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spring in the new garden...2012


By Lori


Technically this is my second spring, but last year I count as a “get acquainted” year.
Last summer was wonderful. Finding out about the bugs, the wildlife, the effects of aging on a human female body…etc. etc. Yes, I am kidding. Last summer I accomplished three things: building a greenhouse, a deck and a pond for the goldfish.
The greenhouse is functioning, (at last) and the deck is great for sitting and relaxing (when there are no bugs to pester us) but the pond for the goldfish had to be drained and re-situated. (Will post some pics when I have something to show for my labours)
The raccoons feasted on the grubs that infested the two acre lawn and turned over the dried-out, dead sod. I decided that I don’t like lawns anyway and since the weeds were poised to take over, it was only logical that it should become a meadow. Happy to report that there is progress and I have pics! Left a clay pot for a raccoon fingerbowl and we were all happy. All except the neighbour up the hill who doesn’t want raccoons in his yard. They seem to have disappeared. (The raccoons…not the neighbours, worse luck.) I miss them.
In February we adopted a kitten. Our family now numbers two adult humans, a rabbit, two budgies, 17 goldfish, a gecko and a little gray kitten named Rufus.
Still miss our Mandy.
Last autumn the working was easier and I cut down the messy field and raked and cleaned along the stream. I still have piles of tree prunings that I must have mulched as it’s been dry enough that there has been a burning ban in the township. This spring the weather has been very confusing…we are still having frosty nights and bright (cold) windy days and probably will have until close to the end of the month.

raccoon fingerbowl!

Rufus on his fav perch

A Wild Clematis which I found dangling half in the water, on a very eroded stream bank…it’s been moved and staked. Some new growth…hopeful sign.

The other three clems that I have are showing signs of growth…errr…except the tangutica…it looks dead. That strikes me as odd because I thought that the C.tangutica was more favourably disposed to our Canadian winters because it’s from Siberia! maybe it’s just taking it’s time. I hope.

The yard looks very bleak in this picture…in March we lost all our snow very quickly due to a two week stretch of very warm weather…which turned to extremely cold April…and we had frost warnings last night in the first week of May. It’s hard to accept that even this cold weather is close to seasonal. March fooled everyone. This is the bed which I dug last fall for the beginning of the herb garden. The plastic cover was to warm the soil before I added all the peat and topsoil this past week, and I actually planted out some tomato (Sweet 100) seedlings. (I’ve lost most of them) The digging is hard work but it pays off.

The beginning of one of two new bridges for crossing the stream…

staked up some old shipping pallets to help contain the compost heap.

Making a waterfall on the stream…grading the banks back to a more gradual (and natural) slope was heavy work with only a spade and rake.

The topsoil which would eventually have washed down stream has been collected on the uphill slope for use as a new planting area. Any rocks that were moveable have been dug up and added to the stream bank.
So much of all of this is work in progress…and it looks so bleak. Not much colour yet…but the bulbs I planted last fall have emerged and braved the constant freeze thaw of the last two months to produce some buds. I think the narcissus will be in flower by tomorrow…and at least one of the parrot tulips has started to open.
They will be the subject of the next blog I suppose…as well as the meadow.

More blog posts by Lori

Previous post: Requiem

Next post: Rufus



Love your blogs of your on-going work. It all looks so daunting, but I know you'll get there in the end! :o)

13 May, 2012


It's fascinating Lori but it can't be easy. That stream looks really beautiful.

13 May, 2012


Love the stream Lori - can see you have lots to keep you busy - but like us all, you'll get there!

13 May, 2012


Great Blog, keep up the hard work.
Love Rufus, looks a right little monster!

13 May, 2012


I really enjoy these blogs, Lori. Much progress!

There you are carving a garden out of the ground like a pioneer and taking on these huge projects, putting big plans into action, working your socks off and creating new landscapes to bring your ideas into the light - it all looks so far away from the gentle 'Sunday afternoon' gardening we so often see here. You are in a different league altogether.

The stream looks more significant now after your work on it and will be a great feature, with it's bridges and new planting on the banks. All that you are planning sounds exciting and you are certainly not sounding daunted by the hard work involved.

Looking forward to the next instalment. All power to your elbow!

13 May, 2012


pleased to see you popping up again, and my you have been busy.
you are right in the middle of all the heavy backbreaking spadework of creating the skeleton of your 'garden', and what a garden this will be!! your colours will be through soon as you say, tulips, narcisses and that is so where the feel good factor starts to kick in.
your deck, the greenhouse and the pond which sounds to have found its rightful place ;)) all are major achievements.
i cannt wait to see how far you will have come by the end of the summer. you have vision!
i nearly dug up my tangutica once in england as i thought it was dead too in spring, it wasnt though..
tomatoes eh, am afriad my veggie garden this year is a nono, had to make decisions and something had to go, but its on the list for next years 'to do' list , make raised beds in whats now the veg plot, as it will be so much easier to work with, i.e. not compacted clay.
dont forget to potter. love your rufus

13 May, 2012


What a lot of work you have been doing - that stream is amazing. You deserve a big pat on the back for all the hard work put into it.
Rufus is a wee cutie :)

13 May, 2012


Mreowrrrr...from Rufus. Thanks for your interest in my continued folly. LOL... What a great group you are! :-)

15 May, 2012


Wow, what a lot of space you have to play with Lori...and a lot of hard work I bet too! We have had the same weather, two lovely weeks in March, then cold and wet since...miserable! Great to hear about the racoons, I can't imagine having one in the Your Rufus is a little beauty isn't he...lots of room there for him. All is looking good so far, shall enjoy seeing more soon. x

15 May, 2012


Thanks did I miss your comment? getting a little aged, perhaps? lol... Took a look at your recent pics...wonderful as always. x

20 Jul, 2012

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