This week's 'dig'
Kate at High Altitude Gardening reports a neat thing happening in SLC, UT

You know you're a gardener when...
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Where things either live or die!

Jan 26, 2009

Relief for the bored...or professional procrastinator!


Friday, while getting caught up on some reading, I stumbled onto a post by Northwest Nature Nut. She had managed to get out that day and get a little bed cleanup tackled! We’ve had such great weather lately- sunny even...I know, can you believe it! I have been putting off doing this. All week. And it’s been sunny. And I’m lazy. You know what they say about excuses!

Saturday, because I knew the rain was a come ‘n and possibly snow, I thought I’d better get my butt out there and get some work done myself- Thanks for the much needed push, Northwest Nature Nut!

Now, for anyone that knows me well this will be of no surprise.

1. I always start out good  in the beginning of the season, but...
2. I hate cleaning out my beds- I’d rather pick up dog poo :).
3. I’m usually too busy sowing seeds...that later on will have no clean beds to go into.

So, for me to get this done- and it all to end up in either the compost heap, and/or the yard debris can is nothing short of a miracle. I told myself ‘It’s not so bad, at least you’re working in the poo-free zone’  Oh, wait, I forgot the incident with what the neighbor’s cat left behind a few posts ago! A careful hand (preferably gloved...this time) and watchful eye would be needed.

I started out good. Here is the bed I wanted to tackle. I am hoping to add some pretty bark around it this year, instead of straw- sigh! As time and $ allow :)



I call this bed the bird area. What a mess! I did do some (I said some!) clean up last fall, because of the monster Poke Weed I’ve been dealing with from my neighbor’s yard! Still, I was ready to tackle it. Then I got bored.

It all started with cutting and pruning out the dead, and very pretty, Russian sage twigs. I thought they would make a beautiful bouquet- and I’ve been going through severe spring withdrawals, so I thought I’d get creative and make a winter bouquet :). Well, it started getting way to big for the house, when gathering one thing and another, and another. The many tidbits all added up to this- you can barely see the rusted container it’s in, which I think is an old milk container my mom gave me.




I should have tried to get a shot of just the white twigs, so you could see  how beautiful Russian Sage is at this stage- after all it is what inspired the whole thing. I wanted to get the whole thing in, however, and it just got taller and taller! It smells nice too. Hopefully you can see it.

Along with it I included a few other things. The dead sunflower heads, long since picked clean by the finches, added the bulk I needed- it does need more though. The branches torn off our neighbor’s tree from the awful wind we’d been experiencing, complete with a few cones, added the green. And finally the left over long, brown, grass-like stuff left over by the Daylilies was a perfect material to create a trailing effect, like maybe Lobelia would. I must say, it was really fun, and gave me more to appreciate about winter :).

So, did I get done with the clean up? Yep!  I got a lot more done than I planned even. Maybe that is the key- looking for beauty in everything, and allowing yourself to be inspired by the seemingly uninspiring! This made a ho-hum job nothing short of exciting, at least for me anyway.



In the photo above, I included the cold frame and the small herb bed behind it (which still needs some work done.) You can see that the yard debris can is full! I didn’t finish the bird area bed  because I ran out of room in the can :). Most of it is done though, and I’m left with a great sense of accomplishment...and a sore back.

Just as it was getting dark (that’s happening later I’ve noticed,) I felt some sprinkles! Talk about last minute ;). When I woke up Sunday morning, this is what the yard looked like!




Happy Gardening!



  • Aerie-el

    Today is sunny here, and 17 degrees! I guess it really is still winter...and excuse enough to procrastinate any spring cleanup yet! That's my excuse and I'm sticking to it. ~Aerie-el

  • DirtDigger (Tessa)


    Sunny, huh? Well, just look out the window and dream and call it good. 17 degrees is a bit much- my back is wishing I would have had that excuse this morning :)

  • Brian

    It looks like you have used your small space very well, I am curious to see it in full bloom.


  • Kathleen

    Good for you Tessa. You really got a lot done. It was 3 degrees this morning and looked a lot like your yard in snow so no clean up going on around here. Soon tho right? Because spring can't be that far off!!

  • DirtDigger (Tessa)


    Well, there is not a ton going on in that area- but I'm working on it :)


    Wow! That's cold- Yes, spring can't be too far off. Like they say- The first day of spring is great...but the first spring day even better!

  • Daphne

    Those things you didn't clean up last fall are "winter interest" in the garden. Not just laziness. Oh and if you like cleaning up dog poo better than the garden, I'd be happy to trade with you. I warn you though, my dog is 100lbs and can really dish it out.

  • gardenerprogress/Catherine

    Wow you did get a lot accomplished! It looks pretty all covered in snow. Now you can enjoy it and know it's all clean underneath. I like that wood bench.
    And is that lettuce I see?!

  • inadvertent farmer

    LOL...glad I'm not the only one to get bored with chores! I was determined to get one whole row of boxes done 3 of the 6 done and then had to go take pictures, play with the chickens, play with the kids, talk to the camel and anything else I could do to avoid the rest. Your arrangement is fun!

  • Jan

    Looks like you got done just in time. I know it is hard to keep up with everything esp. when dealing with snow and cold weather.

    Always Growing

  • DirtDigger (Tessa)


    Yes, when the snow melted it was nice to see that it was all clean (well, almost). Yes, that's some lettuce, corn salad, and spinach in the cold frame. I did some tests to see how much they could take- ended up being a good year to do that!

  • DirtDigger (Tessa)


    That is a much better way of looking at it! 'Winter interest'...much better! Luckily for me my daughter enjoys dog dooty- that won't last forever though! I'll ask if she'd like to volunteer with your dog's cherished prizes they leave for you!

  • DirtDigger (Tessa)

    Kim- I wish I had a camel...although I have a feeling I wouldn't really enjoy the dooties that go alone with it ;)

    Jan, Yes, I'm glad I at least was able to get some done before the snow hit. I think more warm weather is on the back won't be happy :)

  • Anonymous

    Well, it's still freezing in my area. The only life in my garden is the visiting birds, squirrels and a brown rabbit. In the meantime I'm gardening indoors using kitchen scraps. Water chestnuts can be sprouted along with my daffodill bulbs. Hope you will visit to learn more. Cheers.

  • DirtDigger (Tessa)


    Well, it may be freezing where you are, but it looks like you have some great birds! I think I'll check out that book, it looks interesting. Stay warm and thanks for the visit.

  • Muddy Boot Dreams

    Hey Tessa, thanks for adding me as a friend. I just got the email, with a link. Unfortunately I don't know my password, and I can't sign in. But I wanted to let you know that I do appreciate your adding me as a friend. Someday, when I can remember where and what my password is, I will do the same for you.


  • DirtDigger (Tessa)

    Hey Jen,

    You bet! I have been enjoying reading your blog very much. Hope you figure out your Blog Catalog info- I've found a few really good garden blogs on there, a few non-garden blogs as well.

    Thanks for stopping by, and happy gardening!

  • Denise

    Wow Tessa, you have a lot to do. But I am sure the projects will move along fast.

    Being a searcher for free items(anything that saves money so that you can buy more seeds or plants)have you checked around for free mulching materials for you garden? I have two tree companies I can call for pine mulch or wood chips. The one delivers then free to me.

    Hmmm.... you backyard looks white like mine ;) HAppy garden dreaming, Denise

  • DirtDigger (Tessa)

    Thanks for stopping by, Denise. Yeah, I have used free services before. There are plenty out there. I worry about pesticides and weeds seeds, so I try to use only my own stuff. Until I've managed to get enough material for a mulch (like what is needed outside the bed above) I get straw from a source that I've been using for years- not pretty, but it works to keep the weeds down :)

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