Monday, May 14, 2012

My mess of a flowerbed is my exercise

For two days in a row this weekend I spent 2 hours digging and pulling weed barrier out of my garden. And, I didn't get sore muscles from doing that. This wasn't sifting through a little bit of mulch to get to a single layer of barrier. No, it was three layers of weed barrier.

The first layer was pretty easy to get to as it wasn't under much. But even by the second layer, I now had piles of dirt I had to move and now more damp dirt to remove off of that.

The worst layer, naturally, was the bottom layer. Now I had two layers of dirt in piles to move off the 3rd layer and there was a lot of dirt and big wood chips (getting old and moist) on that one. It is much harder to shovel wood chips than dirt mixed with mulch.

Add to that, over time (as I'm sure this was done over a 10-20 year time span) roots had managed to penetrate between layers and through some - big roots especially. What a freaking pain in the butt!

But, after 4 hours, I think, think I have all of it! Maybe... Ugh! There are three pieces of weed barrier, the very, very bottom that is stuck under/within the rhododendron plant and a big azalea plant, I'll just trim those pieces of fabric up and deal with them if I ever have to pull out those bushes (which I hope is never).

But... to show my work. Here's how it looked before I started digging. These were actually taken last year, but it looked the same as now - pretty much - just doesn't show the tipped over timbers, but it does show the eroding mulch/soil off the weed barrier even before the timbers fell over. Over time, They just piled up too much mulch and barrier to be supported properly and it had no plants for most of the garden to hold down the mulch in the front. It was naked the front half. All that is there midday forward is what I added last spring.

Now, after all my digging:

And here is the pile of weed barrier:

I'm realizing now too, that some plants were choked because of the weed barrier. Roots weren't able to fill out properly and so on. No wonder the azaleas that the owner planted just before selling aren't flourishing, they were too confined.

Now to move all that extra dirt to low parts in the yard. I don't know how any of the perennials I planted last year will survive all this stress, but they weren't in good shape the way it was either. You can see a couple peonies in there trying to grow.

But I have hope. These are the peonies I planted last spring in the front yard. Gorgeous on Mother's Day yesterday:

So, this will be the kind of stuff I will be doing for exercise for the next few weeks. That and painting in the house. No need for the gym when I'm active in other ways!

Stats for 5/14/12:

Highest weight: 275  Now: 166

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