my once-a-year gardening binge

Around this time of year, I always get ideas in my mind for what I could do to make the yard look nicer. I already know that I will never have a magazine article written about my yard, or have one of those “neighborhood beautification” awards staked in my front lawn. But it’s nice to be able to be productive with my hands and make the yard look a little nicer at the same time, right?

This weekend, I had two goals in mind. Split my cast iron plants, and transplant some of the monkey grass growing out-of-control in places that I didn’t want it to line the the azalea bed.

The seven cast iron plants started from a single plant that lived in a front bed when we bought the house. It was getting too much sun, and it showed; it was overgrown, and the leaves were ugly, brown, and shredded. So I dug it up and split it into eight (yes, eight) plants. I put seven of them around a big tree in the back yard.  Fast-forward almost six years, and each of those plants had become slightly smaller versions of the original. It was time to do it again. I knew that I wouldn’t be getting eight plants from each, but I figured that three apiece wouldn’t be out of the question.

I was concerned that it might be difficult to extract them from the soil (my back yard is especially rocky), but this proved to be a non-issue, as their root system is pretty shallow. One by one, I dug up, divided, and replanted. In the end, I ended up with seventeen plants in the ground and another three in pots with potential new owners. It’s always nice to have something that grows prodigiously enough that you can give it away.

On to the monkey grass. For whatever reason, my back yard is a haven for the stuff. It has almost taken over one corner, and there are several other sections of the yard where it has popped up and clumped together. Even taking twelve clumps or so from around the yard, I didn’t even scratch the surface. Now it has a more desired home; hopefully it can take root in the azalea bed and stop the pine straw from going all over the sidewalk.

In total, about six hours of work for hopefully years of enjoyment. Not a bad way to spend a Friday afternoon and Saturday morning.