Wednesday, April 21, 2010

A Different Type of Hedge Fund

In the interest of making the yard similar to the palace of Versailles in some small ways, I've recently aquired *many* shrubs. Despite some formal botanist training at an institute of higher learning, I worry that I'm putting the plants too close together. Sure, maybe they will be a bit uncomfortable, but that's what I've hired them for, to look good.

Unfortunately, the rain has been spaced out just close enough that it has been too muddy to dig. It's kind of like if you are driving your own car, and waiting for an opening in the traffic to pull out onto the main road, but every car is spaced out just the tiniest bit too close to each other to be safe about it. Well, it's not much like that, but you get the idea. And the mud. sticks. to. everything. After 30 seconds in Blackland Prarie clay based soil, you are clodhopping around with 25 kg sandals, sliding off the end of the shovel.

I know, I know... they have people called 'gardeners' to do this kind of thing, but I'm pretty much a do-it-yourself kind of guy. In fact, the step treads and faces in the image above were cut and hand chiseled by yours truly (I mean my image above, not the image of Versailles garden which is immediately above).

To digress, I don't always just go to the store and buy beer. Sometimes, I grow the barley, harvest the kernels, soak them, let them sit in the sun until the sugars of the grain malts, then I mash the grain, boil it, pour in the yeast and then let it ferment for weeks. Then go through an elaborate bottling and quality control process.

Sometimes if you want your plants placed too close together, you have to do it yourself.


  1. Love your stairs. Your meatballs aren't bad either. Wait that sounds wrong. I'm referring to your meatball shrubs.

  2. Those stairs are beautifully done! We are very DIY too, but not quite to those standards. We - and when I say we I me everyone but ME - redid the concrete front walkway last summer, which is artful in its way but not artistic at all. Not that I mind, since I merely kibitzed ;)

  3. I mean "I mean" - not "I me" - mea culpa!

  4. I've never driven my car through the gardens of Versailles. I tried once, but they stopped me at the gates. Apparently no cars are allowed. Something to do with soiling the soil, or spoiling the soil.

  5. Can mo ever NOT find a way to find some hilarious way to twist our posts around?

    Love those stairs.

  6. The more Versailes-like, the better!

  7. As an avid but untrained gardener, I feel your pain. I don't think there's a plant in my garden that hasn't been moved three times.

  8. Doing it yourself is overrated. Still, I have to admire your dedication.

  9. I know what you mean by 25kg of mud on your shoes. We have been pounded with lots of rain too. Good luck with getting those in the ground!

  10. Nikki,
    Thanks, I'm no Swede, but I've never had complaints about my meatballs, or my shrubs.

    It's quite a bit of work to redo a walkway. Pretty much anything architectural is...

    Those French can be so proud of their national parks sometimes. The nerve...

    Mr. C,
    Yes, it's impossible to predict what Mo will come up with. Thanks!

    I need to order those large blocks of Carrarra marble so I can carve out gigantic statues and planter bowls now, and a few thousand dollars worth of gold leaf.

    I'm sure I'll be replanting at least 20% of them... But three times, really???

    Is it overrated if you are the best at it? :)

    They are half way there, no rain for a while!!!

  11. Well, I'd offer advice - if I wasn't the Grim Reaper of the plant world - but I am, so I won't. :)

  12. Girl Interrupted,
    I know how it is, I have Italian Cypress seed/saplings I'm working on and I'm pretty sure it's a no-go.

    Wait a minute though, don't your parents have a big garden of sorts? I'll bet you help out there occasionally, you are too modest.

  13. If I had disposable income for such landscape architecture, I'd hire you.