Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Gardeners Are a Special Breed/A Not So Typical Day in the Garden

We've known for some time that our street was going to be worked on, and were given the word that it would be today, so I took out the 18 inches worth of plants along the curb yesterday. The first 2 photos were taken around 7:00 a.m. as the work was beginning across the street. I had Heidi on a rope, so she wouldn't take a notion to chase anyone. She was very good today, and interested in what was going on.

I have never liked the shape of this flower bed, and since the dirt all along the curb was going to be dug, Larry mentioned awhile ago that he might be willing to have the flower bed be extended up to the sidewalk. Of course, once the work was imminent, I suggested we go ahead and get the sod up, but Larry reminded me it was a maybe, he'd said, and his mind wasn't made up. I so didn't remember hearing the maybe. After some deliberation, he told me to go ahead and make it whatever size I want up to the sidewalk, but to call someone to till it, because he wasn't going to.

All the workers I talked to and asked questions of all along the way have been patient and helpful. One of the younger men even helped me dig some of my dirt out, as they gave me permission to fill my buckets and other containers with dirt so that I can use less of the common pile from all the yards, and help put my own back when the new curbs are put in. The machines made short work of the old curbs!

Around 9:00 a.m. I found one ad in the paper for tilling, and when I called, he said he could come in an hour! I went out and the worker I asked said it would be about 4 hours before they got to our yard, so, by golly, I had the area tilled! I wish I had the patience and time to do the lasagna method, but now that it's tilled, I'll add compost and keep it healthy without further tilling.

As I was raking, then picking up pieces of grass, massaging and shaking off dirt, then throwing the grass into a garbage can to take to the compost pile, I thought to myself, "Gardeners really are a special breed. Here I am, sweat rolling down my face, and I'm feeling absolutely high!" I also failed to locate my gloves, but kept thinking, "soft, warm dirt" as I was working. It was good for me to savor the experience, because there won't be more grass dug up any time soon.

This was a video, but I forgot I can't upload a video this way. This machine was used to crush concrete, and to dig a trench next to the curb.

This photo should have been before the previous one, as this was done before the trench was put it.

Look at all that dirt on the curb and in the street! I started to shovel it back into the garden, but some went into their trench, so I carefully dug it out and left the rest, because I didn't want to mess up their work.

Later in the day, they came back to take the curbs, and parts of the driveways and sidewalks that go to the streets. You can see that the first section of our sidewalk was crushed, and is now out.

I just kept watching, and all the noise didn't even cause my headache I'd had in the night to come back.

I went across the street to take some photos and a video.

I feel so blessed that God gave me a love for dirt, and caring for the things I plant in it.

I almost got ahead of myself and planted things in a hurry before putting compost in the area, because I needed to pick our grandson up from childcare today. The guys came through and marked where they will be working to put in the curbs, so I decided I better put the plants away from the street and wait until the curb gets put in, which they say will be tomorrow.

I probably won't put them back the way I had them today. I was having trouble deciding where to put things. I'm not good at putting plans on paper, and even worse at following the plan, so I put plants here and there until I like how they look. I hadn't gotten there yet, plus, I need to leave spaces for some more plants that I want to get. I'll need to take my time and not be in a rush.

What are your favorite parking strip plants? Are there rules where you live about what you can plant? I tried a number of searches to see if we do, but couldn't find any information about it.


  1. no but I love to go state to state to see the lovely colors of strips. I love whta you said about love of dirt etc..sandy

  2. that's a lot of sod you got up there!! Hard work, but oh so rewarding...plans for planting? Oh, how I wish I could stick to one...no restrictions here...can't wait to see it all filled in!!

  3. Sue,
    It seems a shame for the city or county to waste money on taking out your curbs, the highways and bridges need a lot of attention and they dig up a perfectly good curb. Go figure.

  4. Your curbs looked so perfect, why did they take them out?

    Looks like you got a lot more garden space to work with.

  5. What a job ahead of you, but the reward will be worth it. The soil in our area is very heavy. Every 4 to 5 years I redo a bed. I remove most of the plants and add compost to amend the soil. The plants really like it, and I really enjoy getting my hands dirty. Have fun! I will enjoy seeing your results.

  6. In your searches, did you try 'hell strip garden' in a search?

    Also, try the DOT site for your state. Our state's Department of Transportation has guidelines for planting in a right of way, in a great web site.

  7. You have prepared well for the changes. And what fun to have that new garden!

  8. Wow Sue that was a big job. You will love your new bed. As far as a plan, I never seem to have one. I try to plan but end up with a hodge-podge. But nothing beats dreaming about filling up a new area.

  9. What a project! I'm looking forward to seeing the finished project when all the plants go back in.

  10. More room for flowers! :) That's always a good thing!

  11. All in one day ??!!! You managed well I think, enjoy your new bed, use the time you need, plans on paper are not always the best, gardening is a process over time I find and there is always someting anyway I want to change after some time. Looking forward to see more of the result :)

  12. Hi, Sue,
    A new bed, how wonderful!! My husband wants me to promise not to put in any more new beds. But gardeners ARE a special breed ... you describe this perfectly! I look forward to seeing the progress you make. Good job!
    PS I just enjoyed catching up with your blog ... I love your Kiss Me Over the Garden Gate... new to me. I want one. Must research it for my area.

  13. What an opportunity to have a brand new garden look!
    Sue, I never use gardening gloves while working in my garden. I love the feel of plants and earth and everything in touch with me.
    You did well by not putting in the plants immediately. Much better to wait till they've finished.
    Hmmm... we dont have any regulations about plants in Mumbai. Except the one which says that no one is allowed to cut trees without the permission of the local Corporation. You're allowed to plant as many as you want, though :)

  14. Just wonderful pictures and beautiful plants!
    Happy weekend!


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