Indeed, the raised bed vegetable garden may have given the impression that all is neat and in order around here.
But that is not the case.
There is abundant evidence of sloppiness.
Whenever I go out into the garden, my knees get all dirty.
Thought I have some of those soft, cushiony kneeling pads, I often forget to bring them out into the garden when I am doing a lot of kneeling. And if I do remember to use the kneeling pad, I generally kneel on it to start with, and then when I move to the next place, I forget about it. Later, when I am putting everything away, I completely forget about the kneeling pad and leave it out in the garden to get rained on, walked on by rabbits and occasionally blown around by the wind. Sloppy!
My fall bulb planting technique seems to be a little on the sloppy side, too.How did that tulip bulb end up on top of the ground? I suspect some sloppy planting techniques are to blame. I probably didn't plant this pair deep enough and then they "heaved" out of the ground through a series of freezing and thawing cycles. Or these are some of the bulbs from the year before that I uprooted while planting new bulbs and I left them laying on top of the ground. In either case... Sloppy!
Here's another example of plant heaving.This is a new dwarf tall phlox that I planted late last year. (I know, 'dwarf tall phlox' sounds funny to me, too, but that's what it is.) If I had done a better job of mulching around it, it probably wouldn't have heaved out of the soil like that. Sloppy fall preparation, indeed!
Do you southern gardeners know about this heaving phenomenon? As the soil freezes and thaws and freezes and thaws and freezes and thaws through the winter, shifting of the ground can occur, uprooting some perennials and other plants. I used the heel of my boot to push this perennial back down and I think it will be fine. But really, I should have put more mulch around it and then it would have had a better chance of staying planted. Sloppy!
By the way, that freezing and thawing is also what causes "potholes" in our roads and parking lots. This year must have been a big freeze-thaw-freeze-thaw year because I have never seen so many big pot holes like we have this year. You could lose a Miata in some of those pot holes,
Now, sloppy isn't always bad.
For example, I think it is better to leave some of your perennials uncut through the winter and then cut them back in the spring. It might look sloppy, but the birds enjoy eating the seeds left on the seed heads.
And it is a losing battle to try to be neat with a compost bin. You can't "neatly stack" all those plant trimmings, rotting vegetables, and leaves, so why try? The best you can do is try to hide the compost bins.
Does anyone else want to confess to some sloppiness in the garden? Or am I the only sloppy gardener?