Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Guerrilla Gardening – Year 3

It’s been over two years since my last blog story about my ‘Guerrilla Gardening’ adventures. This is a link to my favourite story about this topic…
http://bitsandpeaces08.blogspot.ca/2010/04/guerrilla-gardening-attack-2.html

… so that you can become familiar with the inspiration behind this motivation.



The spring of 2011 was so wet – it seemed that it was raining almost every single day – that I got behind with my regular veggie patch and so I had no time to tend to my ditch peaceflowers throughout the city.



This spring was rather dry and after I had got ahead with my own veggie patch, I thought that it would be good to check on my ditch gardens to see how they had faired over the last two years.



I chose this location for a guerrilla gardening site cuz I thought that only tall grasses grew here and that our flowers would be able to dominate and thrive. I learned that this area filled in with Golden Rod and these plants absolutely smothered the Day Lilies that we had planted. If our Peaceflower garden was to survive a lot of work would have to go into continuously clearing away the existing plants and I just didn’t have the time so I decided to not put any more effort into this garden.



This was another location where we planted orange Day Lilies in the shape of a peace symbol and you can see that I had many helpers for this adventure. We all had a really great time!!!



A few weeks later, I did manage to revisit this site to do a little weeding, hoping that our Day Lilies would dominate and thrive.



Upon my inspection of this site, earlier this spring, I noticed that several plants had actually survived but most had perished. I thought about why this was. I concluded that because the soil was a heavy clay that the roots weren’t able to survive. I thought that if I was to revive this garden that a lot of work would have to go into mixing the existing clay with a sandier soil to create the proper growing conditions. This would have been too much work for me to accomplish alone, this year, but I am hoping that one day I may be able to do this.



It’s such a great site and thousands of travelers would be inspired! Hopefully… one day…



Well, I had just one site left to inspect. I had my fingers crossed for a good omen, as I was feeling a bit disappointed by my two other failures.



As I got closer, I could start to see a few brightly coloured green leaves and this put a smile on my face. I began to move some of the dead grasses away, from last year’s growth, and I kept finding more and more Day Lilies. Yeah!!!!



Soon, I had found that most of the flowers that had been planted here two years before had survived and a few of them had also reproduced other Day Lily tubers (roots)!!! I’ve added some small green dots to this image so that you can see the shape of the peace symbol more clearly.



I figured that these flowers had survived because the soil conditions are perfect and there are few other dominating plants – this ditch is mostly grass.



I decided to add more Day Lilies to this ‘Guerrilla Gardening Attack Site’ to make it even better. I went home, to my gardens, and began looking for flowers to add. Many patches of Day Lilies that I had planted around my house had reproduced in excess of what I wanted, so I dug these flowers up to add to my ditch art.



This was a patch of a different species of Day Lily. Instead of blooming with tall stems and orange flowers, this species has shorter stems with yellow flowers that actually bloom earlier in the season than the orange ones. I figured that by adding these flowers to my ditch art that the peace symbol would be in bloom for a longer period. First the yellow flowers would bloom and then the orange ones.



I chose to dig up this patch of yellow Day Lilies cuz they just weren’t getting enough sunlight where they were. By moving them I opened up this space in my garden to plant other flowers that were more suited for a shaded setting.



So… with a shovel in hand and a bag of Lily tubers, I set off to enhance my peaceflower ditch garden. When I first planted at this site, I simply cut an X into the ground and pushed the tubers under the folds of the ground. This time, I dug deeper and pulled out small plugs of earth. I broke the soil up in my hands and planted the tubers in these holes, filling them in with the loosened soil, hoping that they would reproduce and spread more easily.



As you can see, the flowers were already quite large when I planted them.



Several hours later, I was finished! About thirty additional flowers were planted at this site and I was very excited to see how it would all look once they had grown and bloomed.



I really wish that I had more photos to show you. I wanted to finish this story showing the peace symbol in full bloom, but I never had a chance to do this. Over the last several months I did manage to drive past this site a few times and I did see the flowers in bloom, but on these occasions I was working and I didn’t have my camera with me.



So… to conclude… I will have to ask each of you – my blog readers – to use your imagination and picture these Day Lilies in full bloom, adding inspiration into the lives of all the passing motorists who happened to catch a glimpse of something very lovely and purely peaceful!!!



Jim

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