Wednesday, April 22, 2015

A day outside..

I love completing projects. New beds carved out of dead grass areas satisfy me on so many levels- I get to reduce the turf in my yard, they provide new places to try new plants, and I get a chance to dig deep and examine the layers in my soil- silty brown sand, whitish clay and occasional spots of decent soil. 

Here's a before spot from last month:

And this is the after- I created a new circular raised bed with waterwise plants and a lower curvy bed planted with silver ponyfoot that should be walkable for the boys.

The side view looked great.. until the chickens started digging it up. I've temporarily covered the low silver ponyfoot bed with chicken wire until the plants get established. I actually layered chicken wire under the mulch in the raised bed to keep them out permanently. The wire bothers their feet so they stay away.

The circular bed has a Blue Nolina (Nolina Nelsonii), silver ponyfoot, Mexican bush sage and an orange Desert globe mallow inspired by all the recent beautiful pictures I've seen posted. When it fills in it should be a grey/purple/orange palette which should blend with the Mexican honeysuckle, flame acanthus and purple sage I have nearby.

Other projects for the week have included planting a few succulent pots. It was too hard to resist the variety at the Natural Gardener, so I got a baby squid agave in addition to two Manfreda that are close to blooming. I also finally potted a small Queen Victoria agave I got last year- I think it was happy to leave my kitchen windowsill. I filled in bits of sedums from other pots to add more color. I picked these plants (and gave them gravel mulch) because they should be tough enough to fight off marauding birds and chickens..

I finally realized that my late season broccoli seed plants were too small and too late to produce anything big enough for me to eat- so I offered them to the ladies to distract them from the new plants. They demolished them within 45 minutes..

Now I have room for something new. I would love to find another Shishito pepper plant since the one I had last year produced delicious peppers.

And finally, I cannot keep my bird feeders full. I have sparrows, doves, cardinals, and blue jays eating the seed. Plus this plump guy, who can hang on to bark with his toes- what a superpower!