The Glory Has Departed


Norma Boeckler, Artist in Residence

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Saturday, May 14, 2016

Last Year's Labor Brings Results This Year

The roses go in first, then the lawn is turned into
ideal compost by the soil creatures, which work under
the cardboard and mulch.

Many efforts from last year did not look very impressive at first. I expected more time was needed for the roses, but I did not realize how true that was for everything else.

Last year I planted some asparagus. This spring, it came up six feet tall and has ferned out. It will build root energy for next year. I might be able to harvest some then.

I turned the weedy and sunny area on the "north" side of the house into a blackberry patch, after mulching it and providing some water. Now the canes have established new growth for free and the flowers are forming, promising berries for us - or at least for birds and squirrels.

The honeysuckle vine simply grew a bit last year. Experts say "it can take over an area." I was hoping for a takeover in the Wild Garden. Now it is already blooming on the large tree stump and promises to be as aggressive as they claimed. Currently it is all buds and blooms.

I planted a few perennials last year, many from Almost Eden. They already look great and mark the outer bounds of one garden. Blueberries from Almost Eden are the front row of the other garden, both in the back yard. Our neighbor has an abundance of pine needles so that will be the mulch of those two gardens. Elderberries from Almost Eden are budding and sprouting (spreading) around the base.

Mrs. Ichabod's quest to screen the backyard from the neighbors on the West meant:

  • Large Butterfly Bushes.
  • New dabbled Willow Bushes.
  • Chaste Tree.
  • Extra Triple Crown Blackberry canes.

Last year's Butterfly Bushes are quite large and promising . That variety can grow 9 feet tall. The one near our bedroom window is already 6 feet tall, and it is one of the smaller ones.

The wild strawberries also spread throughout the yard, not from my transplanting (ha) but from the flocks of birds enjoying the feeders and baths. I told one gardener that I transplanted wild strawberries until I learned the birds bombed the seeds into the soil for me. They bloom in profusion in the shade of the house, the shade of the trees' base, and all through the grass. But every plant has a growth pattern, and clover seems to be winning the backyard for now.


White Profusion Butterfly Bush
looked too good to pass up.
Now it decorates the bird and butterfly area
near our bedroom window.


God's Work in the Soil
The real labor in the yard has come from the soil creatures created, engineered, and managed to do the best with what they were given. Last year's roses are bursting with blooms already, and the early predation from aphids that we saw before is already muted by the beneficial insects patrolling their blooms. Some JP II white roses and Peace roses are warped and distorted, but they are simply setting up the beneficial insects for a round of fabulous eating all summer. The aphid eaters are more significant than the aphids, because the eaters flourish from the pests and set up shop.

Another factor is the complex set-up in the soil. Once I gave the yard an army of red wiggler earthworms to tunnel, fertilize, mix, and aerate the soil, the good plants have flourished. Sterile weeds prosper in bad soil because worthwhile plants cannot get a foothold. When good plants get a great start, weeds get squeezed out.

Once the level playing field (neglected or toxin soaked yard) is tilted toward Creation, the creatures take over as they were designed. Management is automatic.

As Luther says, all we need to do is patiently continue our tasks in faith, knowing that God will bless His work.

Chrysler Imperial is considered a great Southern rose.