Hello, crafty friends and DIY doers.
It’s here, y’all! Spring (officially)
In Harleyville, South Carolina, we’ve had up and down weather cycles to arrive at the first calendar day of Spring. Many flowers and flowering trees bloomed about two and three weeks prior to the Vernal equinox , when our weather was wonderful and almost summer-like. On Tuesday, March 20, we were just getting through a band of storms that later caused a 4th severe nor’easter for our friends in the north. While we had the break in the rain, at least till afternoon, I thought I would pull some weeds. Not really wanting to work, but wanting to be outside, you know. I figured it was a good compromise. It is so much easier to do when the ground is wet and soft and you can kneel or sit and you can use a handheld claw cultivator for the initial dead straw removal. That’s easier, right? Normally, I would have just dug in with my hands, but I didn’t want dirt under my nails, just yet; so I used non-laytex gloves. These are so great for so many jobs. Doing the weed pulling is a necessary part of a beautiful flower bed, but the slacker in me wanted to start with a small area, just to make sure I really wanted to work. I decided to tackle the small Iris bed because it would be quick and give me an instant feeling of gratification, and, hoping the satisfaction would encourage me to continue until the weather stopped me. I started this venture early morning when the light was coming through my neighbor, Mrs. Geneva’s, line of pine trees. It was so striking on the greenery. The Irises haven’t bloomed in a couple of years, but they shoot up emerald-green spikes like clockwork yearly, all the same. If I encourage myself here, I will look up what can be done to make them bloom or why they are not. But, they always look like the promise of a beautiful Iris garden. They just needed a little care and attention, that’s all.
Once I got the first layer of dead leaves and straw from around the Iris leaves, I cleaned out around the plants themselves, exposing some of the rhizome, but not disturbing the ground roots, too much. I wanted to put a little fresh top soil around the root system before adding a little mulch, dirt and fresh pine straw.
I did break off two stems on accident while grabbing for weeds. So, I pulled up two other small plants to join them in a pot. Each plant that broke, luckily, had a few root runs on the end.
I had used most of my first batch of specially mixed soil blend on transplanting houseplants last week, so I first had to make a new batch of dirt. Bet those who know me, didn’t know I have learned to reinvent dirt. One of my newly acquired, home-steading skills. The secret recipe (not so secret, really) will be featured in a later post. I have discovered, through trial and error, how to enrich already quality garden and potting soils. It can be customized to the needs of a specific plant and it feels good when I get to play in a pile of dirt in the wheelbarrow. Mixing all the ingredients reminds me of playing in the dirt as a kid.
When I was done playing in the dirt (sans gloves), I went back to work, spreading it evenly over the rhizomes and up to the fan to give the plants a more stable future. Maybe it was the thunder I was hearing in the directions of Summerville and Walterboro, simultaneously, or maybe it was fate; but, just as I heard about the sixth alternating barrel roll, I got a call from my lower back. Turns out, we needed to meet in the house over the heating pad for a conference and I was ready to adjourn with the flower bed for a spell. So, as the thunder rolled, I headed indoors. Plus, I needed to run to town, anyway; “taco Tuesday.” Once I started enjoying the meeting with the warm, loving heat on my couch, I decided to write until supper. Unfortunately, I was too stuffed with tacos and burritos, to move again after supper, so I will finish up the Iris garden with fresh mulch and pine straw later this week. Thanks for reading and I’ll catch you at the next fence post.