Cool, a bit overcast. A good day to take stock of my gardening efforts so far, see what worked, see what didn't, think about what I might want to do next year. Definitely raised beds for the vegetables and anything delicate -- there's just too much four-pawed traffic for little seedlings. And my soil is so rocky -- no matter how much I clear out, it seems to push its detritus up almost violently from who-knows-where, like a virulent case of earth acne. Every weekend there are rocks in places that there weren’t any the weekend before, and pretty much every single evening for the past few years I've walked around the back yard and found a good handful of glass (sunset being a good time to find pieces of glass at the top of a westward-facing hill, which is where I am).
F’rinstance, today I found this bone growing in a patch I’d painstakingly cleared out a couple of weeks before. It’s a bit over three inches long, a deep yellowy brown color. Obviously butchered -- lamb, maybe, tossed to someone's dog once upon a time? If so it must have been a while back, because the woman who lived here for many years before me was a crazy cat lady, and no dog had seen this yard for a while before I showed up. Then again it could have been brought in by one of our raccoon citizens anytime. But it’s ancient, the texture and color of old wood. After taking its picture I put it down and the entire joint end crumbled off.
But the herbs are thriving, peppers and tomatoes getting bigger, squash and cucumber with flowers, nasturtiums doing their thing. Check out this epic battle of nasturtium vs. cucumber. Looks like the cucumber's gonna win but you never know.
The buddleia is finally starting to leaf out – I need to get a good set of pruning shears to cut it back, among other things. Eventually that will be a butterfly bush covered with frothy pink flowers, and presumably there will be butterflies.
And this Scottish moss, with its pretty little white flowers, is eventually going to be part of a cool rock garden/sculptural tree stump assemblage. I don’t have a clear picture of what exactly it will look like when done, and suspect it might be one of those things that’s never quite done, but that’s OK – it can be the resident artwork in progress. That tree stump isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, so I might as well let it call the shots.
The pachysandra and pulmonaria that I brought down from my friend Katharine’s well-established patches in Connecticut are thriving and sending up shoots, and my hosta is already doing better than last summer. I’ve left a lot of weed plants to fill up space because green is better than brown, but I hope as I rack up some years and things get bigger and heartier, there will be more deliberation and less scribbling. In the meantime, it’s looking pretty lush and comfortable. If the Cheap Plastic Chair Company ever sends me some replacement cheap plastic chairs that aren’t broken upon arrival, we’ll have a nice spot to relax and have a cup of coffee and enjoy our lower forty.
And Mr. Bonkers loooooves him his catnip. He just might be the happiest one of us all.