My Fall Folly

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On some of these lovely sunny autumn afternoons, I’ve begun slowly getting my newbie garden ready for winter. All my herbs pretty much went to seed while I was away and the people who installed my eavestroughing stomped all over all my tomato plants so there really wasn’t much garden left. And with temperatures starting to dip below freezing at night my herb containers were starting to look a bit peaky.

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Eavestrough drain: a necessary evil.

I’ve always wanted to take those stones left over from moving the hostas and build a folly in the backyard. A folly, if you didn’t know, is more or less a purely-for-decoration construction, usually made of rocks. Rich people used to build ruined castles and things on their estates just for fun and they cost a lot of money and were useless – hence, the builder’s folly. My “folly” has a bit of a function as a rock garden for my hardier herbs. These I pulled out of my containers and I hope they’ll last through the winter.

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The now-blank space where all my herb containers lived this summer.

I built a raised bed here because the back part of the yard gets really soggy when it rains. This means the weeds here are very happy and because of the dip in the landscape, it’s really hard to mow them down. I hope that a raised bed will prevent all of that and save me some time with the weedwhacker in future.

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As you can see, it’s been some time since we have mowed our lawn …

Mint and lemon balm are pretty much weeds, anyway, so I know they’ll stick around.

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I already have rogue mint growing amongst my decorative stones (though I *may* have planted it there).

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Did you know that parsley is a biennial? It flowers every TWO years. I’m keeping it around just for that.

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So there was no real science behind this folly, and I’m pretty sure it might fall down at some point, but that’s kind of what I’m going for. It’s just rocks piled on top of each other with dirt in the middle.

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And then plants.

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But it doesn’t interfere with the gate needed for the right-of-way in the backyard, so that’s nice.

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And it contributes to the general plan I have for this garden in year two, now that I’ve figured out all the kinks. Stay tuned!

The Garden Grows

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Check it out.

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The stuff I planted (FROM MUTHA-FLIPPIN’ SEED, YO) is actually growing, amazingly.

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I’m as shocked as you are, given my previous talent for killing all living things.

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But this hosta.  This came with the house.  And it’s enormous.

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It’s blocking the lilies that also came with the house, and the dahlias I recently planted.

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We can’t have that.  Especially as I’m not a huge fan of hostas to begin with.

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And I have that pile of rocks in the front next to the driveway that needs to be dealt with.

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What if … I split the hosta in two and planted it in place of that rock garden? Sounds like a plan. I got up pretty early one hot morning so I could do this before all my pasty white skin burned off.

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First I removed all the rocks in the little bed.

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I left the ones that were under the stairs so they could prevent the soil I was about to add from sliding under the porch.

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In fact, I added back in a few more to make a little wall.

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I knew these rocks were local because so many of them were just STUFFED with fossils, and good ones, too. There used to be an ocean above the Ottawa Valley, and so most of the rocks around town are sandstone with all sorts of little critters petrified inside.

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Now I filled the hole with soil. It took most of one of those awkward 20kg bags.

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Then I wrestled that huge hosta out of the ground in the backyard. There are no photos, because I was covered in mud and sweating like a pig. Turns out I no longer own a shovel, and so had to dig it out with a trowel. And then split it. With a trowel. I felt like a true victor once I had it out of the ground. Once I stuffed it into the bed in the front, I tamped down the soil, fertilized it, and watered it well. The (now plural) hostas took quite a bit of damage during the disinterment and transfer so I want to give them the best chance for survival.

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I don’t want to have to take too much care of these babies, so I took some of the prettier fossil-y rocks and placed them around the hostas to protect the soil from water loss and erosion.

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Because I had so many rocks leftover, I put some in a border around the edge of the wood, just because it looked more interesting.  I still had a ton remaining after this, so they’re currently lining the wall in my garage. I’m sure I’ll come up with something to do with them.

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I’m quite pleased with the result. It’s no feat of professional landscaping or anything, but it’s a sure sight better-looking than what was there before!

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