Monday, March 26, 2007

Garden Spring Cleaning

I did some spring cleaning this past weekend. Swept debris and dead leaves accumulated beneath benches, cleaning up the garden after a season of neglect.

Here is the potato bin where I planted the 'Yukon Gold" seed potatoes received just this week from Abundant Life. This is my first experiment in growing potatoes, so this could be an interesting season.

Here are some of the newly renovated dish gardens that live on the perimeter of the pond.

I finally came to terms with the effects of January’s killing frosts. I put dead potted coleus on the compost pile, but only after a respectful memorial service which consisted of me raising my face and my arms to heaven and promising that, as God is my witness, I will never let frost kill plants again.

After the cleaning, I spent some time rearranging the yard by replanting and moving containers around, trimming dead leaves and branches and feeding and re-mulching. This year will probably be the last without watering restrictions for a while. The source of our water – the snow pack in the Sierras – is substantially lower than previous droughts, and our local rainfall is 4 inches or more short of last year. When you only get about 10 inches a year, that’s a lot. An official from a neighboring water district predicted that while we have enough for this year, serious rationing is in store next year.

Here is my zen frog, newly planted with moss harvested from the north side of the house where nothing else will grow.

My goal for the back yard this year is not to over-plant, even in the containers on the patio outside the door.

In the front yard, my goal is to hand-water drought tolerant natives planted on the steep hill yesterday. Geeze, working on a hill is hard work. It took me hours and hours to dig, plant, water, mulch a total of seven drought-tolerant plants, including leucophyllum (2 varieties), ceanothus, and Malealeuca (2 varieties) and a blue hyacinth. I just have to water them this season to get them to put down roots in their new homes. Once they’re established in their new homes, they should all be pretty content.

The last thing I do after a session in the yard is water. Actually, that's the penultimate thing. I first take pictures in the best light of day: the later afternoon sun.

I particularly enjoy standing with my back to the sun and showering the garden under a rainbow. But because I dare not try to water and photograph at the same time, it's a scene I have captured only in my imagination, Yesterday however, the gardener's spouse managed to catch the rainbow as I watered.


Allotment Lady said...

Wonderful photos and what a delightful garden - off to read more

Libbys Blog said...

Thank you for visiting my blog! I think we gardeners are all far more aware of water restrictions that are likely to happen. We have had alot of rain this winter and currently all our resevoirs are full, but it also depends how dry our spring is!! You have a very unusual and beautiful garden, I shall enjoy reading all about it!