It has been one whole year since we started gardening at our Hummingbird place now. We have seen our property go through all the seasons and we have been taking note of what we can and can’t do here. We have fought some obstacles and have more fighting to do, but over all we have had some really great successes. Besides the weather and critters we have been struggling with our soil and the answer to any soil problem seems to be compost and lots of it. We built our compost bin and have added to it all year in the form of leaves, grass and kitchen waste and has been composting down to to a rich black gold, but we needed lots more than we could make in a year so we purchased a lot more. Everything we planted got extra compost, some humic acid and lots of fertilizer and things seem to be responding nicely.
Tonight I took a notebook and a camera out in the yard and took lots of notes and pictures as I walked around observing everything. I am making plans for a winter vegetable and herb garden and taking note of what needs to be changed for next years summer gardens. There is still work to be done in the fall too before we put some of the beds to rest. We have named each of our garden beds as each of them tends to have a personality or a purpose. This flower bed lining the lawn had 3 or 4 big junipers in it at this time last year so after much digging, composting and shopping fall sales this bed has been transformed. It really doesn’t look like much yet because the plants are still young, but gardeners can visualize what will be. There is a dwarf magnolia and a flowering pomegranate in there that should be show stoppers one day and we will see to it that they get the attention they deserve.
Last night I picked the last of the strawberries for the season as the sun was setting. The sun is setting earlier these days and I can see that it is about time for daylight savings time to end. We will enjoy these berries more than any other knowing they are the last. I found some angel food cupcakes in the freezer to enjoy them with and made them an extra special treat.
This bed is in the back of our house and last year it consisted of the large rosemary, a couple of overgrown shrubs and lots of weeds. The gophers had attacked anything that might have been growing before though they did leave a few daffodils for us to enjoy in the spring. I put a path through this bed and lined it with lime thyme, creeping thyme and gazanias. I lost only 2 gazanias to the gophers before I caught a few in a trap, but I can see that they have gone to seed and the one I lost won’t be missed next year. In fact they may be considered weeds soon. We shopped a sale at a nearby college in the spring and helped support their landscape program by buying several prize plants many of which were natives of this area, and some heirloom squash that provided us with many white Lebanese squash and a japanese black futsu squash. We have eaten lots of the Lebanese squash, but haven’t baked up one of the futsu squash yet.
In this bed we are calling simply ‘the rose bed’ we removed some very old roses that were past their prime, amended the soil and planted some Buck Roses which we love with names like Country Dancer, Prairie Sunset and more they are looking right at home. They are still small, but the smell that permeates the air as you walk by gets them noticed. Next year they should be much larger and loaded with blooms something to really look forward to! Not wanting to take a chance on the gophers they are all planted in gopher cages. I also found one of my favorite rose trees in sad shape at the nursery where I am working and brought it home to give it a second chance, it is a Renae weeping rose tree, it is not looking like much yet maybe next year it will be picture worthy. The bottom of the deck was covered with lattice as was a lot of the top of the deck and it just looked like too much lattice so we removed it and planted some hardy shade loving shrubs just under the deck that should just fill in the space when full grown and create a softer more natural feel, at least that is what we are going for. It will also be a nice back drop for the roses. There is a path between the two that we are filling in with the black lava rock that is mined at a nearby rockery.
There is so much more I want to cover as I sum up my first year at this Hummingbird place so I will have to make a part 2 to this post and maybe even a part 3.
Enjoy the new season up us all!