Today was a day of garden work. This day was spent on the dirty side of the jobs that needed doin'. I emptied the biggest water garden (the one in a 75 gallon gavanized steel feed/water tank) on the old back patio. What a job! The Umbrella Plants, Rush, Water Iris, and Cattails had all outgrown their water pots and had managed to meld all of their root systems into one giant mass. I would guess it weighed near 60-70 lbs. I hauled it all up, pulled out my big hatchet, and hacked away at everything until the pots were separated, roots trimmed, and divided. I found 1 lone goldfish still lurking in the muck. Each year I fill the garden with feeder fish, as they eat mosquito larve, eliminating the need for any chemicals. I also found Pacific Tree Frogs swimming all around, about 1.5 inches long. Everytime I catch any frogs on our property, I put them in this water garden, hoping for egg-laying.
I used a high-powered hose to clean everything. I used a steel wire brush the scrub out the algae, and then set everything up beautifully. I have about 15 birdhouses in back. Some are currently housing house wrens, swallows, and 1 funky little white-crowned sparrow, which is odd, as they usually don't seem to like houses. There is a major problem, however, in that these huge wasps/hornets tend to inhabit some of the houses and they like to attack and sting me when I disturb their abodes. When I get stung, the pain is akin to someone jabbing you with a piece of steel wire that leaves a nasty burn. I tend to scream and curse when it happens. Even though we live outside city limits, we still have neighbors and I know they hear me. I bet they think I'm yelling at a dog.
Anyway, now that the dirty work is almost done, I will be able to turn to my garden rooms and get them all organized and ready for visitors, evening drinks, chat-sessions, and relaxing through the summer. Going organic has some awesome advantages, but there is a lot of maintenance involved and I spend a lot of time crawling through shrubs, beds, and areas pulling out weeds and invasives with my now-sore fingers.