Monday, May 08, 2006

The kidney bean

Saturday morning, while my husband took Charlotte for a run in the jogging stroller, I set to work on one of our flower beds. I spent probably a good 2 hours working on a kidney-bean shaped bed that is probably 5x8 at the widest and longest points, and surrounds the little green stumps that the cable and phone wires are in. Some people try to ignore that these things are in their yard, and have to trim around them. Some try to disguise them by surrounding them in tall grasses or closely spaced evergreen bushes. We took the approach of putting a plant bed around them, but treating them like garden statuary. No, they're not painted with cherubs or frogs or anything. But they get their own spot, aren't "hidden" from view, and the other plants are laid out to balance the overall look.

The kidney bean was pretty thoroughly overgrown with grass, which is the one weed I hate the most in the garden. That stuff gets into *everything* and it's really hard to kill. Unless you're actually trying to grow it. Then it demands excessive water and care and white gloves in order to survive. I don't think I'd be upset to not have any in our yard at all, but that's a hard thing to consider in a suburban neighborhood where the care of one's grass is the primary pastime. We have one nieghbor who has burned off most of the grass in her back yard and seems to be working on a much more natural look--to the dismay of other neighbors who seem to think that they're not keeping the yard up correctly (because the grass is *dead* back there....). But I digress...

Once the grass was gone, and the remains of the dead morning glory's from last year were removed from the little trellis, I planted a bunch of seeds. Charlotte was back by then and decided to "help". We planted sweat peas around the trellis, since they'e climbers--we will probably have a dozen seeds sprout in one spot thanks to her careful placement :) We then sprinkled 2 or 3 other varieties that we had from last year in another spot (canterbury bells, and I don't remember what else). She was much better with the sweet pea seeds, since she could pick them up (they're about the size of peas, go figure)--the other seeds were more like crushed pepper. The next door neighbor boy (he's 2.5) got in on the planting at the end as well. Both kids were sorely disappointed when we ran out of seeds and dirt to plant them in.

I don't know if our little kidney bean will amount to much (certainly not a hill of beans, I didn't plant any of those), but at least it resembles a flower bed again, instead of a hill of poorly kept grass.

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