Bring the Spring

Lots of good things happened today. It was beautiful, first and foremost. I got up early, watched an exciting Bruins’ game and had a nice pump sesh. I followed that up by unloading that damn fridge from the porch, at long last. Had the house/garden to myself all afternoon, so got in a bit of yard work and went for a freakin run, followed by a trip to the store to get all the wine I’d earned. Came home and had a cocktail on the fridge-less porch in the late-enough afternoon sun and then played some guitar. Eventually my wife and kids came home, and I’ve long since lost my cool, but lots of good things happened today.

Action around the garden has been limited lately. Part of my reason for wanting to get everything set up landscaping-wise was to have some time to assess any flaws with my design while I still have time to correct them before really going full-on with plantings. In particular, I wanted to make sure I had proper drainage.

In that regard, it’s great that the weather has been complete shit for the last week, with rain for days on end, because I got to see that this is what happens when it rains a lot:

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My ‘pond’ is actually intended to be more of a wet, swampy corner of the yard that sometimes achieves pond status, but more often is just soggy enough to support the cattails I planted (which are showing signs of life, by the way!). I’ve been mulling the idea of some sort of outflow for the pond when it gets too full, and seeing the water infiltrating so much of my re-designed garden finally spurred me to action. So off to the pipe shop I went and procured some pipe. The section I bought was a bit too short, and when I pounded it through the bank of the pond nothing happened. When I pulled it out, however, water came flowing forth. The only problem with this was that it was now pouring into the beds that lie on the other side of the pond, and also running beneath the timber retaining wall — all kinds of erosion. So I jammed the pipe back in about halfway and ta-da…

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This system needs a lot of improvement, but for the immediate future it will do the trick. The biggest issue is that I’m disposing of valuable water that I could store and use when it isn’t raining every day. The good news is that all the channels I dug leading to the pond worked like a charm, and the upper portions of the garden shed water nicely.

The other area that has been majorly retaining water is the entry path to the keyhole garden in the side yard. I tried make a channel for water to run out, but it wasn’t working at all. So I un-retired my rock-stealing gloves and nabbed a few of the largest, flattest stones I could find at the beach during my last driftwood scavenging trip. Realizing that I’d racked up a pretty hefty karmic debt in the rock-stealing department, I actually sprung a few yen this afternoon to buy some gravel to fill in the gaps around the rocks. So this area will still accumulate a good bit of water, but the stones and gravel should make entering the keyhole garden a less-muddy task.

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Last, and definitely least, I gave the driftwood treatment to a couple of beds on the side of the house. Garlic and red onions are growing there now, but once I harvest those in a few months I’ll put the finishing touches on this design.

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I’m still waiting on my Black Locust tree. I stopped by the nursery on Thursday and they said it would be in on Saturday. Today is Sunday and I still haven’t heard from them, so the gaping wound in my garden where a tree should be remains festering. (Is that dramatic?) Just as well though since we’re forecast for snow most of the week, so not great weather for planting trees anyway.

I also ordered and received a bunch of seeds, but I’ll save that for another post since there won’t be much garden action for a bit. Until then… happy daylight savings Americans.

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