Six on Saturday

The Propagator summons all gardeners to share six items of interest from their gardens year round on Saturdays.

1. Raised beds reconfiguration. Proceeding at a glacial pace. Waiting on bright, warm weather, a surge of motivation, or a brilliant inspiration for a new design, of which only the lovely weather has been forthcoming. And then on the slighest pretext the thoughtless gardener gads off to take a hike, etc., with nary a glance over the shoulder for the neglected garden. Wonkily half-done, resembling an abandoned puzzle or poorly constructed maze that has come apart in places. Reflecting a lackluster commitment to the laundry list of hardscaping projects compiled in fall. Winter has a way of turning out to be ever so much less productive than I had envisaged.

2. Signs of life. The perennials are stirring, snding forth a cautious shoot from the roots, testing the temperature, perhaps impatient to begin another season, perhaps making a gesture, a reassuring vital sign for the inexperienced or pessimistic or else inattentive gardener.

3. Chaos reigns supreme. The lot is divided into 2 almost halves by Gilbert Creek. On the public, sunny half, the house and its garden, which has received almost all of my attention thus far. On the private half, a barn like structure, currently used for storage and woodworking and a decent sized area in part-shade, full of potential but currently a bit of an eyesore. Done so far: removal of ancient, mealy apple tree with single, thriving branch thrusting vertically into the available light of the alley; section of rotting fence ripped out; pit dug in which new retaining wall will be installed; mountains of vinca uprooted and piled on tarp for eventual disposal. To be done: so much that it’s almost overwhelming. Wall built, remainder of rotting fence removed and replaced, greenhouse installed, planting beds created, paths laid.

This photograph by On The Wing Photography.

4. Bird sighting. This past weekend a new bird sighted and heard, which J has tentatively identified as a female belted kingfisher. The call was quite distictive.

5. Yard waste. Here, as no doubt elsewhere, we have yard waste bins whose contents are destined for the municipal compost. What with the recent flurry of weed eradication, this bin is seeing more use than ever before. Previously, I was operating under the foolish misconception that I could hoard my yard waste to fatten my own compost pile. Setbacks in that department, lack of chipper/shredder, and fears lest the aforementioned weeds sneekily reproduce from sections of root have led to this ill conceived plan being scrapped. Instead, bin everything in sight we shall until this place is no longer drowning in weeds!

6. The grotto. Weed removal has created space in which our new, native friends can grow and flourish without competition from their better established competitors. It has also tended to promote a mental state of complacent self-satisfaction more noxious than the weeds ever were. Finally, it has revealed this ameteurishly constructed rock wall in its full glory (and, probably, structural instability). Plant the top with vine maples and ferns, add more ferns once they are obtained from the far-flung plant sales I impulsively ordered them from, possibly plant ferns in any crevices that can be located or created without contributing to the wall’s eventual demise.

7 thoughts on “Six on Saturday

  1. Ferns in the grotto will be perfect. Productivity ebbs and flows – probably more ebbing for most of us than flowing in winter – luckily we are not farmers! Btw have you come across Creative Vegetable Gardening by Joy Larkom? Some great ideas in there for interesting layouts, could help if in need of more inspiration for those raised beds.

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  2. You have a lot of work ahead of you (and quite a lot done, it seems) and a garden that has wonderful ‘bones’. I like your little creek. Does it flood during rain?
    I too know about having too many tasks on the go at once: every gardener’s problem, I think!

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  3. I rather like your wall. I comes across well in the photo, even if you’re worried about it’s structural integrity! Ferns planted in it will look pretty great though.
    I once worked in a garden that was split in two by a stream that ran through it. It ran through a mini ravine about 10 foot deep, with a nice looking but poorly constructed bridge over it. An interesting experience!

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