Re: [gardeners] typhoon in the garden (
Sun, 21 Jul 2002 20:45:56 -0400

> Sounds loverly Lucinda, I'm glad you've found a new home and are
> working up a garden. How soon can you handle houseguests? Just joking
> of course but maybe a gaggle of gardeners would be good to help with
> the renovation. If they show up with their own garden tools and some
> neat straw hats naturally. 

I thought about a score of Albanian peasants with their scythes would have 
done nicely on the Enchanted forest.

Too bad we're not closer, I'm a fair hand
> at plumbing and electrical work but a very poor carpenter.

yeah, it is.  We can usually handle most basic wood stuff and are getting 
better at finework.  Plumbing and electrical - no way.

Margaret is Dick Tripp still around?  I wonder what he would advise for fruit 

> George
> wrote:
> > 
> > Deathly hot, humid weather gave way to a 'typhoon' here: high winds,
> > torrential downpours, instant flooded streets, and in Toronto 17
> > hydro poles knocked over onto 18 cars, miraculously no one was hurt,
> > just trapped (or was it 18 poles on 17 cars??oh well).  And we have
> > tornado warnings.  At least the garden got watered, but I bet it
> > knocked down a fair amount.  We are busy renovating our new (old)
> > house.  We have refinished the floors upstairs and painted and await
> > the plumber to fix the shower and the electrician to add some
> > sockets before we start moving stuff in.  This week we are doing the
> > downstairs floors.  I may never stop vibrating.
> > 
> > House is boring to repair, garden is fun.  The place belonged to a
> > little old Transylvanian (have narrowed geographic locale since last
> > report) lady for about 60 years and it is beautifully laid out. 
> > There was an idiot pair here for about 18 months and the garden was
> > let go to rack and ruin.  We hacked our way through the Amazon and
> > two weed-eaters, 25 yard bags of debris later we reached and are
> > still working on the Enchanted Forest. We unearthed a raspberry
> > patch which Len cleaned up and organized into a neat rectangle and
> > will trellis later.  This is the dessert patch.  Somewhere back in
> > the forest there is the bebop-a-rebop rhubarb patch (anyone listen
> > to Garrison Keilor?). I have another 10 debris bags loaded and there
> > will be many more.  I quit throwing out branches but will use them
> > for rustic trellis and a stair rail down the steps in the garden.
> > 
> > The garden is on two levels terraced naturally.  We are about 1K
> > south of our old house which stands on the edge of an old lake bed
> > --more often a swamp until it was properly drained and turned into a
> > good body of water with dry land around it, although the flood
> > plains are pretty obvious and are not allowed for buildings.  Our
> > old house was close enough to the ancient swamp that it stands on
> > clay beds.  It required much soil amending and the occasional bout
> > with a jackhammer :)) to dig it.  The new place is higher up,
> > several gentle slopes and we are, I think, on the beach.  The soil
> > is really very sandy.  At about midway in the backyard it drops and
> > the soil is slightly less sandy, more humus-y and maybe with a touch
> > of clay---haven't investigated completely yet.  It makes for a very
> > interesting shape.  The old lady had a peach tree and a pear tree,
> > still standing and a cherry and apple were cut down.  Columbine,
> > peonies, old-fashioned phlox and roses abound.....also lily of the
> > valley, which is going.  There are ferns and lilies, hosta,
> > chysanthemum and periwinkle (going) and a few herbs still left from
> > what was her herb garden.  I have stripped the fence of overgrown
> > bridal wreath spirea and mock orange and given them away.   The
> > fence row will have roses.  I am adding stone to the terraced bit -
> > it's currently held by l-of- valley which I don't like.  Creeping
> > phlox and thyme and pineapple mint goes there, with the gallica
> > roses and assorted bulbs.  The upper level now has assorted bits
> > from the old house, iris, wormwood, blue salvia, Russian sage,
> > autumn joy sedum, and 2 tea roses; I am not big on tea roses but
> > they were on sale and I had to buy a plant; I couldn't stop! -
> > what's worse, my husband encouraged me!  I also bought a piece of
> > garden statuary - never have done that either, was egged on by
> > husband.  I got a statue of St. Fiacre, patron of gardens which I
> > have temporarily renamed St. Fiasco until I get the garden
> > organized.  I am trying to make up my mind about new bulbs, roses
> > etc.; the catalogues are rolling in.
> > 
> > The massive (goes up over driveway and onto 2nd storey balcony the
> > width of the house) grape vine is full of grapes.  The old lady made
> > wine from them.
> > 
> > One of the brightest things the old girl did was to have an old cast
> > iron stack (vent) dug into the garden from the top to the lower
> > level.  It carries the rainwater of one downspout to the lower
> > level, while another empties on the toplevel.  Absolutely brilliant.
> > 
> > I hope the old Transylvanian likes what I am going to do with her
> > garden; the neighbours are much relieved.  The last folk were kind
> > of nutty.  This is a very garden-oriented block. The street is only
> > one block long, in the downtown and is a world apart from
> > surrounding streets, also largely residential.  People even have
> > gardens on the formerly grassed curbs.
> > 
> > Has anyone had any experience with northern kiwi?  I want to put
> > back one fruit tree/bush but not anything so large as was here
> > before. What about cultivated raspberry bushes (ours are native &
> > wild) for this region (Great Lakes) which will bear profusely?  Any
> > suggestions?
> > 
> > All for now from the edge of the enchanted forest.
> > 
> > Lucinda