Tag Archives: agapanthus

A New Monastery Garden

garden book biasOne of the worst things that happened in 2013 was my mom’s sister deciding she had to sell this house which would have meant we’d have to move.  One of the best things that happened this year was that our good friend bought her out and now owns half of it with my mom.  I can finally plan a garden here.  So on New Year’s Eve I pulled out all of my garden books for inspiration and took pictures of the front yard.  Then I measured the dimensions and graphed it out.

My garden bias is totally obvious.  It’s all about the herbs, the vegetables, and the – oh – I didn’t pull my rose books out but it’s also all about the roses.

useless shrubThis is what our front yard looked like on the last day of the year.  Remember when I took out the other spider condo?  There has been some major spider trafficking going on in the remaining one.  Check it out:

P1000435This is just a small sample of the vast collection of spider egg sacks in the undergrowth of this most useless bush.  But back to the before pictures.  There was still one more agapanthus clump on this side of the front garden.  It fell to Philip to destroy it.

view from drivewayLook at it just sitting there mocking us.  It knows, and we know, that that appearance of winter weakness is a sham.  Just a little rain and this thing will get BIGGER.  So yesterday, on the first day of the year, we set to work.

cleaned upAnd cleared that damn space!  I even swept the sidewalk.  Now we have to figure out what to do with all the stuff we pulled out.  Yard waste filled up very fast and there’s still such a big pile that Philip can’t get the car out of the driveway.  I feel so relieved to see those awful institutional plants eradicated.  Once they were gone I made a wonderful realization.  Remember the monastery garden I built at my last house?  Here, have a look:

monastery garden blue chairAnd from my office:

view from officeIt turns out that I can recreate this garden in my new one on a slightly smaller scale.  I can only allow 2′ for pathways which means no wheelbarrows.  But once these beds are filled up there won’t be any need for that.  Some of the beds will have to be smaller but I can totally do it.

graphed planThat weeping cherry tree will be getting removed once we can find someone to give it to who will dig it up.  I am so excited I’ve been spazzing out all day about it.  So, it’s time I get off the computer and do some other yard work.  Philip is going to go tackle the agapanthus on the other side of the walkway.


Agapanthus is the Devil

another view of spider condoThis is 1/2 of our front yard.  The other half is essentially the same.  Small, square, dirt full of pea gravel, and filled with vigorous agapanthus and an unknown sprawling shrub that collects spiders.  I want vegetables and flowers like calendula, coreopsis, black eyed susans, grandmother’s pin cushion, marigolds, roses, and zinnias.

bare spot for vegThat bare spot used to have the other half of that clump of agapanthus in it.  Philip has not removed the rest of it as I requested him to do because it traumatized him.  So I planned to fill in the crappy soil with some fresh better soil and plant a couple of vegetables.

before with spider condo

But I’m greedy for space and this spider condo was on my hitlist.  I felt sure it wouldn’t be as hard to remove as the agapanthus.  At least I could grow more than one tomato if I removed it.  I hate shrubs like this.  They’re what you plant when you don’t want to actually garden.  They’re what you plant if you’re studying arachnids and need to provide the ideal environment to lure them with.spider condo demolitionI was right.  The shrub was just a great sprawling thing that was mostly dead and brittle underneath the top layer.  Its removal revealed a startling sight.

pure evilAbout half of the agapanthus clump behind it isn’t even growing into the ground.  It’s packed into itself in a crazy-ass impenetrable tangle of root and fiber and I got blood thirsty.

I will winI thought that not having to dig them out of the actual ground would make them easier to remove – I was terribly terribly wrong.  By the way, all the time I worked on chopping up the spider condo yesterday it was in the 80’s and I sweated like mad and it was awful and gross.  This morning was no different.

cramped tough rootsThat mess is all growing above ground.  It’s thick.  It will most likely break my shovel handle.  I’m using Philip’s burly digging bar which helps but my long held suspicions about agapanthus have been proved true.evil rootsAgapanthus is the devil.

Would you look at that gnarly mean mass of shovel-breaking root?!  It’s living off of itself, people!  No wonder they always plant this in parking lots of malls and institutional buildings.  This is a corporate strength plant.  It will survive balls of fire and lightning bolts of blight.

I had to come inside to hide from the stupid heat.  You have to actually hate yourself to dig a cancer like this out of your yard in 85° heat.  I may be temporarily defeated but I now have my sights set on removing the entire mass instead of just half of it.  And I intend to make Philip remove the rest of his too.  Because on the other half of our front yard we have THREE MORE OF THESE ENORMOUS CLUMPS OF AGAPANTHUS.