Every Tuesday, for the past several weeks, has held the promise of more work done on my garage, and tomorrow is no different. The garage door is supposed to be delivered and the electricians are supposed to come to wire the garage as well as the contractor and his helpers to do more work on the trim. Perhaps they will all come as planned. Perhaps it will be just another Tuesday like all the rest.
Meantime, I’m left with the seeds of ideas about what to do with the yard once it is mine. For now, the yard is strewn with materials and piles of lumber scraps as well as the defunct carport, so there’s no use in doing anything such as planting seeds until it is all cleared out. Besides, once the garage is finished and the sidewalk from the back door of the house to the pedestrian door of the garage is built, many loads of dirt will need to be hauled in to even the ground from the house to the garage and all around the garage, especially where the old building used to be.
Then, of course, I will have decisions to make. To plant a ground cover or leave it as dirt is one such decision. I considered a clover yard because it’s a favorite of bees or maybe even a California poppy field, but I have noticed recently how much birds seem to like the bare ground. There must be insects or old seeds or something for them to eat that might not be available to them with a ground cover.
Another decision is what to do with all the old seeds I have — dozens and dozens of packets. I would have thought that seeds wouldn’t go bad — after all, corn has been grown from maize discovered in ancient pueblos — but so far, any of these seeds I have planted have turned out to be moribund. So now I wonder if I should take a risk and sow the seeds in the new earth when it arrives in case they decide to grow, but if they aren’t viable, all I will do is awaken whatever weeds might be in the dirt. I also can’t help thinking that as long as I don’t plant the seeds, there’s always the dream of someday having flowers, but if I plant the seeds, and they are dead, then there won’t be any flowers. And anyway, I’m not sure I want to waste the water on some sort of large-scale planting just yet.
So, to seed or not to seed? Such a conundrum!
But there’s no real need to decide just yet because, so far, Tuesday never seems to come.
Pat Bertram is the author of Grief: The Inside Story – A Guide to Surviving the Loss of a Loved One. “Grief: The Inside Story is perfect and that is not hyperbole! It is exactly what folk who are grieving need to read.” –Leesa Healy, RN, GDAS GDAT, Emotional/Mental Health Therapist & Educator.
May 25, 2020 at 3:59 pm
Maybe the workers will have had a nice 3 day weekend & decide to get your project finished!!!!
I’d like to think that about my problem! (lol) Enjoy your pretty flowers in the mean time!!
May 25, 2020 at 5:27 pm
Oh, those aren’t my flowers — they’re dream flowers, what I wish I could have!
May 26, 2020 at 6:32 am
I would encourage obtaining fresh seeds. California poppy is a wonderful, easy choice and the seedlings are very recognizable. It re-seeds easily, even carries over the winter to sprout in the spring. I learned the hard way that seed packets that are labeled “wildflower” are full of “filler” seeds that (1) sprout fast and usually bloom earlier, but then fizzle because they are annuals or biennials; (2) are invasive, like yarrow (Achillea milefolium, which has its uses as a blood stanching herb) . Many seeds need to be overwintered before sprouting, and some true wildflowers need 2-3 years to get established before flowering, so it looks weedy to the untrained eye for that long. Since soil is a living thing and tries to cover itself with whatever is available (usually pioneer “weeds” whose job it is to triage, repair and stabilize damaged soil and keep it from washing away, then they fade out and others replace them), I like your groundcover idea, especially clovers. I can recommend some others if you like. I’ve been reading up on the topic of soil for the last year and am humbled by how little I knew. Soil has a kind of intelligence, I’m convinced of it.
May 26, 2020 at 9:11 am
I’d appreciate any suggestions. The soil is clay and alkaline. Whatever I plant would need to be able to be drought resistant, need little watering once it matures, and it need to hold its own with the pervasive Bermuda grass.
May 26, 2020 at 12:58 pm
I am really impressed with these people’s dedication to soil-building and intend to try some of their recommendations. I had never heard of them before this year. They’re in AZ and they will work with you by email/phone to determine best steps, esp if you have to deal with existing invasives like the Bermuda grass. Here are some cover crop listings: https://store.underwoodgardens.com/Cover-Crops/products/244/ They have an extensive site with more info, depending on what you want to do.
May 26, 2020 at 3:02 pm
Thank you! Good information.