Finishing One Job Leads to Another

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

A few weeks ago I was in the midst of digging up the monkey grass border on the west garden, and wrote about being stymied by rotting timber that had to be replaced. We dug it all up because of the crab grass intertwined in the roots and taking over my garden in the heat of summer. I handled each one of those root bundles, separating them and pulling out the pernicious crab grass roots. Having finally finished with that project, with some help from everyone else in the family, it wasn’t really done. Of course not.

There’s a path of rocks in the middle of the garden, which water from the rain gutter drains through. If I left it with grass roots running through it then all my work weeding the monkey grass would be a waste of time. Continue reading

Garden Flux and Flow

A garden is always a work in progress.

When a border is planted I don’t think about digging it up again and getting dirty separating roots, or that maintenance work might arise in the process. When planting bulbs in the fall, I don’t think much about the weeding and raking that will need to be done in the early spring. After cleaning house on Saturday morning I went to work in the west garden and was a little overwhelmed by the flux and flow of the entirety of what needs doing. It would have been nice to admire the blooming bulbs, but I just saw the work.

Continue reading


Carolina Jasmine in full bloom.

If you look at the Carolina Jasmine growing on this trellis you might think it is late summer, until you notice that the surrounding trees aren’t even budding yet. Although you can see a blooming Oriental Pear tree in the background.

You might forget that trellises are for walking through. Look hard at this Carolina Jasmine and remember what you see now when you’re at the nursery and pick up a little starter in a little container. Since it is not even officially spring yet, and the Hibiscus growing next to it is in danger of choking, this vine is about to be dramatically cut back.

But, just another little reminder, that Hibiscus that looks like a tree, also started out as a small starter that we thought would be a pretty little bush at the corner of the garden, but now casts shadow on my asparagus…

Roadblock on Border Project

Monkey grass soaking in tubs to soften the roots.

On Sunday morning I was enthusiastic about getting closer to finishing with digging up and replanting the de-weeded monkey grass border along the west garden. I sent my oldest son out ahead of me to do the digging up part. Unfortunately what he uncovered brought my project to a halt.

The landscaping timber was mostly rotten, with crabgrass roots running all through it. When I pulled on some roots the timber just fell apart. The timing is bad because banging rebar through fresh timber and into the ground is Mr. Mims’ department, and he’s still busy painting our fresh deck. He inspected my work, went somewhere to get the timber, dumped it in front of the site and then informed me that it’s low on his list right now. I can’t say I blame him. Continue reading

Flowering Fruit Trees

Our fruit trees are blooming on Paris Mountain.

It’s almost eight years since we established our homestead here on Paris Mountain.  Mr. Mims planted some fruit trees the first year, and a few more the next couple of years. We have apple, pear, plum, nectarine, cherry, and peach. At first they were like twigs that we could hardly see. Now we appear to have a small orchard. Last summer we got pears from one tree, but the squirrels stole all our pears from another. We have never seen a cherry yet, and suspect that it might be an ornamental variety. We’ve had a few small peaches and plums, but we’re still waiting for our summer of fruit. It is difficult to grow fruit here without applying chemicals to ward off disease and insects. But we figure that eventually there might be enough for us, the squirrels, the birds and the bees. That nasty mold and fungus is another story. But right now they sure look beautiful in bloom don’t they?