green streets traffic circle

My method of gardening relies on heavy digging. I have no patience for weeding on my knees. I started by building a few scrap plywood planters to experiment with structure in the traffic circle. Unfortunately these were turned over by mysterious hands and some were even removed. It's interesting to realize that people actually have interest in what's going on inside of a traffic circle.

So, from this I decided to concentrate on the existing conditions of the location. When this circle was assigned to me it had great mulch covering its soil, an established colony of irises and a few other plants in reasonable shape. It didn't seem to have too many weeds but who knows what weeds are anyway. Any plant matter that grows without me interested in it is doomed. Which more accurately means that I become doomed to constantly chase it whenever its leaves are sent out of the ground.

As a first step, the irises had to make room for other varieties. Their rhizome type root system is impressive. They're actually not that hard to pull. But I had to dig a bit before pulling so that it's not only the knife shaped leaves that come out. There's an interesting process going on in my head as I make my way from one cluster to the next. I decided to take it easy and start with what seemed to be a small task: removing irises from only one quarter of the circle. It worked well and didn't take too long. But it was still quite a workout. I was happy to have made the decision to take it easy ahead of time. But the next day I was there to work on another quarter. Immediately I became impatient to finish the whole area. Piles of irises with their root systems accumulated in the middle of the ground. 

The weather was great, a partly cloudy, typical Vancouver, mid June. The soil was soft and moist. Removing the "debris" from the circle required some hauling and now the place is ready to continue its transformation. The irises selected to stay are planted in two rows at the perimeter, close to the concrete edge. A young rose bush is waiting to be cultivated into a healthier accent and some pieces of bergenia were also spared from extinction (thank you Green Streets people for your help with the name).

Our sidewalk tree base is my gardening lab. This is where I plant all sorts of plants to see how well they grow. We bought a few 4" pots and as small as they are I have divided them before planting to increase their spread. As it seems, all have rooted well. In the next little while, some of them will be transported to the traffic circle and left to do their part of the deal.


Michael Shandrick said...

Now you've created the beginning of a history on two small plots of land.

Sharon Stern said...

Always happy to discover your new challanges and joys.