That Garden You Can’t Face

It is already July.  I am embarrassed to say that yet again, I have not attacked that trouble spot in my yard. I am sure you can relate. You know, that spot that is the LAST place to ever receive attention when you are out doing your regular yard chores.  Maybe it’s a spot that is difficult to mow with bumps and lumps your mower doesn’t navigate well. Maybe it’s an area that needs some new plantings and a little rework before you really love it, or it’s an area with horse-tail sprouting faster than you can pull and creeping charlie invading every time you turn around. Maybe it’s a spot where the previous owners planted mint like it was going out of style.  Or maybe, the wildlife in it is out of control!

Meet the “snake garden”.  The prior owners of my house had large rocks added to most of their gardens, which honestly ads a nice curbside appeal of borders and small rock barriers around the various garden beds on the property. These rocks also provide the perfect place for snakes to bask…all… over… my gardens.  The act of gardening has always been this frenzy for me as I am very fair skinned and have a tendency of wilting in high sun and heat.  I often get up early and work at a frantic pace.  I work until I get too warm and then return inside for a shower, coffee and breakfast. However, I am not alone in paying attention to temperature and the sun…

I know all about snakes.  I know they eat insects and rodents and are far from pests when it comes to their practicality.  I still cannot conduct myself with etiquette and care when one crosses my path. Let’s just say that past encounters have evoked neighbors from multiple doors down, running to make sure I am OK.  I realize how ridiculous this is; that garter snakes are and should be a gardener’s friend.  No amount of rational thought ever wins over when we cross paths.  Usually I am startled by their movement, scream and do the “ants in my pants” dance.  It is truly a sight to see, I’m sure, but I am usually too busy getting far, far away to notice.

My trouble spot, that garden I cannot face, is my snake garden.  I decided this year, that this would be the year.  This year I will attack  the 8’x15′ garden.  I will remove the tall grass, and numerous weeds and determine what actually is perennial versus flowering weed. I know there are peonies, daisies and a small cherry tree, but what else?  This will be the year I edge the bed, fertilize and mulch well.  This will be the year I get it back to garden status.