Taking care of my home has been #1 for me for some time now A lot of the sprucing up has been outdoors on the land since Spring began. This winter brought down so many tree limbs and twigs and now there’s an ever growing pile of wood for the fire pit – many wheelbarrows full. I had to buy a new wheelbarrow to replace the one that must have been 40 years old!
I did one burn so far that turned a lot of pulled bittersweet and buckthorn seedlings to ash! That felt good!
I’ve been replenishing the compost pile and hope to have a new batch of golden dirt before summer’s over. Weeding out the gardens is moving along. A couple years ago we had a microburst hit some trees here and the leftover wood became a good sized pile of woodchips that have been aging and what’s on the bottom is pretty well composted, so that’s also been going into the wheelbarrow and I’ve been spreading it on the areas I’ve weeded out. I happily discovered that in the area around them, a growing patch of American Blackberries has sprung up.
I’ve taken a number of plants from my backyard and transplanted them to the front or swapped with gardeners for native plants. I think I got the better deal from these generous swappers. I swapped some Montauk Daisies for some Canadian Ginger, Asarum canadense , a native to the eastern half of this country and it loves shade which is most of my garden area. I also traded more Montauk Daisies and some European Ginger for some Goldenrod, Solomon’s Seal and Bloodroot and Canadian Ginger. And in both cases I got a tour of some beautiful gardens! Thanks to June Mackenzie and Jane Robie!
My native garden is beginning to take shape. I know you really should start with a plan but, as you know, that’s not my strongest suit. I had no idea what I was doing when I started and am only now beginning to understand some of the important considerations one should know before planting, so I’ll be moving some of the ones already in the ground. The Cinquefoil is thriving pretty much anywhere I put it. Unfortunately, the Hayscented Fern is not but I understand that sometimes ferns are hard to transplant. On the other hand, I’m going to leave it where it is and hope that it will recover, if not this season, next year. When I put the bedstraw in, I thought it was native but I was wrong so it will come out soon because it’s also known as an aggressive garden thug. My foamflower is OK but not thriving as I’d hoped. I think it needs some more sunlight. I’m going to hold off on moving it, though, and I hope to add more in a different location next year. I’m very happy with the Highbush Cranberry Viburnum! It’s a happy youngster and will grow into a beautiful shrub!
As usual, time and timing are dual determiners of what actually happens so some of this will happen over time rather than right now, which is fine with me. I don’t want to stress over this project. I still have a lot to learn and I want it to be an enjoyable process. If I had the wherewithal when I began, I would have first solarized the soil to eliminate the sod and weeds, instead of doing it the hard way, so learning from my own mistakes, I will do this for the rest of the soil, so I won’t have to dig it up by hand. In addition to being quite labor saving it means the soil will be less disturbed, which prevents the growth spurt of all the seeds and roots that became exposed. So, we live and learn! Glad you’re hanging in here with me – thanks! Any ideas about the best shade plants that might thrive here?