As a sculptor trying to keep a steady blog rolling, at times I find myself sculpting more than I can keep up with writing about and at other times I’m able to write more than I can sculpt about. Luckily, the truth about the latter (for me) is that there is an element of art in most everything I do and usually… I do a lot of yard word. Yard work was a key element during this
March Madness Mentally Challenged March. Landscaping combines two of my top fortes: art and manual labor. Besides working around the house and in my own yard in preparation for brother’s and brothers-in-law’s visits I’ve had the pleasure of working on my grandparent’s yard with a man who genuinely seems to know a lot about South Florida plants: David McLean. Don’t believe me… this is he! His know-how took all the guesswork out of the yardwork which allowed me to relax, and comfortably go OCD on their yard! I dug each hole to the proper dimension, hand-mixed a scoop of pine bark with a handful of fertilizer into the dirt, and gently patted it around the plant going into the ground (there were other variations of the soil mixture). I’ve got to admit, it felt really good getting my bare hands down into the ground. My grandparents entire neighborhood is beneath a canopy of strong old oak trees that shed their thick waxy leaves all year long. The leaves and acorns are poisonous if eaten due to the Tannic acid they contain (that is, unless you’re a squirrel, jay bird or pig). For the oak tree, the acid acts as a defense against bugs, fungus, decomposition and wildfire. For the residents, the oak leaves must be raked daily for a nice green lawn. If you prefer to let the leaves fall where they may you’ll have a weed filled, thick carpet of leaves in no time. What I didn’t know until recently was that those waxy leaves are the only “cure” for the sandy soil that nutrients passes right through, here in south Florida. It’s amazing, since the decline of my grandparent’s front lawn, under the leaves is rich, black and earthwormy soil. It’s not wonder that the oak trees are so strong and the weeds are IMPOSSIBLE to pull! David’s plan is to create a garden of plants that can thrive on the highly acidic nutrient rich soil. The plants must also thrive with low sunlight due to the oak tree’s canopy. [divider style=”thin”]
Days of mixing and planting literally hundreds of plants, and this is what it looked like. The true test will be to see what it looks like a few months down the road once everything has had a chance to grow in more.
At home I’ve been on a slightly different mission. I have a pitcher plant that’s been getting bigger and BIGGER! I was just about to get a trellis to allow the vines to continue on, but that’s when it hit me… I don’t have the money to just buy a trellis all willy-billy! Instead, using some sphagnum moss that David McLean gave me and Rooting powder from Home Depot, I now have 6 Pitcher Plant clippings on that are trying to root.
Here are the before and after shots of my big Pitcher Plant from when I took the cutting. If given the right care they should grow into their own pitcher plants! It’s true, I went a little crazy with it and potted some weeds from around the yard, but it’s to show the kid what they grow into. He’s a curious little monkey.
It’s over March… until next year. Three posts of your
maddness mental challenge! Now, what was I supposed to be writing about?
Oh, right, art, sculpting…clay!