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Posts Tagged ‘peony. peonies. tree peonies. garden fence’

Last weekend, I purchased some small garden fencing to try to protect my flower beds from Murphy. Specifically, I wanted to fence off the prayer garden where one of the aroids I planted last fall actually came up. I figured I could go to Fred Meyer & pick up on this sale they had since I hadn’t seen anything at Home Depot the weekend before. I bought a nice white fence and got it all set up, then Don came home and told me that he thought Murphy could squeeze through the white fence. GREAT. As it happened, we had to make a trip to Home Depot and they had the fencing in (surprise!) – and it was CHEAPER than the great deal at Fred Meyer.

Heavy sigh. We bought more fencing at Home Depot. Theirs had narrower openings and would work better we reasoned. I could use the white fence to protect my peonies from Murphy: he was using the end peonies in lieu of a fire hydrant and they were suffering. So I put up the brown fence from Home Depot and set up the white fence around the ends of the peony bed (I didn’t have enough to go all the way around the island).

Then Murphy promptly jumped over the brown fence. So I tried to up the stakes by adding a couple strands of wire above the brown fence. Ugly, but functional.

This weekend, Fred Meyer had the white fence on for buy one, get one half price. That brought it down to the Home Depot price and I figured I could finish the island. Since I was in the gardening mood and it looked like the weather might clear, I also went to Home Depot and found the mulch I like to put around the flowers. After all, I had to recover all the weed guard that Murphy dug up last winter.

Once I had all that home, I realized that I was going to have to weed the flower beds before I put the mulch on. And I would have to edge to peony island so Don can get his lawn mower around. By now the sun was shining and it was warming up. But I am determined.

You might ask where was Don? Well, he was busy trying to save his espalier apple trees from Murphy. Murphy likes apples.

When Don planted the trees (there are two, one on each side of the vegetable garden gate), he built the fence behind the trees. But since Murphy developed a taste for apples, he realized he was going to need to place the fence in front of the trees. He had to move it around his horse radish plants, too. And to move the fence, he had to dig up the sod and weed. So that is where he was and what he was doing while I was running around doing errands and getting my fence and mulch.

When we bought this house, this island was covered in grass and clover. I was horrified because it was obviously a flower bed with tree peonies and peonies. Years of neglect were threatening to choke the life out of the peonies. I considered a less-than-organic approach and looked into grass herbicide, only to be warned by wiser gardeners that peonies are particularly sensitive to herbicides.

I was going to have to clear the island the old fashioned way: with hand tools and hard work.

It took me five years to get the grass cleared without killing any peonies. I also planted irises, day lilies, penstemmon, lavender, sage, Russian sage, and a few miscellaneous items; the dogwood that I will probably dig out and Don’s hawthorn. OK, he planted the hawthorn. That was his miserable contribution to this (miserable because I cannot weed under it without being stabbed by thorns).

Today, I weeded (not too hard because I have kept ahead of the weeds ever since I finished clearing the grass out and there’s the weed guard under the fresh layer of mulch). Then I pulled six bags of mulch out and covered up all the exposed weed guard (I need about one more bag for the island). And I put up the white fence.

I like doing all my own landscaping. Even if it takes hard work and leaves me sore all over. It just looks so nice and leaves me feeling like I accomplished something. Nevermind that the house work is still sitting undone.

I’ll let it sit undone, too: I came in, took a long hot bath, then sat down and blogged.

And Murphy can still jump the brown fence which is why there isn’t a photo of that on my blog. I have to rethink that entire corner.

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