Well, while I'm working on the veggie garden, I can't ignore needing to plant the annual flowers I've raised indoors starting late January. So I took out the leverage fork ( wonderful tool) and turned over all the soil in the large annual flower area of the flowerbed.
I like to listen to classical music while working, so I brought out an old (small) boom box and plugged it in with the outdoor extention cord I keep on the deck. Got all the tools I needed fron the shed. Ready to do some serious hard digging work (the bed was infested by some spreading grass weed years ago, and I've been eliminating it rather successfully over the past few years.
But just as I turned on my radio, the neighbor decided to mow his lawn. So much for music...
SO, I started at the back and used the leverage fork (best invention since the shovel).
Well, you can't plant in hard clumps of soil, and breaking them up by hand is great finger-exercise! I accumulated quite a pile of weeds and grass roots too. I'll spread them out on a tarp in the sunlight to kill them before I add them to my compost pile.
I didn't plant the flowers there today. For one thing, I want the soil to dry at the surface so I can rake it more easily, second, it is easier to see lines I draw in the soil to mark where where the new flowers go, and 3rd, it is easier to find and crush any remaining clumps of soil when they are dry.
Resting after the digging, I diagrammed my planting pattern. I planted 36 each of a white and 36 of an orange zinnia and (by random happenstance) got 27 healthy plants of each. So that suggested some designing. They both grow to the same size, so I could have planted a few rows of one in the back and the rest in the front in big blocks (as usual), but I came up with something different.
The area is wide in the back and narrower in the front, so there were lots of odd patterns I could try. Alternating the colors could be good, but as the rows got narrower towards the front, I couldn't keep thew pattern going.
I'm SO pleased with myself (yes, I admire my creative thinking often), but it took an hour of drawing rows of dots on scrap paper before I hit a pattern that used my 27 white zinnias and my 27 orange ones.
The bed will be outlined in orange zinnias and the center will be filled with white ones this year. Hey, some people like the same patterns every year; I don't. Last year, I did blocks.