Posts Tagged ‘Gardening’

September Pretties

It feels like Autumn right now — grey skies, blustery winds … fall clematis, nasturtiums and sedum in bloom. Here’s a little garden beauty to start your week:

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Garden, Groundhog, and Writing Updates

You may have noticed me blogging less this month, and that has a bit to do with increased groundhog patrol and much to do with working to finish my Lyme disease book. The garden took a turn towards Autumn with new mum’s and the tall sedum starting to put on its show:

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The August Garden

Some photos of Dra’Faven’s front yard cottage garden:

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Garden Inspiration and Permaculture Projects

Yesterday, David and I enjoyed an afternoon in Grand Rapids, including our second trip to the Frederick Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park. We took my mom there back in December 2017, and this time proved different but equally enchanting.

Even more exciting, walking around all those carefully planned gardens gave me some alternative solutions for our yard and neighborhood, which will be going through major changes in the next couple years due to mandatory sewer and possibly sidewalk installation. We’re fighting pretty unanimously to save as many of our neighborhood’s gorgeous, old trees, but in the event we lose to the Township’s dedication to the “Agendas,” yesterday’s creativity inspired some lovely “lemonade” recipes from the Township’s would-be lemons.

It’s all very Uranus in Taurus: major upheaval on the physical level, concern for “the greater good.” The questions remain: what is the greater good, who gets to determine that, and how? I’ll share some photos from Meijer Gardens first, followed by a few of our yard and some of the “problem is the solution” ideas this visit inspired. Even this entryway at Meijer Gardens may change, as we heard people discussing a major planned shift in where people enter the park.

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David included me in the photo for scale:

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Some of the sculptures have a grand presentation, while many others play hide and seek within the landscape and winding pathways. This next sculpture is one of my favorites, called “Espaliered Girl.”

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We heard so many different languages as we wandered around the Japanese Gardens.

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Garden Update ~ And Then There Were Seven

I guess you could say I asked for it. Last Thursday, while planting garlic in the 100-gallon bed on the West side of the shed, I lamented how much the voles have destroyed our grass. Deep gouges swish and swirl around the yard, especially since I threw some extra fritillaria melagris bulbs into the largest holes. I noticed the voles had thrown one out in disgust and appeared to have dug new trenches. Thank goodness I opted for the various styles of grow bags, which so far live up to their reputation as vole resistant.

In the midst of hauling compost from garage to far backyard, I might have wondered where “my” cat went. Did she really only visit our yard to torment Kalamazoo Kal? He hasn’t come by for awhile. Did she follow him to less restricted kale pastures? Did something happen to her? Why do these voles feel so comfortable in our yard? If only they smelled more cat, maybe they’d go the way of Kal. If you wish it, they will come. And come.

Meet the new Vole Patrol:

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Garden Update: Rain! Plus, More Helpers “Reporting for Duty”

After many prayers and much intending, we finally got some deeply needed rain last Thursday and Friday. With so many local trees obviously struggling and very dry, hard ground, I had hoped for a long, gentle rain, and that’s exactly what we received! It rained just enough on Thursday to prepare the ground, and then on Friday, we got a full day into the evening of very slow, misty rain, kind of like nature’s version of a soaker hose. I could feel a collective sigh of relief from all the nearby plants and trees, especially our weeping birch:

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On Thursday evening, I went on a walk around the neighborhood. Upon my return, I spent some time with the birch and asked it to give me a sign if the nearly dead branches (from before we moved in) had any life left in them Continue reading

More Mantis and Marmot Magic

After last week’s unusual animal sightings and interactions, the bizarre fun continues. The praying mantis who “reported for duty” last week is the friendliest insect I’ve come across. He (and it does seem to be a he, judging by size) landed on David’s arm on Sunday, and yesterday, I felt someone looking at me, only to discover it was my little mantis friend, hanging out on the cosmos! He said hi and then continued on his way. Today, he landed on my arm while I was planting strawberries and thyme. We both startled each other when I jumped, but after I apologized for flailing my arm, he turned his head and nodded at me.

David took down the dog run wire that had created a no-fly zone for hawks and eagles, Continue reading