I have been trying to transform this walkway down to the pool for a very long time. I keep the “bamboo” in check, I have planted a variety of perennials, some successfully, others not so much. At the moment I have lilies, daisies, Russian sage, tiger lilies and the old fashioned roses on either side of the walkway. I just pruned back the old fashioned roses away from the walkway to the pool and the walkway around the pool, if you don’t keep them pruned, these roses like to run amok. My perennials struggle for their right to life against the invasive nature of the “bamboo” and more often then not, the “bamboo” has been winning the fight, thank goodness I’m stubborn and I try to even out the odds, my perennials need all the help they can get.
Why is it that I never mind doing any type of garden cleanup and I despise housecleaning? I do it, but it isn’t with the same mindset as when I am outside cleaning, pruning and raking up the debris, old branches and spent flowers and stems. I think that it has to do with the live nature of what I tend to outside; the house isn’t the same living, breathing and growing entity that my garden is, all the house does, no matter how much and how often I clean it, is accumulate dust and more dust. The garden, on the other hand, thrives and shows its gratitude every time that I apply my energies to it. My garden gives me as much or even more then what I give to it and we have a loving relationship; I nurture my plants and they give me joy and comfort.
Today I cleaned away all of the bamboo; I was going to do it earlier, but I changed my mind as soon as I saw the crowd of bees buzzing around the tiny flowers that come late in the bamboo season; I didn’t want to disturb their gathering of nectar and I wondered what honey would taste like if it came from the nectar of the bamboo plant. I don’t know if I will ever find out, but I was happy to see all of those bees working very diligently gathering their food source. We do have a severe problem with our world’s bee population and I am gratified to help out my bees in any way that I can.
Looking at the pool from midway up from the back gardens, I like the more manicured and open look, but I see my husband’s point when he wants the bamboo to grow high and wide; the privacy that it affords to those who are using the pool is nice. I do have a preference for the French garden, manicured and neat, but it is a lot of hard work to implement and more hard work to maintain. I have come to the conclusion that however my garden looks like, it is mine and I love it regardless; it provides me a source of therapy and peace to which I am very thankful.
It is that time of year again, I have to get down and dirty and beat back the two invasive pests in my gardens; the Bishop weed and the bamboo. If each of them would just stay in check in their respective spots, I wouldn’t have an issue, but no they both creep forward towards my other plants choking the life out of them,so I have to go to town against the Bishop weed and the bamboo to keep the biodiversity of my garden active and healthy.
The reason that I spend hours digging out these two plants is because they have root systems that can be at least a foot long and go very deep; they both also love to hide within the middle of plants that are much more delicate, making it very difficult to completely eradicate them. If you leave a tiny piece of the root, you are guaranteed to have them come back the following year.
Today sped by so quickly; without being aware of it, I spent seven hours at weeding and I barely made a dent. Though I am happy with how I left one of my garden patches, but I still have two other garden patches that need my attention.
It may seem weird, but today was such a relaxing day; me kneeling in the dirt, quietly and methodically digging deep and pulling up root after root, following each root to its lengthy end. Meditation and relaxation are the wonderful outcomes when I weed. I may be tired, but I feel very happy with how my day went.
I was back at my annual garden cleanup again today albeit, V e r y
V e r y S l o w l y. My main focus was to cut down the crazy dead bamboo; because goodness only knows, we must leave room for those little bamboo shoots to grow and spread. There are so many new shoots that I can safely house a few Pandas without fear of not having enough food for them. I feel better, now that I have done at least most of the heavy lifting; my son did help with picking up the debris and putting it into the brush pile, he made the job much easier and it went a lot faster.
I’m sure that Jack wouldn’t mind the addition of a Panda or two; they would make for new playmates; it’s not as if they would be competing for the same food source or anything, Pandas don’t eat mice, birds or bunnies, and Jack definitely doesn’t eat bamboo.
My gardens may look naked, but at least they look tidy naked.
Today I took all of my spare energy and took vengeance on the two banes of my existence in my garden; Bishop’s weed and bamboo. Both are weeds and unbelievable in their tenacious nature and survival mechanisms.
As you can see by the pictures, getting rid of the bamboo is a feat and a half, you really have to be as stubborn as the bamboo itself and the root system is just as tricky as the offshoots from beneath. The Bishop’s weed is just as guilty of a diabolical root system and offshoots as the bamboo. I don’t feel bad about tearing through and apart both of these weeds because as you can see from the other pictures, I have more than enough elsewhere. This weeding is a yearly project, if one tiny bit of either plant is left, you will be guaranteed the re-emergence of the weed. Still, it is so very therapeutic, in the same vein as writing is therapeutic.
Since tomorrow and the day after tomorrow will be rainy days, I decided, while it wasn’t too chilly, to do my fall cleanup outside in the garden. The leaves aren’t even close to ready to be raked and bagged. So this cleanup is about cutting away all the dead stalks and spent flowers and giving the garden a tidying up before the snows come.
Every fall I take great pleasure in cutting down and hauling away my nemesis, the bamboo. My hubby loves his bamboo and since it grows like a weed, I never feel any guilt over cutting it away and there are often times when I pull really hard and whole clumps of bamboo come away, roots and all. Over the years I have learned that no matter how much I dig up, it comes back in spades. Bamboo is one of the most sustainable grasses on earth, it can replenish itself in no time. I know that I have written about my battles against the bamboo before, but today as I was hauling all of the bamboo over to the compost pile, I was thinking that I could house a pair of Giant Pandas, no problem. If I wanted to, I could probably put the bamboo to good use and harvest it for clothes, furniture and other things that are being done with bamboo, the new “it” grass in the green movement.
But all of that is too much work, after I had finished with the bamboo and moved onto cutting all the spent flower stalks, the upright Phlox and cleaning up the day Lilies, I came inside and sat on the couch, not moving anymore until it was time to walk Jack and Rex again.
This tired is a good tired, I’m proud of all the work I did in the garden today. It isn’t done, I have a few plants that I need to mulch against the upcoming frost and I could go on and on; but for today, I say a job well done.
These pictures above are the perennials that I fight with year after year. They are truly the bane of my gardening existence, I go after them with a vengeance, literally getting my hands caked with dirt as well as my knees as I shovel, trowel and tunnel through the soil in the attempt to root out the last tiny bit of any Bishop’s weed and Bamboo in the ground. You would not believe the length and complicated root systems these two perennials have. Moreover, to put the icing on the cake, they both have two ways of propagating their successful genes, either through their root systems, and trust me when I say if only my beloved flowering plants could be so generously endowed with such root systems, and by their seeds because they both flower. The Bamboo despite being separated by a pool, used its seeds to start a new patch over the way to plague me as a gardener.
Why my intense drive to, if not eradicate the offenders, at least control their spreading? They both, if left to their own devices, will suffocate all your chosen plants with their root systems. They hog all the nutrients, air and water, they truly do not play well with others. This is why every year, I engage in a war, well I should say every year except for this one, I am going to France so when I get back, I’ll have my work cut out for me.