Red Shoulder Hawk

Red Shoulder Hawk

Monday, May 07, 2007

A busy couple of days

We got 2 cubic yards of dirt delivered. My newest housemate and I shlepped it up to the raised beds. She made more trips, but I carried two buckets at a time. We carried about 1000 pounds of dirt up to the deck. I didn't make an herb spiral, after all; I modified it into an "S" curve, since the back of the planter isn't very accessible. Nick and Caity moved the remaining dirt over to the edge of the driveway so we can get the cars in and out. They did a great job; you couldn't see a speck of dirt left from where the pile had started.

Here it is, after she planted all the new plants. I'm not an herbalist, but I can recognize rosemary, lavender, chives, nastertium, primrose, chamomile, comfrey...

Comfrey, you say? Isn't that a deep-rooting plant? Why yes, it is! Hopefully we can use this space as a nursery and grow more, to plant down in my yard and continue the process of building some topsoil.

I also tended the beehive. The new honey is sure tasty! Those sweet little workers have grown comb across multiple top bars; I'm sort of at a loss about what to do. I've called Julia.

Sunday Caity and I went on a little bit of the Natives Garden Tour. We loved Jenny and Scott Fleming's garden! 1.5 acres on a hillside, started in the 1950s, this amazing garden is home to 200 species of natives, has amazing lava rock staircases throughout, and a cute waterfall to sing to you as you look out over the bay to the Headlands.

The garden is quite vertical; I bet that there's more than 2 acres of growing space. I am very inspired by the naturalistic mixing of so many species, all in their respective zones, but spread deep; ferns, sorrell and wild ginger at your feet, huckleberry and currants at your findertips, dogwood and fremontias over your head, and aspens and redwoods towering above all. Pipevines and vine maples link everything together, but tastefully, not in a tangled way.

I'm thinking quite seriously about how verticality works into my plans. Under the plum tree, I could plant redwood sorrel and native California strawberries, with some comfrey to draw nutrients up. Then a rose (cultivars and natives) insectory level, California native grapes, and then the plum tree canopy. There's room for one or two more levels in there, but someone with some knowledge should let me know what to plant.

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