Good Bye to Pokeberry Hill...


Thursday, March 26, 2009

Misty Morning in Pokeberry

I woke up this morning dreaming of renting a big tiller this weekend. Always something on my mind.

I didn't plant my new dogwood tree yet. I hadn't decided where exactly it needed to be--only I KNEW if I could only get one tree this spring--it needed to be a dogwood.

This morning I am reminded why as the little dogwood out my window is coming into bloom. The tree in this yard is I think a native tree, not as large flowered as the ones you can buy in the stores. There are a few smaller ones in the front yard beneath the canopy of a large shade tree. The one in the backyard is a nice small tree, a little bit crooked. It gets whitish flowers in spring--they start out looking small and yellow/beige and as they get bigger they get lighter, then they darken again and get pinkish before they fall off. It will provide a nice spring view quite awhile before it leafs out. In the fall the green leaves turn bright red and then it gets nice red berries that summon the mocking birds, who give me a great show in early winter as they fuss over the berries and eat them. Its a great tree for a bird garden too as it is just a nice height to have near a feeder so that birds feel safe retreating to its branches.

My dogwood that I puchased will have pink flowers and they will likely be larger blossoms than the wild trees get. I'm very excited about it.

I needed to discuss with Hubby where I could put the tree and where my garden would go. The area where I have begun the garden is behind the 'shed/cabin' Part of the little building we plan to use as a guest cottage, the smaller room I am planning to make into a greehouse/potting shed. It is very near the garden. Now the garden began with a bed that the former owner built of concrete blocks--eventually I want to remove the blocks--or do something to them to make them less ugly. they are not level and are huge and some are different colored. I was hoping to level them--but there are many tree roots in the ground and rocks. I think it will be pretty hard to do that. Instead I think I will plant a border of perenial green plants all along the concrete and as they get bigger and fill in--I will remove the concrete--possibly replace it with rocks or something else. I am thinking I may use lambs ear or yellow confusion sedum for my border as they are two plants I have lots of that I think I could divide up and do the job with. I'd keep them trimmed like boxwood maybe. Just in case--I also have one little boxwood shrub that I plan to grow cuttings from.

I have extended the garden a bit past that bed already-- and there is a sort of 'service drive' that is between the garden and our hillside. I have begun to put some plants on the hillside in order to secure the soil better from erosion--but I was trying to decide if I should use the nice sunny flat area that is currently part of a path or 'service drive' as I call it--for more garden beds or simply try to plant more things on the slope.

I talked to Hubby about this--how far do you need that little 'road thing' to go? Can I till up some of that and make it part of my garden? Its nice and flat and sunny--would be a good place for fruits and veggies you know..

Hubby was all for it being garden--so that's great! It will take the place of the area I had wanted to use but couldn't because of the septic field. That area is near also--but will become a bird seed & butterfly garden. The more I work on the garden and yard the more excited I am about our new home. :)

When I was there the other day I worked cleaning up more construction debris and just tidying the land. I hauled lots of things to the backside of the shed where they could be neatly stacked and used if needed or disposed of later. I also took a bucket and shovel and moved debris from a burn pile to make one pile out of two. There are a few more burnt out debris piles. I want to make them all one pile, out of the way, to facillitate getting rid of the 'mess' of them easily when we are able to. I also started a new burning location but made sure it was in a safe spot and put some of those concrete blocks around it as it is so often windy on our hill and I did not want any burning to ever escape to a tree top. We live in a very rural area and so burning is a common thing. It is needful to manage brush and helps prevent worse fires. It also has been used to reduce the amount of construction debris on the land. We don't have trash pick up like in the city--we can get it--but will probably not do so until we have moved into the house. At the moment I bag up trash and take to our rented house to get rid of it. We don't have enough to merit paying for pick up or driving to a far away dump. When we are finished with all our work and ready to move in--we may rent a dumpster or a trailer for a final clean up.

Something else I have been doing whenever I am at the house is taking a walk with a shovel and looking to see what is on the land, mainly rocks to line my beds--I've found lots of those! Also I have found some small native plants coming up that were pretty enough to move to beds. I've built a sort of shady border around some trees at the entrance to my garden, I've made rock borders for it and put some of my plants in under the trees, I put a lawn chair and small portable table there for me to sit when I am needing a work break. I also brought my garden journal and my colored pencils and pens to the new place and keep them in the cabin so I can sit and sketch and write nature notes.

While I was sitting the other day a green lizzard was sun bathing on my little table. He was also in process of turning brown to match the table. He seemed perfectly at ease on the table--even though he knew full well I was there. I would pick up my book and my coffee mug and he didn't mind a bit. While he rested a fly landed on the table and seemed also to be sunning itself a bit. Suddenly the little lizzard did a very quick turn about, snapped its mouth and the fly was gone--I honestly do not know if the fly flew off or was eaten--it was that fast. The lizzard then turned and went back to his nap as I sipped my coffee and pondered how amazing it was I had been privileged to see such a thing right there in my own little garden!

No birds have found my feeder at the house yet. I'm sort of sad about that--but I know they will. I know they are there. I can hear them and sometimes I see a few. They will come. It took a while out in Fargo to draw birds, they had never seen a feeder in that area of town-- as it was all new construction. They will figure it out though.

I may move the feeder out a bit to make it more visible and I think I will plant it near the dogwood and also my pink camellia which I hope to take there this weekend--then there will be a shrub for them to hide in.

Hubby wants to bring my arch trellis out soon--it is planted with Carolina Jessamine. Well-- guess what I found growing wild in a tree top on my land--Jessamine! It is all in bloom now--it looks sort of like forsythia flowers--yellow like that, but it is a climbing vine. I bought mine at Sams' club the year we moved here and split it up into several plants and put half in trough pots on each side of my arch trellis. I keep a nice bench under the trellis. I don't sit there, I usually put pots on the bench. It is also a nice thing to have near bird feeders-sometimes I hang thistle socks from the trellis or hummingbird feeders. The birds love to perch on it.

Well, this morning I've watched and heard lots of birds out in the misty foggy morning. I've also seen Junior here, he sits right outside my window and watches the birds. I know he probably does eat some of them, but I have not seen a decline in the birdy population since he came. There are an awful lot of kittys in this neighorhood but far far more birds. Sometimes a hawk will show up here and grab a bird too. It is the way things are.

Seeing him though, it makes me feel happy. I don't know what it is about him, he just has that effect on me. I don't know about catching him and taking him with us--I'm still throwing ideas at Hubby about why that might work out ok--but on the other hand--it will not be an easy thing to catch him--or to take him to a vet. I'm aware of that--he's not a tame kitty, though he does seem to have a small measure of trust in me, this garden I think is his home--but who will come next?

I don't know.

I didn't cause this dilemna really, but I guess I do feel involved in it.

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