Fern Bench Progress

 With the help of my son and his friend, a new box for plants is now part of the bench. After trimming the coir to fit snugly into place, I’m ready to plant ferns! Some details of the process:

Acloseup of a corner.
Acloseup of a corner.
The fern bench in its new home.
The fern bench in its new home.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With the ferns lined out on the bench, I'm ready to plant.
With the ferns lined out on the bench, I’m ready to plant.

 

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It’s fall – time for garden changes

Cooler nights and crisp morning air is signaling changes to my garden. But I’ve been keeping a list all summer of things I want to change as soon as this 90° weather stops. Yesterday began the change from unmowed lawn with more buttercup and violas in it than grass. Michael never has time to mow it.

Yesterday I purchased and sprayed the lawn with an organic product called BurnOut. It has some interesting ingredients in it that cause lawn to die faster than I’ve ever seen RoundUp do. Clove oil, for one. It leaves a scent of cloves behind, which is much nicer than the usual synthetic chemical smell. Once the plants are all dead, I will rake out as much of the dead stuff as possible, fill in the low spots, seed in some ‘Fleur de Lawn’, and top-dress with compost. The seed is a mix of low-growing flowering plants and short perennial rye grass. It may need mowing once a month and needs very little water. Doesn’t this sound like a much more sustainable option than a standard lawn?

The lawn is dying ever so slowly. Grasses are tough plants!
The lawn is dying ever so slowly. Grasses are tough plants!

I have a client who has seeded it over the back of his very steep property, too. It is touted as a good erosion-control groundcover. Another plus. As seed begins to come up, I’ll post another photo. In the meantime, see the dying grass that I sprayed 25 hours ago.

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Banana trees don’t read books

Amazing banana root chunks developed leaves popping up alongside our ravine.
Amazing banana root chunks developed leaves popping up alongside our ravine.

After chopping through thick, white banana tree roots of Musa basjoo this spring, I saved what I needed to start a new area for my banana tree. The leftovers that I thought were not viable I tossed into the mix of compost material that we place alongside the ravine. Most books will tell you that banana trees like sun and water. However, I have 2 pups growing alongside the ravine that have received no water since they were placed there (until last night when it rained). The area is also mostly shade with a little dappled light late in the day (see the photo). Now I’m watching the little devils to see just how long they will survive there. I may dig them up and relocate them in the garden – or give them to a deserving friend who wants a little tropicalissimo.

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