Attempt at a Garden

February 23, 2007

So last year, I cleared out the back planter box, but never planted a garden.  It was a ton of work to get the planter box cleared out of the lilac bushes that were in it.  I planted one lavender bush and that was it.

My lavender was doing good, but then this large weed started growing next to it.  You see, there is a drip system and so the weed’s root grew into where the water, and my lavender plant was.  I think it has killed my lavender as it feels kind of dry like, though I can’t be sure.  I don’t know what I can do to save my lavender.

I dug the weed out.  It was a monster.  Look at that root!!  It took tons of digging and then all of my strength and weight to pull that honk’n thing out.

Last summer, the ground got hard and weeds took over the back planter box.

It is now time to start working in the box and getting rid of the weeds.  I don’t want to do weed control stuff as I am hoping to plant vegetables in there and I don’t want chemicals in my vegetables.  So, I think I am going to have to do this the old fashioned way, pull the weeds.

It is bad, because the weeds are those noxious kind that grip with all of their might.  They are like that choke grass stuff.  I don’t know what kind of weeds they are, but they suck.  The back neighbors put in a new fence and burried all of the weeds in dirt.  So, while my planter box looks like it is weed free, it is misleading.  Under the inch of dirt are weeds, mean, nasty weeds.

I think my best bet is to dig them out section by section.  Of course, if I rented a rota-tiller, that would probably be the best, but I don’t think that is in my budget.

In the corner of my planter box is the unknown tree.  Last year I thought it was a bush, but this year, I think it is a tree.  

It would be nice if I could identify this tree.  On Thanksgiving, Madeleine at the berries off of this tree and we had to take her to the ER.  She didn’t get sick, but I was paranoid and wanted to be safe, in case she had a sudden reaction.

If you can identify this tree, let me know.  I would love to know more about this tree.

Tony and I have been tempted to chop the thing down and we have the landlord’s approval.  It is just too inviting for kids to eat the berries.  However, it is the only shade in our backyard, so we decided to keep.  Plus, we won’t always be living here.  I keep asking Tony to cut down the berry sections.  You know how that is…I will probably be out there next weekend doing it.

After all, I had asked him to pull out the big honk’n weed that was choking my lavender last fall.  I think if he would have done it then my lavender wouldn’t have died.

Oh, and Lyndy…your plant isn’t doing so well, either.  It had a really hard time when we had that cold snap and almost all of the leaves have died.  I am going to cut off the old stuff and the branches to see if that will save it.  That poor plant has had the worst shock this last year.  First it went from bay area weather to the valley weather.  Then, it went through the major heat wave last summer and almost died.  Now it went through a major cold spell and almost died…well see if it is a survivor.

I will leave you with some photos I took of the flowers Tony gave me for Valentine’s day.  These were taken over the weekend, so they were just on the verge of starting to die.

The vase he bought me for Christmas many years ago when we both had a very small budget to spend.


  1. My lavender looks like that every winter and then regenerates itself. Water it!

  2. Does this look like your mystery tree/bush? Don’t be alarmed by “chokeberry”, it’s harmless!

    Good luck with getting the garden in order.

  3. I would water it as Deneen suggests.
    check online for some resources for non chemical weed control. Did out of course but there are other things you can do.

  4. Lovely vase!

    Here’s a non-chemical weed control idea I’ve been thinking of trying:

    I don’t recommend rototilling… if you have the types of weeds that can grow from root fragments, it just makes the problem worse! I use a pitchfork to break up the soil and lift the long weed-root-strands out. (It’s backbreaking, I tell you!)

    I’m not sure what type of tree that is… flowers might make it easier to identify. Also, I’m just not familiar with the types of trees down there.

  5. Professor in my plants class and magazine articles I read say tilling is a no-no and can mask the problems (like burying the weeds when you put in a fence). Also you have to be super careful when removing a plant with a taproot (like that weed there). If you’ve left any of it behind it will grow back!

    I’d leave the tree! I can’t ID it, but if it is a chokeberry there should be infosheets on it on the web that will tell you if the berries are a concern. The berries also mean it is a female tree, and female trees are more friendly to those with allergies than their male counterparts (pollen producers)

  6. No weeding for you! Make T do it, as your back is just starting to feel better on a daily basis. Also, about the plant I gave you, if it lives then yahoo, but if not don’t worry, it was a freebie to me! 🙂 BTW, I hope you get you project finished today, I’ll call you later and chat, love ya!

  7. Don’t throw that weed away!! ( All will be revealed) firstly visit my site :- http://www.gardeningforyou.com and you will find that this weed (as well as others) and peelings, grass cuttings and so on can be used to stop further weeds appearing and save you back acheing work. I hope this will help, and while you are there have a look at some of the humour, perhaps looking at Meanings of flowers (roses) the little human story at the bottom of the page will help. FRED

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