Gardenkeeping.com completes its first trip around the sun!
This has been such an unexpected pleasure for me. Originally I just wanted a website for my garden maintenance business but, then I got bitten by the blogging bug. Read about it at my post WHAT’S MY SIGN! The learning curve was a bit long (and grueling) but now, one year in and 42 posts later, I’m still excited to sit and write about my plant-life. A big thank-you to everyone who has checked out my blog and decided to follow it. You’ve really cheered me up!
In this world you can’t rest on your laurels.
After tending my garden for twenty plus years, there are some themes that repeat themselves, like being bored with those annual pruning jobs…
(Cut to the laurel hedge. It enters from stage right, a little sluggish and misshapen. An audible gasp is heard from the pine.)
The hedge: Please, don’t look away. This is what happens over the course of a year. I grew and then at night the deer came and ate what they could reach. Help me!
The drama from this scene has been playing out in my front yard for many years now. The only reason I have a hedge is because I regularly spray it with bobex. The only problem is that some of the deer don’t seem to mind it too much, hence the muffin-top.
So, once again, I go into my garden with shears in hand.
Last year you found me in a similar situation. So, I got bored with my hedge…. It was my first post on WordPress, so, that’s where we are; back at the beginning. My hedge had gotten too tall and it seemed like a really good time to play with the shape.
My original sketch:
I was able to do this but, decided to not add the port hole. This helped to alleviate the doldrums and I felt content for a while.
The laurel puts out new growth in June.
That growth really accentuated the deer damage: there was more growth on top, not as much on the bottom and my hedge was still too tall! It was time to rethink the top line and how to bring it down even lower. That was when I decided to cut off the point (the bow of the ship) and make a nice curve that would match the roundness of the plants in that bed. It’s so much fun to try a new idea. I felt instantly rejuvenated as I clipped away. I guess all of this made me feel pretty bold because I decided that I was ready to give the “port hole” a try. I figured that if this idea still sounded good a whole year later, it deserved a chance to be brought to light.
It turns out that the reasons I didn’t cut a hole in it last year were still a problem this year. The Sitka laurel’s growth habit is very upright with almost no side-branching. There was no way to cut a hole without leaving a gap that ran all the way to the top. I had to take it slowly and remember to breathe. After cutting what I could I used a black plastic pot to help shape the hole. I pulled the branches around it and tied them together. I was so nervous that I forgot to take pictures of this part! When I took the pot out, the branches sinched back together and my heart sank. I had come so far that I felt committed to make this happen. David helped by cutting a piece of lumber to hold the branches apart. It’s a temporary fix and the top curve needs a bit of tweeking but, it does seem to be doing the trick for now. I would like to make a metal ring to hold the space open. I’m not really sure how to do this or what other issues will come up. I’ve learned that ideas are always simple until you try to make them work in the real world. This blissful ignorance seems to be the best way for me to begin….again.