Friday, August 30, 2013


Fireweed courtesy Flickr. Pinch the shoots, eat them, and grow a more beautiful plant.

Last week an acquaintance confessed that she is a slave to her garden. I confessed that I stopped watering anything several years ago. She may be honoring neighboring standards. I am honoring mine-this area tolerates intense water conservation. Native plants don’t mind being thirsty. I water the apples by shifting a downspout extension here and there from time to time.

Maintenance consists of regular, diligent grooming so the dry stems of this and that don’t turn into horticultural dreadlocks. This is prime time to thatch the sod with an ordinary rake and give it a quick mowing just for neatness. It’s also a good, albeit dusty, time to edge and to use the same rake to comb out perennials. 

Before committing a slow circuit of the garden with pruners and rake, I set out the mower to process debris, working on the lawn. Afterwards, it’s a simple matter to rake the mowings into the nearest mulched area and lay the dust and fine debris with a strong shower from the hose.

Managed with a green eye, every garden operation is a harvest, either of usable plants or of mulch.


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