I don’t see my neighbors very often or know most of them but the neighbors to the left of me I have a friendly relationship with. They have been in Edmonton for years but their homeland is Turkey and they have maintained their very thick accents. They still own property there and visit frequently so last summer when they were away I was asked to pick up their mail. They own a business and daily there were checks in the mailbox. Summer is prime time for break-ins and a full mailbox is a sure sign that your house is sitting empty. I took it upon myself to also take care of their front yard because I thought if it was neglected it would be another sign that the occupants were away. I mowed, watered and cut myself fresh blooms of peonies and poppies daily. It was a win win for everyone.
This year the neighbor popped over when I was planting a rose path along the side of my house. We shared niceties and it became clear that she was interested in talking gardening. Two minutes into the conversation I was lost. The thick turkish accent made it difficult to follow along but somehow we ended up in her yard and I remarked how well her peonies and poppies were doing. I felt I had taken care of them the previous summer but they appeared healthier then ever and double in size. I was a little in awe and the neighbor was excited to share with me her secret but was having a hard time finding the words.
She struggled the way a child would and looked to me for help. I was no help at all. It was like a riddle I couldn’t solve. The moment had the potential to quickly turn awkward because I could not follow along with the promps she was giving me except that it started with an M and my neighbor was getting slightly frustrated that she couldn’t properly convey the message she was attempting. The language barrier was quickly erecting a wall between us. All of the sudden she had that aha moment. She squatted with her backside facing her flowers like she was a dog doing her business. She smiled at me and said excitably “SHIT POOPY, SHIT POOPY” and I got it. She manured her garden. I had won charades with the neighbor!
I want to manure my perennials and have big, beautiful blooms next year. My thought is to cut everything back in the fall, cover with a manure (or compost mixture) work into the top layer of the soil and cover with burlap. Is this the correct way to do it? I would love to ask the neighbors for advice but I am not very confident that I will get the directions correct.
Gardeners your advice would be appreciated.
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