Friday, September 9, 2011

Bentos and Fall Garden Cleaning

This cool weather that followed tropical storm Lee has me feeling energetic and inspired!  The garden has needed a good weeding, pruning and cleaning for a while (typical summer), but 95 degree weather tempted me to put it off to the next excuse now!  

Cleaning is coming along really well, and fall planting will start today!  Fall is really our best growing season here.  Even eggplant hangs it's head in our heat and humidity.  Only melons and sweet potatoes seem to revel in searing sun.

Today the girls' bentos had a heart shaped pink rice ball (tinted with Wilton's pink dye paste for well for other things too)....
Sweet little cheddar cut outs and small bottles of soy sauce for the egg rolls so "kawaii" (cute in Japanese)...
...pears from the trees with kawaii picks :-)... and a Greek pepper (the girls like the juice on their rice)...So yumm
Here is the front garden all trimmed back...The roses are just sticks currently...they were a little out of control so I pruned them rather severely...should be fine.
I dug out the shabby buddelia and put a pot in its place.  I plan on putting some type of focal point in it...maybe a gazing ball...and then planting some sort of trailing succulent around the focal point.
...the mounds of red dianthus survived the winter and summer (I sheared them occasionally) but I think I'll remove them.  The red just isn't the right color for the front garden.  It's too harsh.  I prefer yellows, oranges, pinks, and white in this garden.  I also had to dig up the Aztec grass to remove some stubborn weeds.  After separating the weed roots from the Aztec grass roots I replanted a larger more spread out clump.  I also removed the yellow mounding lantana.  It tended to get too leggy over the path and it's roots too had bundles of weed roots that were removed as well.  In the process I was able to dig up my hurricane lilies or naked ladies (as you choose) bulbs.  I plan to plant them in a better spot this weekend.  I would like to enjoy them more.

As this garden matures I've had to make decisions on what to remove.  This reminds me of a permaculture practice.  Newly planted areas are over planted with legume trees then later as the planting matures they are removed to make room for the plants that their roots collected nitrogen for.  Did you get that...maybe it was too run on-ish...anyways....Look at that mound of cuttings.  I'm going to put them in another part of the garden until the leaves fall off (the leaves will become mulch).  Then I'll put the stems in a brush pile that I am forming to make a hugelkulture bed.  I think I spelled that right.
I also pruned my lorepetalums or "plum delight fringe shrub".  The cuttings were just dropped right underneath.  They're nice and flat (the cuttings) and make a perfect "chop and drop" scenario for returning nutrients to the soil and providing mulch that shades out weeds and keeps the soil moist.
My garden this morning with the sun breaking through the trees on the batture (batture is the area between the levee and the river).  With the cool weather weeding is actually pleasurable...time to think, plan, and contemplate.
Sweet potatoes on a rampage...Sooooooo excited about
The egg plants are recovering from Lee....they were a little wilted for a while....
Had to put wire cages over the pumpkin seedlings....because of marauding chickens...I'll have to think of a solution to this soon.


wvugrads said...

Love the bentos! You are so creative. I saw this the other day and thought about you. Not sure if your girls play angry birds or not. Take care.


Wanda Stricklin Robertson said...

Love your garden. You have inspired me to go clean up outside!

Jeremy Heyes said...

I find garden cleaning very boring. But love the clean garden. So always hire cleaning services to clean my garden.