Saturday, August 1, 2020
As the start of my fifth decade approached, plans were finalized for a life in retirement focused on gardens and native plants. Years were spent transforming glacial till into fertile soil free of stones. Every year new ground was developed while great care was given to existing planting beds filled with lush plant growth. Age and infirmity have severely limited the amount of time that can now be spent outside and Quack grass and other weeds have reclaimed much ground that was ours only for a short time. Faced with the reality of lost garden ground, new areas for plants are still being developed. We need to have some ground that is ours alone.
The problem of removing and controlling the pasture grasses persists. For years grass clippings and fallen leaves have been used to cover this ground intending to kill the weeds. Numerous plastic bags filled with leaves were spread about to finish off the unwanted plants. Anyone passing by this unsightly mess must have wondered just what sort of maniac controlled this ground. The time had come to rid this ground of leaf filled plastic bags. The area in the foreground contains recently liberated leaves. Time in the sun and wind will dry them so that they can be chopped. Finely ground leaves are used as mulch to speed up the process of building forest soil, limit weed growth and hold moisture for the plants. The left edge of the picture shows the remaining few bags of leaves. Many were emptied today but the increasing heat drove us inside before the job could be finished.
This photograph shows the opposite view from the first picture. Many woodland plants show no above ground plant parts at this time of year so much of the ground appears barren. Rows of moss covered stones mark locations of the walking paths intending to prevent anyone from walking on the plants. Resident wildlife sees no difference between path and planting bed walking so they walk about at will feeding on whatever looks good to them.
Becky snapped a photo of me spreading recently dumped leaves with my tool of choice a stone fork. White clothing is intended to block out sunlight and discourage insects or at least make them easier to spot. A Solumbra helmet drape covers my neck and most of my face. This is not typical garb for those that work outside in this area. Passersby may see me as either weird or dangerous and that has benefits. This garden cannot be seen from our house but so far no plants nor our garden bench have been stolen. In these times of uncertainty there is benefit from inspiring fear. Recently houses in the area were all entered and burglarized. We were the only ones that escaped untouched. There is benefit to being seen as different and possibly dangerous.