Critters · Garden · How-To

The Great Garden Party of 2020

I imagine normal folk hear Garden Party and think of fancy hats or tea or maybe nibbles. Maybe some polite conversation in a lovely English style garden.

Well call me American and give me a bath, because my Garden Parties are a bit more… laborious. They are held when my family sends up the Bat Signal for help with a Big Project. In my case, it’s usually actually in my garden because I have Big Ideas and two small children, so I often need assistance in execution of said ideas. And I have the honor and privilege of having a family that seems to legitimately enjoy helping me!

The victim subject of this year’s Garden Party is basically the entire back garden. It needs much much MUCH overwintering work, and between my professional level of procrastination and the perpetual virus-sharing that is winter with small people who sneeze IN YOUR EYES, it has piled up. Like whoa. So I sent up the Bat Signal, and was met with an overwhelming positive response, because my family is pretty rad.

Okay, now that I’ve had about 8 people confirm they are coming to my house to do yard work, I need to actually figure out what needs doing and in what order of priority. So what do I do? I draw a diagram of my backyard and make zones. No, I’m not kidding, see:

Such a civilized way to view one’s garden.

Hmm, that’s a lot of stuff, yes? I told you! BIG IDEAS, itty bitty execution period. Okay, prioritize, Jacquelyn, prioritize.

I confer with my partner and we establish a hierarchy for how this Garden Party should go:

First is weeding. Velociraptors could hunt in the tangled mess of weeds and jasmine-vine-that-won’t-die behind the chicken coop. No, not the chickens, they are dinosaurs but the weeds back there are even daunting to them.


Next is dealing with side yard. One of our side yards is paved and generally in good order, but not only is the opposite side yard on the other side of the house it’s on the other side of orderly condition. You thought the weeds behind the coop were high; somewhere inside of the thicket is the old dog run and dog house. The mission is to find those, disassemble, and BURN IT ALL- wait, no. It’s too close to the house. I will have to settle to taking my frustrations out on the three-foot-tall stalks with my Japanese hand hoe. Man. I love that thing.

Yes, my house is purple. It sets off the green weeds nicely.

Last of the top three (tree? Bahaha I crack myself up): planting the new peach tree/stick. Despite all appearances, this is actually a bare-root Frost Peach tree.

Cautiously optimistic face is cautiously optimistic.

I asked to have it topped at the nursery and got …this… back. I’m not altogether sold that cutting off all of the young branches in addition to trimming the main trunk down to a reasonable height is a good idea, especially for peach trees because they are *ahem* “offended” easily, but the nursery guy seemed confident that it was okay. Given that I put my young trees through a veritable crucible of pruning to keep them from fruiting in their first years (no babies having babies on my watch!), I am willing to give this a shot. But you bet your bananas I’m saving that receipt in case this thing dies on me. *haughty sniff*

There are many more things that need doing, of course, but these are the tasks that will take precedence. If we have time, someone will tackle the various overgrown parts of my garden beds (my oregano believes in Manifest Destiny) and perhaps prune the camellia back into submission. Maybe we’ll even plant flowers! And then look at them fondly for the five seconds before they are eaten to the ground by our ever-vigilant resident dinosaurs.

The dinosaurs await their chance to sneak onto the deck and eat my potted plants

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