Monday, April 20, 2015

Take a Walk

I spent the afternoon outside, enjoying the sunshine and warm breezes.  The earth is finally warming up; things are creeping and buzzing, and plants are pushing up through the mulch layer.  Our back yard is a work in progress, but come and see the sights of spring.

Here is our patio area just outside the back door.  I gave the palms some sunshine today and it brought the whole patio to life.  The above photo is just a Before shot with the raw materials I have to work with.  Nothing is flourishing yet, and the pots not yet arranged artistically as I would like!  Lots of potential though.

The tiered stand in the corner has violas and various green creeping plants that I hope will fill in the bare spots as summer approaches.  

 Closeup of the upper level.

A sweet potato that was past its prime got pushed into a spare pot of soil and is doing a marvelous job of making a comeback as a brand new plant.

Perhaps my mother can tell us if the purplish baby plant above is indeed a columbine as I suspect.  It's growing in the mulch beneath one of the apple trees.

And I'm not sure what this little specimen is either.  Lamb's ears perhaps?  I'm just basing that on how soft and velvety the leaves are to touch.  In this vintage garden, I'm surprised every year by things that I've forgotten about planting.  Or perhaps were planted by someone else long before me, and I'm just discovering.

Our garden is a MESS!  A mess with a purpose and a plan though.  We are still in the process of finishing the cedar garden beds.  We have large piles of leaves and other vegetative matter composting in the sun.  We will need a massive amount of material to fill these beds.

Which is why I'm experimenting with this "Hugelkultur" method.  At the bottom of the bed, goes all kinds of bulky, woody materials that break down over the next few years, providing food and air pockets as they decompose.  On top goes a layer of compost, then garden soil.  It probably would have been better to have this all finished last fall, but we ran out of time and energy before the snow came.

Here's my flower bed with its natural layer of mulch and standing dried yarrow.  I did rake it lightly so I could see what was where before putting in a few new bulbs and roots.  But by and large, everything likes the spring jacket of light mulch and the plants have no problem pushing through it and thriving.

And the May tree is finally budding out.  Can spring really and truly be here for good?

As I lay on the warm, dry grass this afternoon and deeply breathed the earthy scent, a small gift landed in the grass close by.  A tiny feather of a Cedar Waxwing bird, I think.  Please tell me if you know differently!