Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Playing in the Dirt

Sometimes I drive my husband crazy.  He likes to think about things and plan them out.  I just decide something needs to be done and go at it.  The front flower bed, full of Irises, has been bugging me for a while. It hadn't been divided in several years, it mounded up instead of being level with the rest of the yard, and it had almost as much grass in it as flowers. 

 One Saturday (which was close to when I started writing this, but is now further in the past) I decided it was the day to fix the flower bed.  I got up, put on some work clothes, made sure the kids had shoes (a fairly new experience for Tristan) and started digging.  Actually that isn't true.  I first watched a video on you-tube about dividing irises.  Basically, you dig them up, break them apart, and replant them.  It sounded pretty easy.  The first problem I encountered was that my dirt was rock hard.  I watered it a little and the digging went better.  I dug until my wheel-barrow was full. 


 I them proceeded to the breaking apart stage.  Once an iris rhizome has produced a flower it won't bloom again.  Instead it grows a new rhizome.  You end up with a network of dead rhizomes tangled with good ones.  Most of them break apart pretty easily.  Some of them were too tangled up to deal with very easily.  I ended up with a flat of good rhizomes. I went back to digging and filled my wheel barrow again.  At this point I had enough cleaned and trimmed rhizomes to replant my bed, and a wheel-barrow full of ones I was too tired to deal with, and my back hurt.  I still had about a quarter of the bed to dig, but I was just too dang tired. I went in the house and moved on to other projects.  After a while I headed back out and cleaned and trimmed some more.  I got a set flat of rhizomes.  I put the two flats in the garage, and moved the wheel barrow over to the side of the house, where it is in the shade most of the day. 

 It was over a week later before I got back to the project.  The other floor beds in the front had brick boarders that I had put in.  This bed had only about four bricks before I ran out.  I also was having a hard time because of the bed not being level.  I think that it was a Monday, I left work early and stopped at Lowe's.  I got the bricks I need to fix the bed, as well as the part to fix the kitchen sink that had broken on Sunday while my parents were over for dinner.  I got home, made sure the kids had shoes (a fairly new experience for Tristan) and went out to finish the bed.  That last clump of irises was particularly stubborn, but I finally got it out.  I sifted through the dirt a little bit, and removed a whole bunch to level it off..  I dug a trench and placed the bricks.  Finally the bed was ready.  All I had left to do was replant the irises. 

 I replanted about a third of what I took out.  I still had a wheel-barrow full I was not interested in dealing with (if anybody wants some let me know.)  I took those out the back and placed the clumps in the dirt near the garden.  I will deal with them later.  I think that my bed looks very neat.  I am glad it is no longer the mess it was, and I got it done before it started raining for several days straight. 

Some of you may have been wondering what my husband was doing while I tackled this little project.  On the Saturday  that we worked on it, he was doing other yard work like trimming shrubs, and cleaning up other flower beds.  On the Monday, when he got home from work, I asked him to plant some bulbs I had bought.  Isabelle was very excited to help with those.  Daddy dug the holes and she put the bulbs in.  In between holes she danced through the yard.  As you can see from the pictures, both children love to help!

No comments:

Post a Comment