Rained out on my first day of Christmas vacation.

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I got a start yesterday tho'.

I bought cobblestones and got ten of them down before sunset.

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I want to connect the two ends.


The Geranium maderense is in the way. I'm eager for this biennial to do its thing this year, and die. Classic example of putting too-big a plant in too-small a space. Plus, it totally disrupts the nativity of the bed. S'okay.


What am I going to do with all this dirt?


Dump it in the neighbor's yard? Heh. Tempting. As it is, I'm dumping it in the garbage can a couple gallons every week. Noone's said not to yet.

I'm going to grow a pumpkin in that pot. I think it will look nice seeing the vines snake through the manzanita and ceanothus. I like to blend vegetable and ornamental gardening. And I really like that pot.



Bulbs. Mostly tulips, large and small.


They're too big to call seedlings anymore.


We've never seen the Cotyledon macrantha flower. I have other Cotyledon sp. tho', and I think they all make the same inflorescence.


Indoor flowers.



My favorite houseplant...Spathiphyllum Aglaonema.


I like the red leaf scars.



Jenn said...

You are throwing away dirt.

*shakes head*

I can't begin ...
this is so wrong...
you are landfilling dirt.

Sigh. Wish it was economically feasable, I'd have you ship it to me. I'm living in the lowlands and buy bagged dirt to pull the plantings off the water table on a regular basis.

Mm. Not to mention the two 6 yard truck loads of 50/50 compost mix this yard has eaten without a trace.

Tell me your dirt is at least going into a 'green' trash bin for composting? Lie to me, if you have to?

chuck b. said...

Dirt inhibits the composting process so they don't take it in the green bins. I have of course snuck some in here and there, but I don't like doing it.

It costs a lot of money to get rid of dirt, so it's hard to believe it *isn't* economically feasible to transport it to you.

Here's a story about an Atherton couple who got a $92,000 bill for dirt disposal after some mansion renovations. It couldn't possibly cost $92k to drive a truck of dirt across the country where the dirt would be accepted gratefully.

It would cost me $107/ton ($18 min) to leave my dirt at the San Francisco dump.
Which isn't so bad. I could probably add that to my Christmas vacation to-do list.

Christopher C. in Hawaii said...

You are throwing away dirt?

*shakes head*

You are throwing away your topsoil which should be full of microbial goodies. The excavation for your cobblestones can't generate that much soil. Why dont you just add it as a light layer to all the beds. That small path worth of soil would hardly be noticeable evenly spread through the garden.

I hate to break the news to you but your Spathiphyllum is an Aglaonema aka Chinese Evergreen.

I love the bird's eye view of the garden. You did right by getting rid of the grass.

One of these days I am gonna have me a real job where I get two week long hopefully paid vacations too.

chuck b. said...

Really, that's Aglaonema? I can sort of see that, because Spathiphylla are supposed to have short rhizomes, right? It was given to me as a Spathiphyllum, so that's what I call it.

Okay, my "soil". Compacted, barren clay is more like it. I did a soil test before I started gardening--a professional one, where I sent it off to an actual lab. My dirt has NOTHING in it. Nothing. Some phosphorus. That's it. At the time I started, there weren't even worms in my soil. What there was, was garbage. And by garbage I mean bicycle frames, shards of plate glass, engine parts, batteries, car batteries, fiber glass insulation, children's clothes, toys, large rusty shards of metal (which hand't even leached into the soil because I had no iron in my soil test), plastic bags, this bar, a lantern, plates, a kitchen sink, a toilet seat, a tire, a bolt of canvas, and endless plastic sod netting from the sod they laid down before they sold us the house. And that's only *half* the yard. I haven't even dug half the yard!

Do you want to eat vegetables grown in my soil?

Even so, I have rehabilitated at least 40 gallons of this horrible "soil" by mixing with my own homemade compost and adding it to four raised beds (you can't see that there are raised beds, filled with soil), and that I'm planning to use more of it, not pictured, for the roses.

And let me tell you this soil is the nastiest, siltiest clay you have ever seen. It's ruined several pair of shoes and pants from my work, it's stained our redwood deck and the concrete patio from me tracking it around thinking (wrongly) the power washer would fix any stains I made. I cried when I couldn't clean off the dirt.

No, I am completely correct to dump this dirt, you generously called "topsoil". And this is not an usual, strange thing to do. Having your soil hauled away and replaced with something decent is an entirely normal, mainstream garden practice.

chuck b. said...

I can see how, from the pictures, one might think I have nice-looking loamy soil. Don't be deceived.

Christopher C. in Hawaii said...

My last comment was eaten. Yes it is ok to replace your landfill soil.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like someone thought your yard was the landfill...
I'm sure your dirt is probably one of the least harmful things being put into the trash, I don't see why it should cost so much. Maybe you could just start giving away potted plants as gifts. "Happy Birthday, Here's some potted sod."

lisa said...

I was on board with the others and shaking my head...until I read on. I have a soil conservation OCD, so I'll take even the worst silt from my friend's pond-digging, mix it in my "oddjob" concrete
(http://www.yardzone.com/1228b.html) mixing bin with manure, earthworm castings, spagnum, etc., then use it for re-potting or whatever. But I must agree...some dirt is barely worth the effort...so what the heck.

chuck b. said...

If I renovated all the soil I've excavated, it would literally double in volume. Then what would I do? My yard is very, very small...I can't stuff yet more containers in it. (well, I guess I could hang them on the fence...) I'm already gardening on my roof!

The soil had to go. And it's gone. And because I had so little (40 gallons = a little), the dump didn't bother charging me for it this time.