Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Undo - Redo - Maintenance

Into each life a little rain must fall

And with that rain comes a lot of dirt and sludge.  I know we all think of rain as washing things clean, but after it gets done washing our roofs clean it deposits the gunk in the garden water tank.  The tank was installed in 2010 and the last time it was cleaned was 2011.  Which is a long time.  So there was a considerable amount of sludge in there.  We have 9 inches of rain in June, but only 3 in July.  It had been almost two weeks since our last rainfall, and the tank was getting low.  Tim decided Sunday was the day to clean the tank.  Which meant I had to empty it.  We had less than a quarter of a 500 gallon tank left but that was still a lot of water.  So I set about to give everything a good soaking.  I filled watering cans and watered every container.  I flooded each bed.  I watered every Marigold.  Twice.  I watered the Strawberries, the Asparagus, the Horseradish and even the Chives.  Then I rinsed containers.  Finally it ran dry!

Tim set up his ventilation system (a shop vac on the tank vent) 
and descended into the pit.

He used scrapers to scrape clean the walls and then bailed the sludge into a bucket which he then presented to me.  Oh good.  Black Sludgy Water. 
I dumped that in the nearby brush.
Again and again.
This took a little over an hour but now the tank is good for another year or two. 

We've also had some Un-Do and Redo projects.  It seems there is always something. The clump birch has some sort of undiagnosable problem and we are down to one trunk (from 4)  But the remaining trunk is symmetrical and looks fine so we left it.  The alternative is to dig out the stump, repair the landscape bed and plant a new tree.  So we put that off.

We had recently redone this bed.  I was sick-to-death of the bedraggled old Black Eyed Susans and Bachelor's Buttons so I ripped those out.  We will put one of our signature "rock clump" plantings in the open area to the left.

A typical "rock clump" newly planted

My favorite "rock clump"

Again, mowing simplicity dictated a new outline.

Original Planting
The old outline was very artistic but tougher to follow.
Tim will go to great lengths to simplify his mowing patterns.  When we buy a new lawn mower, we must move all the landscaping...

 The next project was the Irises around the well head.  They were getting too thick and root bound, and the wider zero-turn lawnmower that does not exactly fit between the Irises and nearest edge of landscaping. So we needed to adjust.

This planting started out MUCH smaller.

They bloomed well this spring but the leaves and flowers are getting smaller 
because they are getting so crowded.

So out they came.  I cut them short, dug them up and placed them on the edge of the compost pile in the shade.  They will be fine there until I divide them up and replant them.  Also removed was that chewed up plastic edging that the mower now runs over every time.

The new plan is ground level street bricks.  These will stand up fine to mowing.  Tim says "believe it or not, a square is easier to mow around than a circle."  The corner of the rectangle is carefully spaced exactly a mower's width away from that mulched edge.  I will plant about a third of the Irises back here and the rest will go in three new plantings I am planning.

So that was our mid-season Un-Do and Re-Do.  Someday we might get it right!

No comments:

Post a Comment