The Latest Dirt: Butterfly bushes, Raspberry bushes, and volunteer potatoes

Mr. Moon realized the other day that we never got After pictures up about the landscaping he did in the side yard. When we moved in, the butterfly bushes were 5 feet into the neighbor's yard, who was being understanding and ever-so polite about asking when we might get to that project now that we've moved in? Did you need a nice little reminder of what that looked like before? This is from April 16:

Yeah, we took those back quite a ways...

These are from only a week later, April 23. Including, as you can see (left), taking out an entire BUSH. It had been growing at an odd angle away from the house, and didn't seem very happy there in general. So, out it came.
My favorite part is that we saved all the strong branches for using as stakes for other plants. Already they are holding up rose bushes and being used as the bottom rung of the trellis for my nasturtiums.

Mr. Moon is especially proud of the back-breaking work he did taking out the stump of the butterfly bush, since as you can see here, one of the roots was half as wide as the shovel itself. That would not in fact be the root that caused him to break my shovel, but another one just as big that was growing straight out from the bottom.

Can you believe that was over a month ago? I need to get some updated pictures down there, to show you how the pruned bushes have already started filling in. At the time of writing, it's dark and rainy outside. Not good for picture-taking. Also, DUDE, get on that (blog post) already!

How about something a little more recent, shall we?

A cousin on the east side of the state sent us some raspberry bushes from her yard, since we'd had trouble getting some. De-thorned and everything. They're planted in this section next to the blueberries, under the fir tree where there will be lots of nitrate in the soil for them. Hopefully they will be happy there.

Oh, that long pile there? That would, ahhhh, be the mulch from that bed behind it that I pulled out a month or so ago and has probably killed the grass by there now. On the up side, we'd been thinking about making that bed a little further out from the fence, so now we just need to finish the job.

This is where I get even redder in the face. Mr. Moon ASKED ME if the potatoes which we were throwing away would grow in the compost, and I said that typically things don't grow in the compost because it's too strong, it just burns the roots. Well, I was right--TYPICALLY that is true. But I had to post this shot on Facebook for my gardening experts to inform me that in point of fact, potatoes LOVE pure compost, and it appears that's what's volunteered in our bin. Ahem. Oops. Anyway, the decision was made to stop throwing things into this bin (except perhaps the occasional load of grass clippings) to allow the potatoes to grow without being totally lost in the pile, and to start back up on the pile to the left of the bin itself. There are plans for a better compost system here, but this is what we're stuck with for a while.

The rest of the garden is growing happily along. I've had to wage a bit of a war on slugs because they seem to be totally addicted to my cauliflower even moreso than the broccoli, but everything else seems to be... OK.

Everything else I've wanted to give a "haircut" to, the internet has told me when to do that. But my leeks, I get nothing telling me I can even trim them while they're growing, just to keep burying them if the white parts show over the dirt, so I don't know. They're huge now, easily 3 feet out of the dirt, and I can't imagine I can't trim them and use them like every other similarly-shaped onion-family plant in that damn garden. So when Mr. Moon and I get back from our road trip, I'm going to trim one of the plants and see what happens.

Lots of experiments happening around here lately! I'm enjoying the process.


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