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Radogast's Non-420 Garden Creation Thread

Radogast

Grow Journal of the Month: April 2017
Last Fall, we moved into a new home in a maple forest :) :love: :)

I've previously had homes with gardens near the coast of central California and central Arizona. But it's been awhile since I started out maintained a garden. She previously had a home with a garden in central Illinois along the Mississippi.

This journal is not of a complete garden, but rather a transformation from barren lawnscape to a habitat for plants, animals, birds and silly humans.

We start with a blank canvas of grass, bordered by rocks, holding a thin line of suburbia again the massive ferns and untended forest.



The transformation begins.
 

Radogast

Grow Journal of the Month: April 2017
While examining the property with the realtor, I spot a fallen log across a brook.

A log bridge across the brook deserves a path.




Dirt from under the porch, small logs from everywhere, sand from the brook and labor create a less steep path down a steep bank.

This becomes the major pathway through the woods to the river.

Cutting back shrubs and limbing the downed tree trunk, in a few weeks this becomes an intersection for new paths to the lower meadow and the fish hole.





An view from the far side of the brook.

 

Radogast

Grow Journal of the Month: April 2017
The Rock.

Just as the first thing I needed to do was build a path to the log bridge,
The first thing my wife needed was to uncover the rock.

I thought it was just a pile of dirt or a natural hill, but she saw a rock crying out to be released from the soil.

We have started to unbury it. There was a lot of dirt, so we bought a garden cart to move the dirt.




Though we have not finished with the Rock excavation, we discovered its a big rock.
What the locals call a ledge.
My current guess is the ledge is about 1/4 mile long at a few feet below ground level.
We think we'll take a break after exposing about 20 feet of it.

The final photo is from this weekend, with a dirt patch planted in Russian sunflowers and corn.
In our minds we see the Corn, Sunflowers, waterfall, pond in front, and the wildflowers planted in the grass.
All the camera can show is what is currently visible :)
 

gardenfaerie

New Member
Thank you much for the invite! That is some really nice property. I love trees and forest floor. Is this your first year in this house? If so, I would say to take walks every day to see what is coming up and where. Ferns! Oh those are so beautiful. I can recommend an amazing book which describes exactly what you want to do. It is called, Noah's Garden by Sara Stein. She also wrote a follow up book called, Planting Noah's Garden. If your wife is really into this also, she'll love reading Sara's books. It is not necessarily a book of how to, but a book of why to turn things into habitat and how. I can't sing the praises enough.
 

Radogast

Grow Journal of the Month: April 2017
Thank you much for the invite! That is some really nice property. I love trees and forest floor. Is this your first year in this house? If so, I would say to take walks every day to see what is coming up and where. Ferns! Oh those are so beautiful. I can recommend an amazing book which describes exactly what you want to do. It is called, Noah's Garden by Sara Stein. She also wrote a follow up book called, Planting Noah's Garden. If your wife is really into this also, she'll love reading Sara's books. It is not necessarily a book of how to, but a book of why to turn things into habitat and how. I can't sing the praises enough.
Thanks for stopping by to take a look gardenfaerie :)

We have been on the property for 9 months. The early months were spent nesting issue the house, creating rooms and spaces to hole up in the winter. My wife's decorating style could be described as witchy, hobbit hole eclectic. Guests are either fascinated or run in terror :19::19: With home base established we began working our way out from zone 1 to zones 2&3, finding and walking trails.
Then came winter and a very disruptive house guest, and now spring and the start of gardening season.

Over 30 years ago I rejected the ideal of grass lawns, supported by Diane Ackerman's books Cultivating Delight and the a natural History of Lawns. My more recent influences are Masunoba Fukuoka, Larry Korn and the permaculture crowd.
My wife approaches from a background in european kitchen herb and flower gardens.

Although we have not spent a full year yet, there is so little value to us in green lawns that we are reshaping the beck lawn into rooms and plots and pathways. For the rest I start with deer trails, water features and hillsides to learn and adjust the lay of the land.

We have planted lots of new herbs and bulbs add well add some old favorites in the last 10 days. I am excited to see how they adapt to the land as well as how the birds and bees are reacting to all the changes.
 

Radogast

Grow Journal of the Month: April 2017
Welcome Brightlight :) :welcome:

I'm a bit embarrassed to post my garden pictures here, especially since my garden hasn't grown yet.
(Mary, Mary, quite contrary. How does your garden grow?) :1:
Especially among such amazing gardens as gardenfaerie and relaxed lester :adore::adore:

I'm trusting the wisdom of Zen farmers: That nature knows how to grow plants better than man will ever know, and letting side one's ego is the quickest path to unity with nature (Fukuoka)

If my efforts to build a garden for the animals that fly, walk, slither and hop fails to please the eyes of humans, I can always post pictures of the animals that visit. Monday morning I saw a Pileated Woodpecker (no photo.) So here are a chickadee and red squirrel from this weekend:)

 
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gardenfaerie

New Member


Young Cinnamon Fern
How gorgeous! I love huge ferns. The closest I get in my yard are cycads, a few Sago Palms. Problem is, they get HUGE. As you assess the property, what plants are native and which are exotic, it is really important to systematically get rid of the non-native species. Pull, dig, pull, dig! You won't be sorry if you do this every spring when you see these invasive species coming up. Your town or city or state must have a Cooperative Extension associated with the State land grant university system and they will have a list of undesirable plants. Here is a national list:

Introduced, Invasive, and Noxious Plants | USDA PLANTS

This is an important step when restoring lands back to nature for species losing habitat. Are you going to register your property as a Certified Native Wildlife Habitat? You can go here and see if this is something you would like to do. They send a lovely plaque for your fence to notify visitors of your habitat. Also, most states have their own parks department backyard habitat certification. It involves using a percentage of native species. Here is the NWF certification page:

Certify Your Wildlife Garden - National Wildlife Federation
 

gardenfaerie

New Member
I'm sure you saw what my yard looked like before. I've been here 16 years in this house. It takes time to layer, change things, and you have a huge property of gorgeousness!

Here, this is what it looked like before and after:

March, 1999 had the pool built. Entire backyard was empty except one Mesquite tree.



This is early spring with a lot to do yet!

 

Radogast

Grow Journal of the Month: April 2017
How gorgeous! I love huge ferns. The closest I get in my yard are cycads, a few Sago Palms. Problem is, they get HUGE. As you assess the property, what plants are native and which are exotic, it is really important to systematically get rid of the non-native ...
We've talked a bit about this, but ours is not a great property for species preservation. I'll be doing some on the neighbours land, but probably not out own.

Our town has over 350 years of European occupation following at least 2500 years of probably continuous indigenous occupation. Over 100 of those years were as as lumber, fulling and grist mills. The forest is a second growth forest started after 200 years of intense water and land use. Even the trees planted by Johnny Appleseed have been replaced.:)


It's pretty, but has almost no "natural" content.

I'll do my best to create a habitat for the endangered rabbit and native butterflies, but not necessarily with the native plants. Fir now our focus is on food, shelter and beauty. I'm encouraging the woodducks and Bluebirds with housing, but not necessarily with authentic native plants and housing.
 

Radogast

Grow Journal of the Month: April 2017
:thumb:
I'm sure you saw what my yard looked like before. I've been here 16 years in this house. It takes time to layer, change things, and you have a huge property of gorgeousness!

Here, this is what it looked like before and after:

March, 1999 had the pool built. Entire backyard was empty except one Mesquite tree.



This is early spring with a lot to do yet!


In case I hadn't said it yet, I love , love , love your garden and garden thread.

:love: :love: :love:
 

Radogast

Grow Journal of the Month: April 2017
When we went to the hardware store my wife says "you need this wagon for the garden!"
Boy was she right!!!! I have used this wagon on almost every project in the garden.

Having a gardening wagon as well as tools, toys, and barbecue pointed towards a need for a shed.
I love the open view from our deck, so I didn't want to go for a typical shed building.




The plan to hold the backyard stuff. A relatively low profile solution.




The basic structure is complete. About 12 ft long by 4 ft deep by 4 ft high.
I can fit the inner tubes (for floating on the river,) the grill and the gardening wagon.
My shovel and most garden tools fit. My rake is too long :)






The mostly level sand patch shows how the storage lockers will fit in a space along the deck and about the depth of the overhang of the kitchen beyond the deck.



Storage lockers complete and in position





We have lots of sticks and branches so I made a trellis :)
During the snowiest winter of my life the horizontal arch part of the trellis served as a shelter and feeder for birds and squirrels




After a long winter hiatus, I finally finished the vertical part of the trellis and planted a grape vine and a hummingbird vine.





I left the locker doors unpainted because the girl next door wanted to paint a mural.
It didn't happen. Squirrels chewed on the doors a bit, but there were no major leaks.

All in all this project was a success :):thumb:
 

gardenfaerie

New Member
Why don't you just put wood shakes up on the deck lockers? They should sell them pretty cheap in bundles. You can also use hardy plank on the deck lockers. I have a bit of work to do to repair some damage to the bottom of our shed building. The mistake we made was to put it on pressure treated lumber. We should have had a slab poured. Live and learn. When you are on a slope things change.

I have the exact same garden cart. I've already replaced the tires, that's how long I've had it. That is a little work horse. Heavy rocks, tons of mulch and leaves and all manner of every type of pushing and pulling of that thing around this yard. I even bought paint for mine this spring. I'm going to naval jelly it and get the rust off and pressure wash that off and spray paint it with Rustoleum. Try to have it another ten years at least.

I love the wilderness of your home. Very nice. Last night on House Hunters on HGTV they showed a couple buying in Boulder and it isn't that outrageously expensive. I mean, you get three times the sq footage here than there for the same price, but it's not horrible. YET.
 

Radogast

Grow Journal of the Month: April 2017
Why don't you just put wood shakes up on the deck lockers? They should sell them pretty cheap in bundles. You can also use hardy plank on the deck lockers. I have a bit of work to do to repair some damage to the bottom of our shed building. The mistake we made was to put it on pressure treated lumber. We should have had a slab poured. Live and learn. When you are on a slope things change.

I have the exact same garden cart. I've already replaced the tires, that's how long I've had it. That is a little work horse. Heavy rocks, tons of mulch and leaves and all manner of every type of pushing and pulling of that thing around this yard. I even bought paint for mine this spring. I'm going to naval jelly it and get the rust off and pressure wash that off and spray paint it with Rustoleum. Try to have it another ten years at least.

I love the wilderness of your home. Very nice. Last night on House Hunters on HGTV they showed a couple buying in Boulder and it isn't that outrageously expensive. I mean, you get three times the sq footage here than there for the same price, but it's not horrible. YET.

I'm in Massachusetts. my friend in boulder had 1.5 feet of snow on Tuesday. Granted, he is in the mountains above Boulder, but still!

Last week the cart was steering badly. One of the half-threaded bolts for the yoke had fallen off.
I started to panic, where still I find a replacement bolt.

Then I walked over to the storage shed, looked on the ground in front for 20 seconds and the bolt appeared.
Our garden is in a magical vortex :) Just need to keep the fey happy !
:circle-of-love:
 

Radogast

Grow Journal of the Month: April 2017
New birds this week are:

Cat Bird. - as well as meowing, it has a trilling song.
We have a couple more. They like to converse with people.

First hummingbird of the year

Wrens - Two pairs of house wrens (or Winter Wrens) moved into two little bird houses just outside our "Chill out room" window.
I moved two more small houses we have into the same location.





The new growth this week is amazing :)
 

Radogast

Grow Journal of the Month: April 2017
Black Turtle Beans have sprouted.
I had started 4 bushes indoors picturing them as 4' tall and 3' wide.
When I planted, the recommended spacing was 6", so I planted the seedlings at the end of rows and sowed more.






My default weed control is planting white clover. This is my first year and they are tiny seeds.
It seems I was heavy handed in my seeding :)
:oops::29:
 
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