Monday, April 27, 2009

The Allergic Gardener

I woke up this morning with allergy eyes and in serious need of an emergency tissue purchase on my way to work.


Although I suffer from indoor allergies, I'm not allergic to pollen – at least I didn’t think so, but as I’m quickly finding out when you hit 40 you begin to acquire many things (one being something that only my colorist knows!).

New England was hit with an early heat wave and it felt like we shot right past spring and was teleported into mid-July –a perfect opportunity for me to do some digging in the dirt. Ellie’s dad spent the weekend grumbling as he fought with the moss growing in our lawn (and, early on it looked like the moss was gonna win). (That's Ellie's Dad last summer on his favorite piece of equipment).



His weekend started out with some head scratching, dethatching, aerating, and words I won’t repeat. By Sunday morning it progressed into a serious consultation with a neighbor (not THAT neighbor), but one whose lawn seems to have been blessed by the Gods. Anyway, almost $400 later, which included the rental of an overseeder (I didn’t even know what that was until he brought it home on his truck), numerous bags of lime, fertilizer, and seed I’m happy to report that our lawn is now moss free!

Ok... this pic has nothing to with the lawn, but the phlox this time of year is much lovelier to look at than grass.



While all of this lawn wrangling was going on Ellie and I hid in the garden beds and stayed out of his way. Still mostly avoiding the vegetable beds and the snap peas (which I’m now hardening off so at least I’m making some progress), I assessed the front perennial bed and cleaned the back flower bed that is near our deck.

Below are a few shots of the front perennial bed. The previous owner of the house built it in front of our circular driveway. Apparently at one time it was gorgeous, but was neglected for many years before we bought the house. It’s what got me interested in gardening. I love to rescue things… people, animals, plants…you name it. And, this garden was in serious need of being rescued. Never mind that I had absolutely no gardening experience, I wanted to bring this cottage patch back to life. Anyway, the past few years have been a learning experience which I’ll talk about in upcoming blogs. But, suffice it to say that every year it gets a little better.




This photo was taken from inside our bedroom looking down on the garden (sorry about the screen lines, but I didn't want to go through the trouble of removing the screen).

Since it’s still only April in zone 6 New England, the front bed is just starting to come alive. Waking from their winter slumber are peonies, liatris, coneflower, lamb’s ear, Asiatic lilies, hardy geranium, Montauk daisies, jacob’s ladder, monk’s hood, and coral bell’s. We’ve got a variety of sun and shade loving plants because part of the bed is in full sun most of the day while the other part is in partial sun under the large oak tree. There’s also a really ugly utility pole stuck right in the middle of it, which we can’t remove, but it less noticeable in summer when the plants are larger.

Anyway, the weekend ended on a happy note. With Ellie’s Dad the victor of his battle, Ellie exhausted from varmit chasing (like a true terrier!)....

...and me admiring the clean garden beds as I slowly sip on a glass of chardonnay and toast the pleasures of spring.

11 comments:

Susie said...

With your beds starting to awaken from their winter sleep it won't be long til your beds will be blooming beautifully.

I scrolled down and looked at your last post. It's interesting to see you planting pansies when in my area we are pulling them up.

tina said...

Good luck to Ellie's dad with his battle with the moss. It is a neverending one it seems. I hope the neighbor helped greatly. If it comes back I might suggest a soil test. Moss seems to like acid soil, but only a soil test will tell you what the pH is and how you should amend it. The perennial bed will be very nice and I so hope that chardonnay was relaxing! Need a cup myself. I had a doctor tell me recently you can get allergies anytime. Yeah right I told him. I AM a gardener. Gardeners simply cannot have allergies-duh. It all went away. So perhaps this will work for you?? It might be the moss:)

Jackie said...

I feel your allergy pain. Isn't it ironic. We care for the plants and some of them, in turn, make us sick!

tina said...

Yup! Or should I say ayup? :)

Heather said...

Good morning Jackie- your yard looks lovely. In my household I am the mower, I work less than my husband so I get it done before he gets home. The riding mower is definitely the bees knees. I think the front perennial bed looks great. I can't wait to see it in full bloom.

Barbarapc said...

Elie May's Mum - Welcome to blotanical. I'd say your yard work paid off - the gardens look impecable! With all the moss we have here - I always get a giggle when I see someone whir it up in a blender and spray it on something to make it nice and green - heck all they'd have to do is leave the pots in my yard for a day or two. Great blog!

Liz said...

Big progress in your yard! And that sweet pic of Ellie made me smile. Mabel has been doing the same thing, exhausted from spending all day in the yard with me. :)

Dawn said...

Whew, your hubby is serious about that grass, (aren't they all). You have a beautiful blog.

Stephanie said...

Hi! Found your blog from Blotanical. Welcome and hope that you are enjoying the company of the all the great gardeners here. I really like the flower on your banner. What flower is it? Have a great day!

Becca's Dirt said...

I love your Ellie Mae. She is like my little "Buddy" gets everything they want. What a lovely blog you have. Your garden you created is looking real nice. Looking forward to photos of some blooms. Happy gardening... Becca

Meems said...

Hello, Ellie Mae's Mom. Came over from blotanical... glad you've joined us over there... so many great gardens and gardeners to get to know. I've enjoyed reading through your blog and happy for you that your perennial bed is waking up with spring. It looks like your well on your way to a great garden.
Meems @ Hoe and Shovel