I am either a hopeless optimist, or a very foolish gardener.
Last weekend, I hit hard clay while weeding Jody’s bed at the Homeward Bound Memorial Gardens. (As the founders of Homeward Bound, Jody and Mike Jones devote long hours to rescuing and caring for dogs in need. Weeding is way down on the list, so I’m happy to help!) I made it halfway through the bed without resistance, but this stuff was like digging in rock. I figured that the rain this week would loosen things up. Oh boy!
What I discovered was a soggy mess, with clay-packed mud and weeds that have gone wild in just a week’s time. That sucking sound? That was my feet lifting from thick muck. Ina’s Cottage Garden has a river running through it at the moment, and the only way to traverse the gardens without getting completely soaked is by hopping from one bark-covered bed to another. Unfortunately, Jody’s half-weeded bed is not yet bark-covered, so it was more like stepping into sludge along a river bed!
It was immediately clear how the gardens got so out of control last year; and how much work we will have to do once the rains subside to keep it from being reclaimed by those thorny beasts again. Country gardens are not for the faint of heart!