|Rachel Platten sang "Fight Song" for everyone at the Walmart|
Stockholders Meeting. Next day we sat at the AMP for the
Saturday Morning Meeting.
Team Jackson routinely meets to barbecue at our house, after two or three of us attend the Saturday Morning Meeting. This often provokes grandson Alex to mention the time I turned bacon into ashes on the grill.
This time he said, "Remember the time Grampy burned up all the food?"
I said, "Alex, I just turned the bacon to ashes. Not all the food."
Alex said, "That was like burning all the food, because bacon is life." We all had a good life. The monthly denunciation about bacon will probably continue. His sisters laughed for years because, after being poked by chewing gum in the wrapper, I said, "That is chewing gum, not poking gum."
I was more careful, so the bacon and subsidiary meat survived.
Granddaughter Danielle, said earlier this spring, "The front looks like a graveyard." Nothing was green, so she saw a grim earth-tone landscape of stumps and mulch. This time they took home some roses; even more were ready for the altar on Sunday. Bell Flowers and Cat Mint are blooming, and each rose bush seems to have buds.
Joel Salatin writes about letting the landscape define itself, which is the opposite of most gardening and farming efforts.
I let good weeds grow, such as Hog Peanuts, a legume that does no harm and builds nitrogen in the soil. Many small weeds pop up to flower and seed, with shallow roots that hurt no one.
Crabgrass no longer appalls me. After a rain, the plant is easily uprooted before it creates a bushel of seed.
During a short dry spell, I shoveled the soil that ended up on the sidewalk, feeding some opportunistic weeds. This is the best soil, very fine, so I carefully gathered two shovels-full and put them around the base of new roses.
Someone who reads this blog to object will say, "But I thought you had no erosion." Mulch and cover crops decrease loss of soil from run-off, but when it rains a foot in a few days, some will end up on the sidewalk. My goal is to keep as much of the rain in the yard, and to use soil, even weeds, from the sidewalk.
Many problems with growing plants come from reading gardening books while gardening, paying no attention to the strengths of the yard. So-called weeds will claim areas left fallow. I found the violets surging into the Wild Garden, just as I might have wished. I want plants filling the area, improving the soil, feeding the beneficial creatures.
Instead of asking, "What would I like there?" a gardener should consider, "What would the land like there?" That is how gardeners learn about failures and dig up plants they put in the wrong place.
Of course, being wrong is illuminating in some ways, too. I was not supposed to put roses under the maple tree. Mrs. Ichabod ordered the bargain roses there - twice. My pleas for mercy went unheeded, and now we have wonderful roses growing around the maple. Several things helped:
- The area was covered with mushroom compost and earthwormed earlier.
- We trimmed the maple twice, to allow more sunlight on them.
- I watered the area especially, to help the roses compete with maple roots.
Sometimes we can add sunlight or shade to create conditions. At other times, the dominant feature will define what grows. I am more inclined to study the area first and find out what that part of the yard wants. The part that I want screening plants to grow is ideal for Elderberries, so the giant plants will expand to that area.
|Fritillaries are in favor of Violets.|
Individual kinds of butterflies demand monoculture for their young, so a diversity of plants will invite more kinds of butterflies. Monarchs want the Milkweed family, but Fritillaries need Violets.
The blessings accumulate. As Kudu Don Patterson would say, after extensive brain-washing at Exponential and other gatherings of Enthusiasts - "It's exponential!"
A large bush - grown for berries, flowers, or screening the yard - becomes a center of influence. Many pollinating insects come to feed, so the birds also come to feast - on the insects. A non-toxic yard without pesticides, herbicides, and insecticides will enjoy God's creatures doing this work for free.
|I pruned the lower half to encourage the second bloom,|
but I left the upper part alone to go to seed and leave the Cardinals in peace in the Crepe Myrtle.
I doted on the Crepe Myrtle for the blooms, but large bush was perfect for a Cardinal nest. We are happy to provide a spectacular home for the Cardinals (sorry Cubs fans).