all the structures--benches, arbors, swing, fire pit, trellises, and the laying of the decomposed granite for the walkways. At some point the bark will be peeled off all the cedar poles and they will be laid as path boundaries. Oh yes, and there will be a small ornamental bridge built over the dry culvert where we get water runoff in high rains. Trip, trop, trip, trop.
No wildflowers have come up in the front lawn (designated as the new wildflower meadow), but I am going to leave it shaggy for the many species which have yet to bloom to see if I have any luck there, and I'm going to seed it heavily again this fall. Speaking of seeds, the annual seeds I ordered from American Native Seed arrived while I was in Honduras, and I went through all of them (and all of the other seeds I have purchased) today to start making a master plan for planting. Most of them will be sown directly into the garden, though a couple of species need to be scarified and then chilled before planting them. In all, it's a full garden week! Throw in taking the dogs to the groomer (except Baxter who is doing very well in his sling but not ready to be manhandled by a groomer), and getting the tax papers to the accountant, and I really think I'd better hire a cleaning service for Wednesday!