Sun Setting On Our Field, by Rainer

Did the rose
Ever open its heart

And give this world
All its

It felt the encouragement of light
Against its

We all remain




Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Garden Variety

Wild roses

With so many more plants in the ground, what we noticed taking pictures was the diversity. This is one eclectic home for all creatures. It is getting wilder, too! We saw a quail in the front yard one morning. Sparrows took over the eaves again. A pair of tiny yellow breasted birds flew in the kitchen window a few days ago. Gophers are always lurking underground. Frogs are coming back. The tadpoles we got from a neighbor are just growing back legs. Mostly it is birds, though. More types of birds since we started planting. And so there are hawks coming around, too.

Giant Sequoia,
taller than all the people around it now.

Eating sour grass and using Lego war probes, Alexandra joins us in the garden. She helps us in so many ways, including both rewilding the habitat and taming the beasts within it. Thanks go out to Alex's mom, Sheila, my garden mentor and supplier of many plants populating this garden today.

Now for an exciting new game from Rainer: Solve the Mystery of the Unidentified Tree
Photos by Rainer

"Shhh," she whispers to us. No one can tell us who she is. No tree book will tell her name.

This lichen is spreading to the neighbor's roof.

For the first person to correctly identify this tree, a prize of ?(he's thinking, he's thinking!) will be awarded to you.

This is the solar calender at Real Goods Solar Living Center in Hopland, CA.

So inspired, Rainer's got his own version started. The spiral in the middle is to have stepping stones and the rest is to be made into a pond, completed by summer solstice when he will begin to mark/set the calender.

Clusters make this habitat. We used flattened cardboard boxes sometimes to prep new garden beds. Or a slide structure with a 3 ' x 3' platform that we moved every few months. The beds made themselves!

Above, Rainer and Frida stand next to two of these mini, usually square beds. Rainer's has river willow, curly willow and elephant garlic. Frida's has marjoram, iris, raspberry, borage, a plum tree and the fuzz-leafed bush with magenta flowers. We double dig and fertilize with horse manure and compost, and rotate for freshness. Hopefully we're choosing the right companions for these tight quarters.

Blueberries, borage, wild rose, strawberries, spinach, calendula, calla lily.

This hedge is so large and important for our backyard habitat.

Another cluster. This one with a willow, plum and redwood tree, calendula, buttercups and the magenta fuzz bush.

Kitchen bed: mallow, yarrow, lilac, river willow, calendula, foxglove, French lavender, succulents, thyme, green pepper, poppy, sour grass and five unidentified flowers. Whew, they sure are busy growing!

Next time we're looking forward to showing how our big plans are turning out. No, no chickens this year. But things like growing more vegetables, a sunflower house, a leveled tent camping spot. And the raspberries should be ready for selling.

Here's to summer! Cheers!