Thursday, June 16, 2011

PRUNING

(I posted what I thought was an excellent letter from yesterday's New York Times on Vote Obama 2011 this morning.)

My wife drove me out of the house and into the garden yesterday morning. It's Ellie's theory that a spot of gardening is a cure for all ills, including the blahs. She may be right. Well, actually, I know she is...

I do not, honestly, do very much gardening, unless the need becomes obviously pressing or until nagged sufficiently to get off my rear end. I would probably do well to spend more time out there. Yesterday, I first attacked the gardening shed. Our Los Angeles garden was designed even before we bought the house to pretty much take care of itself. We have a sprinkler system, and Joe the gardener comes in to do the bare maintenance. All that's really needed is a once-a-year tree and hedge trimming day, to keep the tall hedges on either side at bay...



... and to prevent the trees from taking over.

For this reason, the door to the gardening shed is opened only rarely, mostly to retrieve the fruit-picker when the oranges are ripe. On venturing inside, I found myself contending with about ten years' worth of cobwebs, above, and an ankle-deep carpet of dead leaves below. A broom took care of both these issues.


Less easy to resolve was a box of large ceramic tiles I had not known were there, several half-opened bags of soil mix, and two bags of long-solidified grout. The tiles and the potting soil proved useful in improving a small area of the garden where Ellie was working...


... which had descended into jungle over the years. The heavy bags of grout now sit outside the shed, awaiting a stronger back than mine--or a dolly--to remove them to the trash.

That done, I started on the potted plants on the lower deck. They, too, have been allowed to grow untended for several years, and badly needed pruning back. Armed with a pair of heavy gloves and a handy pair of clippers, I set to work cutting back the foliage, and spent what must have been a couple of hours getting a good start on the job. Sorry that I didn't think to take a before picture, I'll leave that to your imagination. But here's the "after"...


Meantime, the agapanthuses (agapanthi, I suppose) are coming into bloom. And George is impatient to get to work chasing his ball...


2 comments:

mandt said...

You must take George to Sissinghurst
next time back home to encourage his literary and gardening skills! :)

PeterAtLarge said...

In September, maybe... I haven't been to Sissinghurst since, um, the 1950s!