It is finally spring and like the birds I feel like nesting, In my spare time I am cleaning the garden, pulling or flame throwing the weeds in to submission. And as usual wondering why I didn’t get the Corn Gluten spread last fall to stop all the winter sprouting weeds from germinating. Pulling grass and chickweed tangled in the spines and ferocious arms around my spiniest cactus is not fun. If I had done what I tell my customers to do and use the Corn Gluten most of the seeds would have died as they sprouted and I wouldn’t be getting grumpy at myself for ignoring my own advice.
But as the nursery grows I need to face that fact that I have less time to garden in my own yard. I need to work on the whole “Keep it simple stupid” mantra or perhaps “cheat” and bring one or two of the crew over and have them weed the front yard, after all, all the plants are “parent plants” for the nursery and it will be time to take cuttings of the summer growers soon and we are quickly getting to the point that we will no longer be able to take cuttings from the winter growers, since they are heading in to summer dormancy and would rather not grow roots while they sleep off the summer drought.
Spring is always a busy time. Too much to do and all any of us really want to do is find a quiet spot and take a nap in the sun. But it is also a great time to get your hands dirty and make things grow. My big home project this week will be finishing planting a new bamboo run along the west side of the property. You have to love how fast a few 15-gallon bamboo plants can mask a bad view corridor of “the neighbor’s mess”. Nothing grows as fast or is as big for the buck as robust running bamboo. Of course in choosing a big running bamboo it also needed a barrier installed and digging down two and a half feet in Berkeley flatland heavy clay was sweaty job.
I used help for that but hey I am the “old guy”. I put in four big plants in an 18-foot run and decided it really needed two more to really give me the view block that I wanted. It is interesting the older you get the more you want instant gratification….
When we bought the house I planted bamboo on the east side, hoping to block the second story windows from the Transmission Shop next door. Funny how they show houses on Sundays when the “mixed-use-industrial” businesses in our neighborhood are closed and there was no hint of the pneumatic air tools constant loud whine, loud enough to make your teeth hurt and bring back every dentist drill trauma from childhood…. Having stretched to afford the house, I splurged on only one 15 gallon bamboo plant for in front of the bedroom window and planted 5-gallon plants along the rest of the length. It took a few years to cover the windows, but when you stop and think, that the now 25-30 foot tall plants are only in an 18 inch wide planning strip that runs the entire length of the house and gives a dappled green screen in front of all the windows and quiets down the annoying air tools whine you realize that really there is nothing like bamboo. It really is grass pretending to be trees and like grass the more you water and fertilize the faster it grows. Though these days the drought tolerant bamboo I planted is lucky to get one summer watering and then only enough to wash in a bit of slow release organic fertilizer.
So this time on the west side of my house, I am older, have my own nursery and can splurge to put in six big plants that will block the view of the neighbors mess and have that bit of instant gratification.
If only I could just as quickly weed between all the cacti….