The Glory Has Departed


Norma Boeckler, Artist in Residence

Bethany Lutheran Worship on
Ustream

May 31, Ascension Day Holy Communion,
7 PM Centray Daylight Time
NT Greek Lessons - Thursdays, 7 PM.

Saved worship files and Greek lessons are at the live worship link.

email: greg.jackson.edlp@gmail.com,
which works as gregjacksonedlp@gmail.com too.

Luther's Sermons, Lenker Series
Book of Concord Selections
Bente's Historical Introductions,
and Martin Chemnitz Press Books

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Heard from Three Gardening Gurus at Once -
Mulch Is Modular and Fun To Use.
Saving Planet Earth So You Don't Have To




Yesterday I heard from my favorite gardening gurus at the same time. The three are:

  • Jessica Walliser - Attracting Beneficial Bugs to Your Garden
  • Jeff Lowenfels - Teaming with Microbes - Soil
  • Sharon Lovejoy - A Blessing of Toads - The Big Picture

Sharon Lovejoy seemed surprised that I discovered her Blessing of Toads at  Cracker Barrel. All three chimed in with a like or a comment.

As I wrote before, these three books are essential for a Creation Garden, with far less work and cost, far more enjoyment and production. We had a brief spell where all the roses were waiting to bloom or just finished. 

For the KnockOuts, I pruned 50% of the bush. For the rest, I looked for dead wood, crossed canes, and unhealthy looking canes. The Jackson Rose Farm looked like a vast mulch display with little color. With some rain and watering, the roses took off again.The KOs are bursting with buds and blooms. The rest of the roses are either in full bloom, looking for some pruning, or ready to bloom he first time.

Strangely enough for some readers, the Maple Tree Rose Garden, which merged with the main rose area, is thriving with $5 roses in bloom - around 20 in all. Common sense says - 
  1. Do not plant among maple tree roots.
  2. Do not make roses compete with greedy maple roots.
  3. Do not plant roses where there is more shade.
  4. Do not even think about digging under a maple.
I made the case with Mrs. Ichabod and lost, but I am glad. Our helper and I actually dug roses in between lumps of roots. Those roses get plenty of sun in the morning, another sunbath in the afternoon. The ones most in the shade are slower, but they also bloom.

The key argument is - "I want to see the roses." The most visible flowers are going to  be enjoyed more - and our neighborhood loves them. The ones we pass every day will also get the most attention. Roses do not need a lot of work in the Creation Garden, but they need regular attention with their need for water and pruning.

Before I had any $5 roses to plant, I threw 10 bags of mushroom compost in the area where I hoped to plant something else. I covered the entire area with shredded mulch, added some garlic bulbs, and sprinkled red wiggler earthworms on top. That was in the autumn. At the worst, it was far better looking than what we inherited, an area packed with maple suckers, weeds, and broken toys.


Modular Mulch
The various weeds are pushing their way through the wood mulch. I can only blame the superfertile soil for that. Mulch builds the fungi network that Lowenfels describes so well. Earthworms and all soil creatures thrive with mulch. Besides those benefits, mulch conserves water and topsoil.

Weed seeds blow in and come up from below. Birds deposit them with fertilizer the natural way. Like any enemy, weeds find the weak spots and attack.

Mulch is modular. We do not need to re-mulch the entire garden. Instead, we:
  1. Look for weed patches.
  2. Cover them with cardboard or newspaper.
  3. Hold down the shade layer with shredded cyprus mulch - or water jugs in the back.
In the Wild Garden we used 60+ bags of autumn leaves to hold down the cardboard. That worked so well that hardly anything grew on top of the mulch. When I lifted the  cardboard, unmoved for six+ months, the former lawn was soft composted soil, easily dug, earthworm packed.

I have a new supply of cardboard and wood mulch for the areas that want to be weedy. The weeds are great ingredients for compost. Why pull them up and compost them? They are more useful when they rot there, feeding billions of soil creatures and feeding the plants I want to thrive.

Helianthus is a permanent sunflower plant,
which I want, because the squirrels eat every sunflower seed I plant.