Garden Log – Week of 4/5

Lots of things going on, and going on in my head – it’s nice to have a yard or garden to futz with to help your brain simultaneously “put the glass of water down” as well as process and ponder all the things going on.

And nothing like a garden to remind you it’s always lots of little baby steps and time toward a bigger picture.

This week everywhere I look around the yard, there’s this project to do, that project down the road, and then OH THAT project — all toward this overall grand vision I have for our yard and property. There’s lots of staring at spaces and pondering, catalog browsing and circling, more space staring, internet searching and Pinterest pinning, spreadsheeting and diagramming on paper. And more staring with a sort of restlessness.

Anyway, this week, there were some baby steps:

  • Started seeds indoors (Delphinium 3/24; Canterburies, Strawflower, Larkspur sown 4/3, Snapdragons sown 4/5).
    • As of Fri 4/9, all but the Delphiniums have already sprouted!
  • Husband trimmed pine tree branches away from the wires.
  • Laid out and hooked up the soaker hoses; reorganized (and rehabilitated) the hose system.
  • Introduced Wee Beastie to the watering can; now she loves helping mummy water flowers (and grass, and walkway, and gravel).
  • We purchased and assembled a new wheelbarrow, and daddy delighted Wee Beastie with rides around the yard
  • So far 28 bags of organic peat have been purchased and laid in the new garden bed. More still needed.
  • Husband and I relocated the fire pit from Upper North to Lower North yard.
  • Pruned Rose of Sharon tree
  • Pruned Climbing Peace rose (for whatever it’s worth with that thing)
  • Began cutting down and stripping saplings and branches for the newest wattle weave edging
  • Started weaving the new edging.

The firepit: Husband and I have been going back and forth with the idea for a while now. We’ve got a looming tree and the lower branches and leaves always get a little bit crispy which makes me nervous, especially with husband’s penchant for building pyres. But now that things are in motion to switch our secondary fuel source from fuel to propane, the eventual location of the new propane tank in the Upper North Yard has finally brought us to action to relocate the pit to the lower space.

The trench path for power line connecting the solar panels on the garage roof to the group on the roof of the house.
The remains of a fire pit and my illustrious branch collection that exists “because I have a vision!”

So for the time being, the poor Upper North Yard is a hot mess. Between the recent trenching for the solar line, the huge 6′ diameter charred circle left behind from the relocated pit, and the next trench to be dug for the propane line and new tank, the complete disarray of my ‘branch’ collection which also needs to be organized and relocated (because I’m crazy)… Eventually this whole space will need to be raked and leveled and completely reseeded. But not yet. There’s still more mess to come, so it will have to continue to be a mess for a while. And that’s ok.

At the start of this week, I was excited to have found an “Ask the Expert” form on the MSU Extension website. I submitted a question about the latest idea I’m entertaining to plant and pollard a set of willow on either side of the driveway (salix triandra ‘Black Maul’ – which would be a sixth variety if I decide to move forward with this idea… right now I’m still researching). While the turnaround was good (about a day and a half) the actual response was disappointing and totally unhelpful. They sent me a 13-page article about landscaping that had absolutely nothing to do with my question, and a link to a directory website that was supposed to help me find a landscape designer or consultant… but gave me 0 results even within a 100 mile radius from my location. A Google “near me” search was more productive.

In closing, here are a few things that were far more productive and offer more hope than that exchange with the MSU Extension website:

Purple Coneflower Echinacea planted via direct seed sow last summer is NOT MIA! I found new sprouts!
Autumn Joy Sepum is not dead – lots of new growth.
Same with the Astilbe plant. Less of a surprise since I’m more experienced with it, but always happy to see.
The hostas are no longer invisible: they are sending up fresh shoots.
Even the Russian Sage has new foilage emerging!

And most importantly, the French Perfume Hyacinths, Angelique Tulips, and Alliums all seem to have forgiven me over the “Hardware Cloth Debacle” of 2020-21. So relieved!

It’s SO NICE to know you haven’t killed things!

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