Friday, September 26, 2008

Going Green: Today, I Moved A Mountain!

Thanks to those of you who encouraged me to get out in the garden and get the job done this week. We've had terrific weather, and I've gotten quite a bit done!

My children begin their fall break today and are off for three weeks. So, now that we are finally lighter on the schedule (the boys' teachers have run me ragged lately!) I can spend a little time each day getting the garden chores done one by one.

I started three days ago with the toughest job of all: ridding my front garden of a certain ground cover called "Snow on the Mountain".

In the Spring, Snow on the Mountain is one of the first foliage plants to fill out. It has variegated leaves of pale green and white that make a beautiful mound wherever it is growing. Delicate white flowers grow on tall, slender stalks that poke up out of the mountain of leaves (thus, "snow" on the mountain!)

However, in the heat of Summer, the leaves brown horribly and the matted root-mass of this ground cover spreads into parts of the garden you never intended it to be. Now that Fall is here, sprouts of the stuff are coming up in and around almost all of my shrubs.

To remove this garden-hydra, I have had to use a spade to dig up the top 3-4 inches of soil throughout my garden and sift out the bean-sprout-like roots. In some places, they were thickly interwoven enough that the top layer of dirt came up like a carpet.

After three days of intermittent work, I think I finally got the last of it this morning.


Now comes the task of making sure the roots of the remaining shrubs are well-cared for. I will mix peat into the soil and start watering and feeding them to prepare for the cold weather. In the process, I may even put in some tulip and crocus bulbs to brighten our Spring.

- Midwest Mom


  1. Good for you! I have rid my garden of this plant before (trust me, you'll probably have to do it again.) It's one of those that looks lovely in someone else's garden, but once it takes hold, it can be tough to keep in its place.

    Enjoy the Fall (loved your post on that, too!)

  2. Hat's off to you (or should that be gloves off?). I don't have anything resembling a green thumb, so the yard is my husband's domain. But I do appreciate how much work it can be — even on our postage-stamp sized lot.

  3. I commend you on your work. I have a black thumb and don't even bother trying. I keep telling myself every time spring rolls around that "this year" I will tackle trying to garden, but I always find myself doing other things I truly like to do.

  4. oh boy, I'm reading this with one sheepish eye out my kitchen window (glad it is already dark) at the overgrown muddle of fall mess that once was my lovely garden. Perhaps this will be the kick in the pruning sheers I need to get out there...And a three week fall break? You must be on the year round program? I'm jealous-- at least of the three weeks off with the littles!

  5. Thank you all for your comments!

    Miss greenthumb -- welcome to the blog. :) It's good to know I'm not the only one out there doing battle with this lovely, but insidious plant.

    Robyn -- I don't wear gloves. I like the feel of dirt on my hands. It's one of the reasons my children get the joy of really getting dirty outside. How can I deny them what I enjoy? You should join your husband one of these days, even to keep a little flower box of fall pansies. They're easy to take care of and so beautiful. Give it a try! :)

    Susan -- You have a gift for frankness. "I always find myself doing other things I truly like to do." Ha. I guess that says it all. :) There's no need to torture yourself! Thanks for the visit!

    Kate -- I have missed you! Welcome back. =D You're not alone. It's the nature of the fall garden to be a jumble. It's one of the ways Mother Nature keeps us in our place (and busy!) Enjoy the fall, the cool air, smells, sounds. You're correct that my children are on the year-round calendar. I love it. I truly miss them when they're at school, so having them home for 3 weeks in the fall is a delight.

    Best to you all! -MM


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