Monday, June 8, 2009

Conquering Mount Mulch

There's only one yard chore I hate more than weeding. It's dealing with the huge black mound at the end of our driveway.



Every spring its delivery brings a pit to my stomache and a gulp to my throat. "Does it seem even bigger than last year?" - I curiously say to Ellie's Dad. "Nope" he replies, "I ordered the usual." "Hmmm..." we both say in unison as we scratch our heads and then grudgingly walk to the shed to grab our wheelbarrows and shovels.



A neighbor drives by and then stops. "Whoa!" he says, "that's a mighty large pile of mulch you got there - boy it will take you all weekend to put down!" I glare at him and then smile as I politely walk away grumbling "no kidding" under my breath. I didn't need him to state the obvious.

One year we were so daunted by the black mass that we just let it sit there in our driveway for most of the summer. We walked around it, drove around it, cats used it as a litter box, and the neighbor's kids thought it was just so awesome. Finally it was shame that brought us to our knees as a friend asked if we were going to use it as a ski slope in winter.



Last year we thought we were smart by avoiding the whole thing all together and not ordering any mulch. "I love weeding!" I exclaimed to Ellie's Dad. "Yeah right," I whispered sarcastically to myself. "It relaxes me and I can do a little each night," I said as I tried to convince both he and I. "Well come to think of it we could save the money for something else," he says with way too much enthusiasm. You know the end to this story - we spent the whole summer weeding until we were blue in the face.

As a result this year mount mulch was indeed higher than usual as we tried to catch up from last summer's weeding nightmare. We conquered 5 yards this weekend and sadly it wasn't enough. We still need at least 3 or 4 more.

Ellie at the summit...



It's times like this when for a brief moment I wonder why I have so many garden areas. Wouldn't life be simplier if I just had more grass? Mowing is a lot easier than caring for a garden. But, as quickly as that thought crosses my mind it dispels as I look at the shear beauty of a spring bloom - all is forgotten.

16 comments:

gardenerprogress/Catherine said...

Those mulch piles really can be overwhelming which is why we didn't end up getting it delivered. We have been so busy on weekends that instead I just kept getting bags of it and spreading it that way. Very expensive.
I've had those fleeting thoughts too about how easy those people with just grass and a couple of shrubs have it, but then I realize that the work is worth all the pretty flowers.

CiNdEe said...

What a beautiful pile(-:
I know how much work that is! I need more too!
It is never ending when you love flowers!
I have a friend that all she has is grass and believe me its not a pretty sight! I would take flowers over grass anyday(-:
Don't work to hard now!!!(-:

tina said...

No, life would not be simpler with more grass. Bite the bullet and spread it. It will save you countless hours this summer. I always put newspaper under mine too. That helps. Have fun. No ski slope okay?:)

Joanne said...

Never mind think of all the good it does the garden.

Bangchik and Kakdah said...

Putting mulch of that color is a way to enhance the beauty of blooms, plants and veggies. The contrast is really attractive. Then again shifting and spreading mulch is a real chore....

But the result is satisfying....

Happy mulching and gardening.

~ bangchik

Jan said...

I know it is hard work, but it is worth it. I am going out this morning to tackle our pile of mulch. I have it in an out of the way area, so there isn't the pressure to get it all done at once which is good because I don't think I can do more than a little each day.

Jan
Always Growing

islandgardener said...

Tedious, yes, but it will save you time immensely later from your other hated task! Think of it as preventive garden medicine! Janet (aka islandgardener)

Tatyana said...

Jackie, I hear every word that you say. We ordered 10cu.yards this spring. First day, we moved a bit. Second day we moved a bit. Next morning, I noticed that someone helped us and "borrowed" approx. 1 cu.y. After that, we moved it with a speed of light. Holerious thing is that we live in a gated community with a security car patrolling the streets 24h/day.

Beegirl said...

It will look so great when you are done! We need to to the same. The weeds around the house are terrible and i just can't keep up with it all! Hope you had a nice weekend!

Ellie Mae's Cottage said...

Tayana, Maybe you can send the mulch bandit over to my house. ;) Just kidding of course. It's amazing what people will do.

Stacy said...

That is some nice looking mulch! I actually like spreading mulch, it has that instant gratification thing going for it. It's way better than mowing. Mowing never ends. You mow, it rains, three days later you mow again or your grouchy neighbor starts giving you the lazy whipper-snapper glare of disgust!

Heather said...

Dirt, glorious dirt! OK, mulch but it still is pretty! I know how overwhelming it can be but it will be so nice when it is done!

Sylvana said...

That is some beautiful mulch! Heck, that's almost compost!

I would much rather weed a garden than mow a lawn!

Laura said...

Due to a back problem this year, I put off mulching because I just wasn't physically able to do it. Now that I'm better, and the garden has filled in, I probably only need about half as much as I normally put down. Ten to twelve cubic yards should do it.

Then again, I could wait til next year!

Ellie Mae's Cottage said...

Sylvana, The mulch does kind of look like compost that's why I always get the black kind.

Laura, sorry to hear about your back problem. Mulching is definitely back breaking work. Waiting to put it down does have its advantages since the plants fill in and you need less of it. Hope you feel better soon!

-Jackie

Jan (Thanks For 2 Day) said...

I think you speak for many of us gardeners regarding the mulch mount issues!! This year we had a couple of HUGE mountains of compost, a pile of river rock, and 3 pallets of field stone to deal with. It's done now...and I plan to post about it...someday. Mulch-wise, we usually get it delivered, too...BUT, because we had so many other 'mountains' in the driveway, we didn't do it this yr. My son was selling bags of it for boyscouts. So, we ended up buying 70 bags. WHen that was spread, we ordered 70 more. Now, there are just a few left, lying in various garden areas in the yard, waiting for 'someone' to get out there and spread them! Not me...I've got a sprained ankle (hubby, can you take a hint?!!).

Also, remember that it's not just weeds that we use the mulch for. It's to keep the plants moist for longer periods during the heat of the summer, and to 'protect' them during the chill of winter!

Say hi to Ellie...in fact, give her a big hug from me;-) She looks like a princess standing on that mountain!