Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Forever Thankful . . .

As I may have mentioned, this time of year is all about getting the garden underway for the current growing season.  Fortunately for us, the growing season around here begins rather late -- we can easily have a frost as late as mid-late April.  So, usually the plan is to get all the garden prep done by the end of April so that all those lovely seedlings can be put in the ground.  But, this year has gotten away from me -- a situation that has been compounded by the planned projects for this year.

The standard landscaping in our area is the throw tons of sharp rock on the ground and scatter a few trees, grasses, and the occasional hearty bush around -- crowding the base of all these poor struggling plants with the heat retaining stone.  With the exception of a raised bed, initial landscaping of our back yard was just this kind of sterile landscaping -- more like zeroscaping, though it is represented as xeriscaping.  Okay, so in a very old school kind of way, it is xeriscaping, but contrary to the belief of many, xeriscaping can actually result in a lush, green landscape -- it does not have to be a rock garden.

So, for the past few years, we have been slowly converting our back yard into a more interesting, pleasant environment.  This year involved digging out A LOT of the rock so that the areas could be converted into something more lush.  I began quite awhile ago, and picked it up in ernest about 10 days ago.  But, working on my own and being very restricted in my activities, I was making very little headway.  Kind of like the tortoise -- slow and steady, but it was taking forever!  Until yesterday.

Just over a year ago, I had the good fortune to meet two amazing individuals.  I am sure this will not be the last time I speak of them, because they have become significant fixtures in my life.  Without them, I would still be heading out every morning to battle the rock -- digging, hauling, and gaining an ever increasing dislike for the pointy rocks/gravel that makes up so much of the landscaping.  But no!  Now the gravel digging for the year is complete and we are ready to loosen the sterile soil, enhance it with compost and mulch, and begin the fun part of gardening -- designing the new beds and putting in the new greenery.

Here is what things look like at the moment -- so that you can share the gradual development of this space along with me . . . It will be a joy to see how things gradually become full of life and lovely little creatures begin to make their homes in the newly provided environment.  Maybe I can even catch some of them on film!

Not even 1/4 of this was completed until yesterday when my lovely friends graciously spent the afternoon helping me to finish tackling this task.  Blessings to you both!