Re: [gardeners] typhoon in the garden (
Sat, 27 Jul 2002 11:10:14 -0400 (EDT)


Your Enchanted Forest sounds marvelious!  How exciting to inherit a garden!

I also inherited a garden from an avid gardener - its in a community garden 
rather than in my own yard.  I even got some seeds from my predecessor.  I've 
been out of town for a month now, unfortunately, so I don't know how it's doing 
and I'm scared to ask.  Hopefully I'll be back mid august; I'm sure I'll have 
lots to do there, but at least my tomatoes will still be going strong - I hope!

Jeanne in SoCal z9b 


> 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