Thursday, April 16, 2009

Gabe’s Garden

This is the view of Gabe’s Garden from the window of his room. I had to patch the image together from multiple shots, which is why I don’t use this perspective more often.

1. This open area is currently stripped down to the sand that makes up most of our yard. It will soon be covered with several inches of playground-quality mulch, for the comfort of roly-poly toddlers. The mulch is my birthday present from Chris. Just what I wanted, yay! He wrapped some of it up in a diaper box as revenge for the jar of water I gave him for Christmas.

2. The larger rocks came from behind the house, and the rest came out of the ground right here. I am still trying to figure out how to stack the rocks in such a way as to not pose a falling danger to toddlers, who, to my surprise, are strong enough to rearrange furniture when the mood suits them, and not to my surprise, are lacking the wisdom to know that pulling things on top of themselves hurts.

3. These rocks were left over and need to be moved out of the way.

4. This is our live Christmas tree from 2007. I don’t know what kind of pine tree it is, or if it is native, but I like the idea of a tree for Gabe to decorate.

5. I moved one of my highbrush blueberries over here.

6. And another blueberry over here. The blueberries weren’t doing so well where I planted them behind the house. I left the other two in their original locations for comparison. The soil here was amended with some sort of organic food for acid-loving plants.

7. Over here I relocated a bee balm and scarlet sage that followed me home from a plant exchange last year. Also, one of the two surviving lavenders that I started last spring from seed. Also there is creeping thyme at several locations around the circle. The thyme isn’t native, but it stands a good chance of crowding out weeds that will inevitably grow between the rocks. And it came free from my neighbor, along with what appears to be volunteers of barren strawberry.

8. This will be a serviceberry fort for Gabe to play in.

9. This is the poor, doomed Norway maple. These trees are now banned for sale and propagation in Massachusetts. They have a reputation for creating such dark, dry shade that they can’t be gardened beneath. However, if you look closely, the greenest grass in our yard grows beneath this tree. This is because the hot dry summer weather absolutely cooks the thin soil here. I am keeping the maple long enough to use its microclimate to help establish native plants. In the mean time, I lopped off its lower branches, reserving only one to hold wind-chimes or other doo-dads to scare away the animals.

10. The base of the Norway maple is now home to some of our refugee bearded irises. There is landscape fabric underneath them, but it was too much work to remove, and I didn’t feel like coddling the non-native plants.

11. This lamp no longer works. I assumed it was because I nicked the wire when digging the bamboo hole, which is off-screen to the bottom left. . .

12. . . .however, this appears to be the wire leading to the lamp, so now we have no idea where the damage occurred. I would rather have a nice garden than a functioning lamp, so I may just re-bury the thing and forget about it.

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