The Occasional Gardener
The garden began as smoothed by machinery dirt that had been planted with grass seed by the contractor who built the small house in mid December in 2010, written about here. The gardener began the garden making process as soon as she took possession of the property by laying several thicknesses of newspaper on the ground and covering it with a thick layer of mulch, fifteen bags at a time. Yes, that is fifteen bags of mulch shown above.
Native grasses, Panicum virgatum and native winterberry hollies, Ilex verticillata ‘Winter Red’ and the male pollinator I. ‘Southern Gentleman’ were planted in the cold soil, as were the blueberries that were the gift foundation plantings of the contractor. It was a good start.
As the cold gave way to warmer temperatures, more plants were added, always natives or food crops, such as Rosemary and thymes. The garden space was enlarged with each occasional visit, usually once a month, with more newspapers and mulch. A large boulder from nearby mountains was added, named Rocky. Click here to see more about him.
The Panicums were divided several times and spread about, trying to find the best arrangement as some of the small plants grew larger and more were added. Ilex verticillata ‘Winter Gold’ was found at a local nursery and recently joined its brethren.
Over the months, the garden grew and thrived with no tending at all beyond the initial planting, some moving about for better spacing and a little crabgrass removal. Because it consists of natives, the plantings need no coddling or care. There is no extra watering, they must subsist on the moisture that comes down from the clouds.
In late winter, after the birds have picked the grasses, Echinaceas and Rudbeckias bare, the stalks will be cut down before the new green growth emerges to begin a new cycle. It is enjoyable to do this and see the volunteer seedlings popping up. The garden has evolved and will continue to do so. It brings a smile every single time the occasional gardener comes to visit.
This post is to be considered for inclusion in Wildflower Wednesday, the lovely idea of my dear friend Gail of Clay and Limestone.