Underestimating Gardening Tasks

I am enjoying the unseasonably warm temperatures. The late mornings are still a bit chilly when I go out to work in my yard, so I don’t get the full benefit of the 70+ high temperature, but it’s still nice to be able to work without freezing my fingers and toes.

I have learned that when it comes to gardening, I always underestimate the time it takes to any task, and planting this last batch of bulbs is no different. I am placing them between the daylilies I planted a couple of months ago, so I figured the ground would be easy to work, but unfortunately, I let the prostrate bindweed take hold. I started out digging it up, but discovered that I was also digging up the newly planted daylilies, so I decided to wait until it was time to plant the tulips and do it all at once (weed and plant). And so I really have my work set out for me.

I also have to decide what to do with the lily trees I planted. The first twenty had a note on the package to plant 3” deep, which I did. A second batch from another company that I received ten days after the first batch said to plant 6” deep, which I also did. Concerned about the disparity of depths, I checked online, and the online instructions from the company where I bought the first twenty said to plant 10” deep. If I can figure out where the bulbs are (I raked the area flat, so it’s anyone’s guess), I might try to dig them up and replant them, but if the cooler weather comes too quickly or if my knees give out, I will have to wait until next fall and buy the bulbs again. Which I do not want to do because they are relatively expensive.

I am so not a gardener! Though I suppose, by the time I get my yard landscaped, I’ll at least know a bit more about what I am doing. It’s too bad about the lilies — I was really looking forward to an eventual lily tree forest of six-foot-tall plants. Apparently, the plants die back every winter, and every spring for three or four years, they come back taller than ever until they eventually grow to their full height. Planting new bulbs next fall would put the “forest” back another year so I wouldn’t see the full growth until the fourth year.

The good news is that if I decide to try to replant, and if I can find the bulbs, it should be an easy enough task since the ground was worked to at least a 6” depth.

But then, there is that comment I made earlier, that I always underestimate the time it takes to do any gardening task. Still, I can take comfort from knowing that at least the weather will be warm for a my bulb hunt.


What if God decided S/He didn’t like how the world turned out, and turned it over to a development company from the planet Xerxes for re-creation? Would you survive? Could you survive?

A fun book for not-so-fun times.

Click here to buy Bob, The Right Hand of God.

Possible Dreams

As I water my various plants, I daydream about what the yard will look like in the coming years, assuming I can keep up with the work. I hadn’t realized I would like lilies, but I find them amusingly cheerful. I looked up my order for the lilies I planted and discovered they are orienpet lilies, a combination of oriental lilies and trumpet lilies. To be honest, I hadn’t remembered planting them. Luckily, they remembered! Apparently, their lying dormant the first year is not unusual. Even better, every year they’re supposed to get bigger than the previous year, and eventually they will grow to be six feet tall. Now I am dreaming of a lily forest. I bet it will be beautiful, especially if I order more lilies to fill in the space around where these lilies are growing. And since I water and weed that area anyway, there won’t be any extra work once the lilies are planted.

Although the lilies are supposed to be strong enough not to need staking, mine are still so young that I need to invest in some garden stakes. Right now I am using wooden stakes leftover from the various concrete jobs around the property, but although functional, they detract too much from the flowers.

Another place I have dreams for is the area in front of the lilacs along the path next to the garage. It seems perfect for tulips. I water there anyway, just like with my future lily forest, so once the bulbs are planted, there won’t any extra work. And it won’t look like a mess once the flowers have faded.

I felt more like playing in my yard today than I have the past couple of weeks, so I harvested hollyhock seeds, which I am willing to share with anyone local who wants some. Just let me know. I also cut down a couple of the spent hollyhock stalks that were unsightly, but that only made the weeds along the fence more apparent. I’m thinking it would be a good idea to extend the slag driveway along the fence line to help with the problem. There will be way too much inside the fence for me to take care of without having to worry about anything outside the fence. I also did a bit of weeding, but wore out quickly. And anyway, I had to put the gardening on hold because I needed to start my car. Even though the brakes aren’t fixed yet (the brakes work, but the brake warning light still comes on), I’ve been doing a bit of driving just to keep the car mobile.

It still amazes me how gardening has gotten into my blood. When I first moved here, all I could think of was putting in some sort of landscaping that would take care of itself, and now I’m dreaming of a mini estate that will take plenty of work.

But we all need dreams, right? And not impossible ones either.


What if God decided S/He didn’t like how the world turned out, and turned it over to a development company from the planet Xerxes for re-creation? Would you survive? Could you survive?

A fun book for not-so-fun times.

Click here to buy Bob, The Right Hand of God