Working on the Hosta garden spot
Sometimes I feel we just inch along, but this week, maybe two inches closer to the goal of a garden spot for the hosta.
The first truck load of pine bark and soil was dumped on a tarp in the driveway. I've carted a pirogue boat-load of it in small garden cart and scarcely made a dent in the pile.
DH is working inside installing homemade crown molding, so is not helping at this point. Plus, my garden helper is in New Orleans.
Plus, I have to take the adze/pick ax to the bushel sized briar growths and old azalea stumps and camphor tree pernicious roots before I move the rest of the load into the hosta area. It will be between two larger pecan trees, which is the best shade spot I have. Even at that, we must install a shade cloth for the area to protect the space from the sun when it reaches its highest track, well to the north of west, so it would scorch tender hosta leaves. I'm trying to avoid the hosta going heat dormant too soon in the year.
DH did locate the spots where three PVC pipes filled with cement will be buried as posts, and another one running across them to provide support for the shade cloth. I think it will be cement filled as well. Just 2 inch diameter, but my engineer says it will be quite strong enough. I had been thinking 6x6 posts of treated wood. But, we'll try his way first.
I already have the 6 foot wide 90% shade cloth from Home Depot, 100 foot roll of it. It is very effective. I will connect two lengths of the shadecloth but not sew them totally, since I want air to flow up if it gets hot, and definitely not become airborne if we have high winds. I also have a spool of bungee material (boat stores are great places to shop), some big eyes like they use in sail covers and such, and I can tent this over the PVC posts/crossbeam, and secure the ends to the chainlink fence on one end, and the privacy fence on the other. Both fences are 7 foot high, the PVC will be 9 feet high.
Beneath the "tent" I have a cement patio stone walkway (previously for my dogs to keep their feet dry) which will wind its way around that end of the Back Forty. The Back Forty is only an area 25 foot deep, but 100 feet wide. The bigger potted hosta can hang out in the shaded covered spot, which will just about be 12 foot x 25 foot, with some other spots not under the cloth that contribute shade as well.
I'll wait to haul the bark/soil load until DH puts the PVC in, don't want to get in his way with more soil. It is amazing that we cleared this area less than two years ago, and it is already such an important part of our garden space.
A side note here. Not all the hosta will go here. I have a great place I call my New Orleans courtyard visible from my kitchen window. The south edge of the courtyard is shaded by very tall ligustrum--shedding its infernal tiny white blooms this month--but I think having some fragrant plantaginea in that area would be wonderful.
I took a look at my Fried Banana pot today, and it was magnificent to behold. The very largest of my golds, even though it has a bit more chartreuse than a real gold does. But it only shows up when it is sitting next to Faith, The Shining, and a few others. I was surprised at Guacamole looking almost gold as well, sitting in my gold spot beneath the short fat Japanese maple.
Plus, I'm thinking of using the wooden 7-foot tall privacy fence along the hosta allee for a raised display shelf for the smaller hosta. More planting space is how I look at it, and the little guys won't get overwhelmed by their larger cousins.
So far, only three hosta are in the ground, and all three are quarantined. I had a discussion with DH about observing the KEEP OUT QUARANTINED for this spot, because he is not versed in hosta culture. All he knows about hosta is that he grew the "green and white one" for about 40 years! And he wants to know why I cannot just dig them up and throw them away NOW. So I must be sure he knows not to spread the virus, if indeed there turns out to be a virus on the two Lowes plants. My poor little Fragrant Queen from PDN is the third hosta quarantined because she unfortunately was planted with Winter Snow and Blue Angel, both from Lowes, last May. My very first hosta. My first big mistake.