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Refuse, reduce, reuse, repair, recycle, restore, respect

Exemplified by Lauren's artistic use of garden tools which may no longer be as functional in their original purpose as they once were but which have been 'upcycled' as garden art.  Their use and placement demonstrate the huge respect Lauren has for their contribution to the history of her land.


 
 
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Common daylilies are flowering; a mark
that spring has changed into summer.

Now that summer fruits like strawberries
and raspberries are ripening, bears
will begin to gain weight.

Luna moths are drawn to lights, and if
the porch light is on, one may be found
sleeping on the screen door the next day.

Thistle seeds are the goldfinch's favorite
food, and the birds line their nests with the
seeds' down; plus, the colors of goldfinches
and purple thistles go together well.

     - Virginia Barlow, The Outside Story

 
 
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Hugel in progress...mulch removed gradually as slope is leveled (left to right in the photo). Harvested soil moves upslope to the hugel, and harvested stone goes tso wall, stair and fill projects elsewhere on site. Note lush suburbia beyond the fence.
So my sister and her husband bought a house to renovate, and I got to work with the gardens.  Stacked along the garage was a woodpile which had obviously had significant time to age and collect a host of critters which none of us wanted to bring into our homes.  So, with the help of another brother-in-law (one with a truck) and a nephew, we collected the wood (sans some of the critters anyway) and brought it to my mulch-only sloped side yard. 

Having wanted to tame my slope for some time, I decided this was the perfect opportunity to try a hugel while leveling things out a bit.  Continuing the line of my next-door neighbor's white picket fence, I trenched across the slope, and proceeded to stack and bury the cord wood, creating a simple hugel.  Excavating further down slope in a leveling project, I brought the harvested soil up to the hugel, which ultimately came to about 24" high.  It now works to dam water flowing off the slope towards the street/catchbasin, which will in turn water the new berry garden upslope of the hugel.  Planted some pumpkins and squash into the hugel to see what happens there...not expecting much since the hugel is new, but maybe the partially composted logs will actually feed some plant growth in the first season.  Downslope will become a level service yard (finally! a flat place to dump incoming compost and other bulk supplies) with a retaining wall ultimately in front of the hugel.

Spending considerably more time digging than blogging