I had to abandon Part II at the time because the ground was too hard, as usual. I love the soil in Pennsylvania, where my sister lives. It is soft and springy under your feet and when you step on a shovel, it sinks right into the earth. That would be heaven. Here on the prairie, where it seldom rains anymore, the earth is hard as a rock and can only be dug after a rain or in raised beds that have had heavy compost worked in. It is punishing to my feet to dig in the hard ground.
After our big rain on Saturday, I decided to try again. The soil was beautiful and dug easily. I finished Part II, dug across the path into what I call the Lemon Balm wilderness, found all five of the children's stepping stones, and saved a few Erica Iris from disappearing under the rose bush. Unfortunately, the lavender bush was inadvertently pulled up in the process of clearing out the Lemon Balm. That's what happens when you make poor choices in the company you keep (collateral damage, as it were).
The chickens like to keep me company while I garden and there were five of them gathered back behind the rose, muttering amongst themselves, while I worked through the clearing out process. It sounded like nasty gossip to me, but what do I know.
Then I moved on to the final bastion of JG: the top Iris bed. (Cue the ominous music.)
This was initially a holding bed for some transplanted Iris that were waiting to find their real home in the other gardens. That was three years ago. The top bed is gorgeous beyond words for a couple weeks in the springtime, when the Iris bloom. After that, I forget to go over to that side of the house because all the blooming is happening elsewhere. That is the moment the JG seizes (rule-breaker) the moment and takes the place by storm.
I haven't had the courage to attack this bed until yesterday. I hesitate to say I won, because you rarely ever "win" the war with Johnson Grass, but I feel that I may have scored a decisive victory on this one particular day.
These Iris that you see tossed aside in the picture are:
#1. Deep maroon (no picture, sorry. It is as dark or darker than the falls of the picture at left.)
#2. Maroon fall with yellow standard,
#3. Pale yellow standard with lavender fall, ruffled (we call this one Erica). That's it in the picture below.
This morning my feet hurt so much I have decided to do my blogging and reading in bed. Ouch. I guess even when the soil is perfectly soft it hurts the balls of my feet to dig. Hmmm...I need a yard man.