So glad to restart this series! I missed doing this. I mentally call it “The Flora and Fauna Report”
My back yard brings me so much pleasure! Daniel and I parted ways on Ostara, and although we are still on good terms, I’m on my own with the gardening. I was really good at managing the yard in May and June, and then July just got away from me. Between the full time muggle job and the full time business, there’s not much time left over for gardening. My teenager has been working at a summer camp, so she hasn’t been available, and my dad’s health is not well. I have an amazing roommate, but she travels a lot, and when home, isn’t available often to help with yardwork. My sister was helping me with mowing while my back was injured, but she has a life, too. I may just need to hire a gardener.
The trumpet vine continues to be the bane of my existence. In the past month, it has completely taken over the yard. I should have enough headway made to give it a mow by tomorrow. I really do need a better solution.
I decided to wait another year for the vegetable bed. The soil was all clay, so next March or April I am going to replace the gate, and then April or May build a raised bed and have a square metre of good top soil delivered. That will be so much better than digging through clay so dense that carrots couldn’t grow down more than 2 inches. I prices tomato cages, and they were like $8 each! So instead I am going to install a chain link fence and train tomatoes, peppers, zucchini, etc to grow into a living wall. The living wall may wait another year.
All 5 of my trees survived the winter well and are thriving. My service berry trees were a little touch and go as a kid had come by and ripped the top off. I was watching, mom was walking beside her and did nothing, just broke the poor sapling in half while walking home from school. But they are doing okay. Too little for any fruit yet. The tree that was labelled “cherry” gave me 5 beautiful peaches, which was an unexpected surprise. I was told not to expect fruit for 10 years, and it was wonderful to get peaches the first year. And the tree that was labelled “plum” has some sort of other strange berry growing, not sure if it’s edible. I will have to contact reforest London with a photo. I would still like to get a plum tree, apple tree and pear tree, as well as a Japanese maple for the front. I have visions of growing all of my produce some day. Not sure if I’ll be able to grow the 3-4 bushels of romas that I use every year for canning, but I can try.
My herb garden… funny story. So, my herb garden has traditionally been the one garden that grows really well. I have great soil there. The weeds like it too! So I was told to just put mulch down, and that will slow down the weeds. So I dug my rows, planted seeds, and put a big ol’ thick layer of mulch on it. The weeds slowed down, but almost none of my herbs came through. I imagine next spring when I till up the mulch, all of my herbs will start sprouting in random places.
My client had an extra umbrella and some extra outdoor chair cushions and I have been putting them to good use. I love sitting out there on my mornings off (getting rarer and rarer) as I sip tea and enjoy the crisper mornings. I have a few cardinals in my yard who flutter back and forth between my neighbours’ two trees. I wonder what my yard will look like in 20 years. The houses in my neighbourhood are about 40 years old, and some of the maples and oaks are massive! It makes me think about the progression of my life- how I was a homeless teenager, how often I went without food, how much I moved around, to now actually owning a nice, safe, comfortable home. Even after being here for over four years, I finally am starting to feel secure in my own home. I was unsure at first, as work was precarious, boyfriends and roommates were unreliable, and I kept thinking that I would be forced to sell. I am so glad that I decided to stay. This is the best investment that I have ever made. Having a place to call home, my own castle, matters so much to me. Especially when I am in my yard enjoying tea, or having a fire in the pit before bed, I am at home.