Other WelchWrite Blogs: My Word with Douglas E. WelchCareer Opportunities

Home -- Contact Me -- Search Welchwrite.com -- Subscribe to AGN
Join the AGN Mailing List!

Friday, October 22, 2004


It is amazing how much of the world we can block out, even when it surrounds us totally and is right there in our face.

As I finish up some work on my computer this afternoon, I lean back in my chair and glance out the window. There, silhouetted by the bright sky, hangs a large spider moving back and forth, up and down. It is carefully preparing a new web in an opportune area among the branches of the Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow (brunfelsia) shrubs that line the alley. I imagine tonight will be busy with the capturing and preparing of food for the days to come. Since the web itself is invisible from my vantage point, it is like the spider is levitating there, truly building “castles in the air.”

It amazes me that all this activity surrounds us and we don’t notice, expect by accident. I look up when the squirrels bounce of the trees and walls as they chase each other. Birds are scared up from the feeders at the approach of a neighborhood cat. On occasion, a hawk has whisked in at jet-like speeds, looking for a meal.

I feel like a need the equivalent of a bed-side alarm clock, only this alarm would wake me up to the world, instead of sleeping through my days with my head down, seeing nothing but the keyboard.

Time to go out into the garden and “wake up”, at least for a few minutes.

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Above-ground gardening

I have had trouble with this one area of the garden since we moved in 8 1/2 years ago. The "back triangle" as I call it was once a patch of lawn surrounded by trees. The area receives little light and the roots from the trees seem to suck the moisture out of the ground almost immediately after a rain. Nearly everything I have tried to plant in this area, even heavy shade plants like ferns and such, have failed to take, or barely survive.

I turned to Google looking for some assistance with this problem area and found that the answer appears to be no answer at all. All the sites recommend abandoning trying to plant in the area. Raised beds will be quickly infiltrated by the tree roots from below and digging out the roots harms the trees.

The best suggestion was using some form of above-ground planters. It seems silly to me to use containers in an area with plenty of soil, but I think this is my next step. I have an idea to build some low, rustic-style box planters to place in this area and see if the plants are any more successful.

I will keep you up to date on my progress.