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Sunday, September 4, 2011

Garden Update (Part 1)

Two weeks ago, my organic garden took a big hit. When house painters arrived to pressure wash the siding and stone work before starting to paint, I wasn't aware that they would be using bleach. I happened to look out the window and see a bottle of bleach sitting in the front yard and heard them spraying the side of the house. By the time I got downstairs I could smell the bleach. When I got outside, I saw that my garden bed against the house was wet with bleach water. My heart sank. The man saw me come outside and I asked if he was spraying bleach and he said yes, but only on the house. Uh... yeah but do you not realize that the water sprays all over the place, bouncing off the house and onto the garden and it runs down the side of the house into the garden bed directly below? So after talking to them a couple minutes, they said they wouldn't use any more bleach on that side. He also tried to tell me that the rain would wash it off. I tried to explain that it was an organic garden and the bleach just changed that fact. We covered the plants for the remainder of their time there and then once we uncovered the garden, we soaked it to try to dilute the bleach as much as possible. Another concern was that a lot of paint chips landed in the garden beds. The house is old, so we were initially worried about lead but my research has shown me that plants don't take up iron unless there is a very high concentration. I think we should be ok in that respect. I won't deny it. I cried over my garden several times that day. I had worked so hard and been so careful and thoughtful in planning and planting that this just crushed me.

So fast forward 2 days. We got sheets to cover the garden bed to protect it from the painting. When Steve went out to cover it, the painters already had our plants covered. Ok, that was good. I worried a little less thinking that they were being a little more conscientious about my garden. We had to leave for a bit but things looked safe when we left. When we got home, they were done and the garden bed was uncovered but I noticed there was paint on a lot of things. And, there were crushed plants and foot prints where they had stepped into my raised bed to get to the wood panels and fence section. Sigh. I started to look around and noticed a lot of things in the yard were coated with a mist of white paint, including my park bench, planters, solar lights, children's garden fountain, and pretty much every plant in every one of my garden beds. At this point, I was just trying not to have extremely angry reactions. So here are the pics. I really can't say anything more about this that isn't angry.

 All my lettuce looked like this. Paint mist all over.

This is the pile of lettuce I removed from the garden that was paint misted. The paint wouldn't wash off without crushing/destroying the lettuce.

 The garlic chives & parsley in this planter were covered with paint mist.

Potato plants

 Watermelon plants


Zucchini plants


It's not just my plants - here's my hose.

My brand new grill cover

My bench on the porch

 The birdie in the children's fountain

The raccoon part of the fountain

 They forgot to uncover a window.

The ladybug sprinkler

Pepper plants

 All the solar lights

The car

Yeah. Not much more to be said about the damages. All in the process of fixing up the place. There is a bit of a happy ending though. But I will share that in Part 2 since Part 1 is getting a little long.

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