Well my friends, I finally got a spring weekend, heck summer more like. Yesterday it was 74F (23C) and today 79F (26C). Everything that had been patiently waiting for sun and warmth burst out practically overnight and I was scrambling to dig out shorts and t-shirts.I spent a couple hours yesterday and a few more today cleaning the winter mulch off beds in the front yard and cutting back some perennials and prairies grasses I left through the winter. Then I dumped most of the mulch onto the grass in my front yard and covered it with black plastic. We are going to make that side of the yard into a prairie meadow, more or less. That is a silver maple tree we call Melody growing in the yard. And you can see in the foreground the buds on a forsythia. There is also a pink peony up towards the porch. The forsythia and peony will not be cut down or moved so they will be out of place in our “prairie” but oh well. We planted them many years ago before we even thought about growing a prairie in the yard. The black plastic is ugly and I am sorry that my neighbors have to look at it, but they will thank me in a few years when all of this is planted and grown in with grasses, coneflowers, butterfly weed, rattlesnake master, and a whole list of other plants. There will be a path though it too from the public sidewalk up to the porch. So much work to be done but worth the sweat.
I had a nice little laugh while I was out working. The couple who live directly across the street from Bookman and I have the same names as we do. Her name is Stephanie (with a “ph” instead of an “f” like me) and his name is James (yes, Bookman’s name is James). They moved in a number of years ago and have since had two little girls who are now probably around four and six-years-old. Their front yard is fenced and the girls were out playing in it. I am working and sweating and suddenly I hear a little girl voice, “Hi Stefanie!” I didn’t even look up because I thought the Stefanie being referenced was not me. But a few minutes later I hear two little girl voices yelling, “Hi Stefanie, hi!” I look up and both the girls are standing at their fence watching me and waving. Their parents must have told them that we were Stefanie and James across the street. Of course I had to wave and yell, “hi!” to the girls which delighted them to no end and tickled me too.Bookman — or should I start calling him James? — and I are also installing a rain barrel. We are almost done but couldn’t get the downspout up because we didn’t have screws for the brackets that hold it against the side of the house. That will be done by tomorrow evening.
This morning James and I also worked on getting the veggie bed ready to plant. I removed the leaf mulch off the already dug bed and pulled up the remains of last year’s veggies while James started work on the expansion that has been hiding underblack plastic all winter. It was hard to loosen the compacted dirt but easy to get the dead grass out. Yay! We didn’t finish it before James had to go off to work today, but it will be done by next weekend and ready for seeds!
James said no to a pond so I bought a self-contained solar fountain instead. It is a birdbath-sized basin with a little frog that has water coming from his mouth all powered by a little solar panel. I bought it online and it hasn’t arrived yet but maybe next weekend I will have a picture off it for you.
My latest garden design plan is to build an herb spiral. It is a way to squeeze a lot of plants into a small space and it doesn’t have to be all herbs. I plan on doing ours up with herbs and edible flowers. James hasn’t quite agreed to build it this year, but it shouldn’t be too hard to do since it doesn’t require digging, just placing of rocks and filling in with soil. Easy! Famous last words, right?
(Click on photos if you want to make any of them larger)