When I moved into my little cottage by the woods (duplex in the city next to an old treed lot) five years ago there was a lot of work to do to make the yard worth spending time in. In front of the kitchen window was a horrible weird evergreen shrub that was about 10 feet high, dying, and the dirt was just horrible. In fact, all the dirt in my yard is horrible. I am at the tippy top of a hill and this area is glacial till. Lots and lots of rocks and the soil doesn’t hold water, very sandy. If you followed that link you will see what I was up against underneath the grass.
One day that tree was gone. And there was big circular bed in the center of the lawn, full of rocks and half useful. While I detest my landlord and avoid conversation unless there is no way to do so, I am grateful that tree is gone. And one day, to make amends for a big screw up he did, he gave me the new patio of my dreams. I had asked for permission to hire someone to install it myself but he insisted on putting it in because he wanted it done right. He’s such a pompous ass, stone blocks are sinking already. And his wife tried to use it when she was telling me all they did for me. When I told her that I had simply requested that I be allowed to have it installed at my personal expense, that it was Henry’s choice not mine, she got really quiet. Wonder if he got any that night?
I get many birds, some local, some migratory and the robins are singing all the live long day. Taking these pictures last evening I was accompanied by beautiful bird song. I get juncos, stellar jays, sparrows, robins, flickers, and bush tits, my favorites. Raccoons mate under my bedroom window (thanks for the fertility magic guys!) and snooze in the fir. There are several trails criss crossing my garden from the cats and raccoons and opossums that pass through. And squirrels and crows, the main stay of the garden.
At any rate, little by little year by year my mom and I have tried to amend the soil and I’ve planted things I thought would do well. A few trees that were rescued (Plant Amnesty friends), two lilacs, a something or other that was called an ash but isn’t far as I can tell, and a native black hawthorn. Lots of herbs for the kitchen that are also magical mainstays of course. Creeping vines and lots of containers. I can’t get them to mow but once a month in the spring (????) so it’s looking a bit shaggy right now but I’m just tickled at how well some of these plants are doing.
It’s a very nice place in the evenings in the summer.
I was told this was a rowan tree but it sure doesn’t have the right leaf structure and the berries,while round and red just are too red, just aren’t right. It was a rescue and it’s possible they simply couldn’t tell. It is doing all it can to be all it can be. It is about 15 feet tall and has about 12 little branches. Very spindly tree. But I keep getting very red berries and the crows think it is a great place to get a good view of the local yards and watch for catly predators. And then the tree sways dangerously. I loves me my crow family.
The Kitchen Garden – Lilac, lavenders, lemon balm, thyme, sage, spearmint, chocolate mint, pink pussytoes, iceplant, columbine, mini carnations, and stonecrop.
The Rosemary that grows like a weed. This plant is almost as tall as I am…
The Rose – a floribunda of some kind, this rain damaged beauty is very fragrant and has a triple center. I rescued this from the shade of that horrible tree the landlord took out.
The lilac by the kitchen window. A spindly rescue plant, this has taken off and the blossoms have doubled this year and this one? Is bigger than my dinner plate. Who knew?
Lovely Spanish Lavender
Hebe – Nectar bearer to the Gods, she stands on the patio raised bed under the huge douglas fir that I consider to be our guardian. She is surrounded by vinca minor (periwinkle) and blackberry. The deer was purchased at the estate sale of my neighbor Shirley who has left us. I wanted something from dear, sweet, Shirley and these deer, while sort of cheesy are actually quite beautiful and make me smile. And since they were the first guardian animal to show up in my life that I am aware of (how can you really miss that?) it seemed fitting.
Container garden – don’t know what this is but I love it
My view from the kitchen window. Used to be that dead ol tree and now it’s pretty lush considering… You can just see the Sea Holly, also known as Witches Thistle, in the little square fenced area on the middle left.
Tomorrow, closeups of the rest of the lovelies.