Working on the Hosta garden spot

Moccasin(z9aMobileAL)April 28, 2012

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.

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You are doing lots of work! Makes me tired just thinking about it, but it will be so pretty when it all comes together. I am going to have to look for shade cloth at HD. My pecan trees took a real hit from the drought last summer.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2012 at 6:56AM
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jan_on zone 5b

I do hope you are keeping good photographic evidence of this project. We all want to see 'before' and 'after'.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2012 at 12:41PM
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davej_07(z5 WI)

Rule of thumb on the pictures, it never happened! Lol


    Bookmark   April 29, 2012 at 3:41PM
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Jon 6a SE MA

I was wondering how a pierogi (Polish dumpling, for you Rebs out there) could be so large and such a burden. I was forced to look up the definition of piroque; which I had never heard of before in my entire life.

It turns out it is a Cajun, flat bottom canoe, for you other Yankees out there who must have been just as puzzled as I was.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2012 at 4:21PM
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Honey, the real BEFORE was only viewable with a machete in hand. hehehehehe.....but this is what it looks like with all but the azalea stumps up and the passion vine seedlings beginning to crawl up the wire pot arbor.

I have to remind myself that it was just last spring we began to do things with the back forty. Pretty raw, huh.

And hmmm, let me find the Fried Bananas--I'm most impressed with how it grew while I was busy potting up the new guys.

This next picture shows the "allee" or walkway between the high privacy fence and the south end of the Teahouse. It is the place I've moved the smaller hosta, intend to put a shelf up on the fence for eye level viewing and gardening chores to be easier. This view shows where the only three grounded hosta are located, the QUARANTINED TRIO. Wouldn't you know they look perfect this year? I'm hoping they do NOT have HVX, but what are the odds the first two I bought from Lowes are clean? Like IGNORANCE IS BLISS, maybe the angels knew I was totally ignorant when I did it and it saved me--but give me a couple of quarantine years to find out.

The area for the shade cloth is 25 feet wide from fence to fence--our "back forty" was a strip of land we bought from our neighbor, 25 feet deep and 100 feet wide, and this south end of it is between two fairly large pecan trees, and shade is rather sporadic and intense as the growing season progresses.

Meanwhile I have a dump truck load of half bark half soil in my driveway which I'm waiting to move once the PVC posts are dug in. No sweat, right? hmmm, well, three holes with more roots than you can imagine. If we do it in one day, it will be a miracle. I'm really thinking we should call the fence company to bring that big auger and at least do the holes. I'm too old for this....and so is DH. He's got to last a long time, you know.

Oh, a pirogue is sure nuff a flat bottomed boat. Double ended. NOT an indian-style canoe. This one happens to be out of fiberglass so it will last forever. My bro, who is in Louisiana, gave it to me after it drifted up to his house in a hurricane. I worked down in Louisiana as a boat captain for 20 years, I forgot folks in other parts did not know a word so common to me. So JonnyB, you thought I was filling up a nice nice!!!!Ohhhh. As they say on the bayou, Ah'd lak sum a dat, me!! Here it is, at the north end of the back forty, between rows of blueberries.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2012 at 6:59PM
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Jon 6a SE MA

Moccasin, that pirogue looks like a natural to set into the ground a little, drill some drainage holes, fill with hostas and then surround the boat with a sea of green and blue hostas.
Maybe a mast with a sail. A PT or metal pole stuck into a hole through the bottom; hinge a boom and a stay or crutch to hold the boom in place. Could I suggest a name "Ragin' Cajun". Maybe too ambitious; but you could build a "deck" inside the pirogue and set some of your hosta pots in it.
Think about it. It doesn't look as if that pirogue has seen water in years and I can't think of a better use for it????

I can't wait to see this.


    Bookmark   April 30, 2012 at 8:50AM
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Ah Moccasin, a pirogue. After 12 years in Louisiana, this is one Yankee who knew what that was.

You are certainly not afraid to tackle a big project. I'm looking forward to more pics as it progresses.

OK, so completely OT, I have to share my favorite Louisiana expression 'That don't make me no nevermind.'


    Bookmark   April 30, 2012 at 9:23AM
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