02 July 2007

edge effect (with apologies to meresy_g)

Today was edging day. Things look better with an edge, don't you think? Up early, oatmeal and coffee and a shower, and then at 'em!

The peony bed is beautiful almost as is, but I have been frustrated with it because it seems so weedy all the time, and the non-peony plants are too close to the edge . . . Solution: A nice solid edge behind which no weeds will be allowed, and wide enough to allow some extra plantings. So edge I did, and then unpacked the three blue fescue (Festuca cinerea "Elijah's Blue") that Alan gave me because he wants the pots for other purposes.

These three plants didn't come back after the winter as quickly or as nicely as Alan expected. He wondered whether they could be potbound, but that just didn't seem to be the case; the roots weren't coming out of the bottom of the pot. Did they simply not overwinter as well as normal? Alan didn't know, and neither did I. So he slipped the plants from their pots, put them in plastic garbage bags, and I loaded them into the back of our car Butch and drove them up to Pleasant Hill. After I edged the garden, I thought a few little "sea urchins" would look nice at the end of the bed, so I got 'em out of the bag and began to see what I could do to save them.

First on the list was taking care of the dead leaves. One I cut back hard, so it looks a little like I planted a Marine in the ground; his blond crewcut poking out of the top of the hole. The other two I manhandled a bit, raking out the old leaves with my fingers.

Then I investigated a little further and discovered that the three were, in fact, completely potbound. What looks like a nice dirty old rootball is actually a mass of roots on roots that have covered the shards of pottery placed in the bottom of the pot to help with drainage.

So I teased the roots from around the shards and dug my hands into the rootball to aerate it a bit. Finally, I replanted the three tired little plants, digging lots of compost into the bottom of the planting holes, and watered them deeply.

It took me a while to figure out exactly how to position them. You'd think I'd have no trouble planting three of the same kind of grass. But they look like such social creatures that I wanted to group them conversationally. Actually, the way it ended up, two are having a nice little chat, and the third is coming around the corner to join them. Or maybe he's a little standoffish. I can't tell which.

In the course of widening the bed and digging nice deep holes for the blue fescue, I uncovered some mammoth rocks, one of which I left in the bed for a little added visual interest (you can see a hint of it around on the right, behind the fescue with the crewcut. (meresy_g's edge effect blog is here)


  1. Definitely a fan of the edging - it looks great! Did you use the DR Power® Power Take Off (PTO) System w/Border/Edger Attachment? That would most certainly do the trick. On that note, thanks again for the gift that keeps on giving - NO, I DO NOT WANT TO BUY A POWER GRADER! It sure looks nice, though...

  2. Are you SURE you don't want a grader? Maybe you could buy it and have it delivered to our house, where we'll store it for you, and then you can use it when you visit. Or we could just use it and keep it in good running order for you. Howzzat?

  3. Things do look much better with an edge. My edges never last very long. My peony bed is in desperate need of edging. Perhaps over the weekend. YOur bed looks great, and your peony's toes will have so much more room to spread.