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Our Summer Garden

minneapolis gardenOne thing I love about living in a South Minneapolis home is that I have green things growing all around it. The trouble is, sometimes, the growing gets a little out of hand, and I don't always have the time to deal with it. Well, the summer growing season is more than over. Most things in my garden were looking… shall I say… a little past their prime. Time for upper management to do a full analysis of how to deal with the situation. Well, upper management decided to do a full inversion of the company structure (till the garden). But before the tiller rips up the ground, let’s review what grew this summer.

First of all, I must confess. It wasn’t a garden, but more of a jungle. It was on the north side of our house where the mower really didn’t fit. We kind of let it grow, and it kind of got out of hand. Our neighbors were kind enough to say that they enjoyed the “native wildflowers” but most of it wasn’t flowers, and I’m sure most of it wasn’t native.

So, what grew? I’m no plant expert or weed expert, but I could identify some of the hardy plants in this “jungle” of ours. The first were those cute little bell-shaped flowering plants, lily of the valley. We like those plants, but since the rest had to go, so did these. Second to grow was Glechoma hederacea, better known as creeping charlie. This stuff is hard to get rid of. Next in line were several donor trees, mostly maple, but an elm, and an oak as well. Trying to get the roots out was truly a workout. Following this was a very special rhubarb-like plant, except it wasn’t rhubarb. At least, I don’t think it was rhubarb. I managed to dig a 12-inch diameter hole 12 inches deep and didn’t get the entire root out. It was deeper than that, but that’s as far as I could shovel. Another interesting plant was something that grew to be about 5 feet tall. This thing had a pod at the top that made it very top heavy. The plant would then bend over and drop seeds out of the pod. I think it was a kind of thistle.

Well, the rest of the things that grew are probably on the U of MN Extension’s site. They have a Garden page, where you can see common weeds. They list 34, and I think we had all 34 growing. But now, after I tilled the whole area, there’s a bunch of black dirt. We are planning on putting down garden fabric and wood chips. Hopefully not much will grow there.  

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