Elizabeth Barrette (ysabetwordsmith) wrote,
Elizabeth Barrette

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Yardening at Fieldhaven

I've been doing many different things outside lately -- not a lot at once, but one or two little projects per day. 

* The barrel garden is weeded out, topped with fresh potting soil, planted with marigolds and lantana (with room for a few other things if I can afford more).  There are morning glory seeds in the barrel garden and at the base of the shepherd's crook.  I've cut down the tall grain stalks, but haven't finished weeding the surrounding area yet.

* The cistern garden (square herb garden) is mostly full, between regrowth and new plants.  Regular and garlic chives, orange mint, sweet woodruff, Thai basil, sweet basil, lemon basil, and two kinds of strawberries.

* The strip garden (rectangular herb garden alongside the patio) is partly full of recurring and new herbs.  Tansy, lemon balm, sorrel, sage, mother of thyme, German thyme, cilantro, curled parsley, sweet marjoram, more basil.

* Three of the container gardens are planted: one with all assorted pansies; one with white impatiens, dusty miller, and purple alyssum; one with dianthus, dusty miller, and purple alyssum.

* I planted a substantial box of native plants that we bought at Celebration.  The sea oats and milk vetch went into the wildflower garden (where I've also added mixed perennial wildflower seed and cleome seed).  Quite a lot of wildflowers are regrowing there: multiple types of coneflowers, violets, wild strawberries, and it looks like the aster and penstemon I added last year are returning.  Then out in the prairie garden I planted 2 pots of little bluestem, 2 pots of side-oats gramma, and 1 each of yellow coneflower, yellow-pollen coneflower (with pink petals; it's an echinacea), and lance-leaf coreopsis.  Still indoors because they're tiny are 3 pots of lead plant and 2 of marsh blazingstar. 

* One of today's projects was cleaning out the two big pots in the blackberry patch and seeding those with zinnias and bachelor's button.  I'm trying to put more flowers of assorted types in that part of the yard, to signal local pollinators that they have a job in that sector.  I also want to dig out some spaces in the prairie garden and plant more mixed flowers.

In bloom: tulips, jonquils, crabapples, pear, apples, pie cherries, gold currant, saskatoon, redbud, lilacs, grape hyacinth, several colors of wild violet, dandelions, strawberries.

So, that's a peek at Fieldhaven habitat.  There is so much more I'd like to do than I have the stamina or resources to do ... but what we have is good.  There are birds everywhere, courting.  Rabbits, squirrels.  Toads singing in the giant puddles in nearby fields.  I've seen butterflies and tiny native bees and gnats, though not honeybees or bumblebees yet.

Tomorrow there is a workshop on native vs. invasive plants at Douglas-Hart Nature Center.  I already know how to identify a lot of plants but more practice is always good -- and they're giving away free seeds.  If I'm incredibly lucky maybe they'll have some native grasses.  Big Bluestem would be ideal.  Then on Saturday there is the half-day festival for Earth Day with all kinds of different activities.  I'm hoping to catch the later part of that.

But the weather forecast? A week of thunderstorms. Not conducive to lawn management.
Tags: gardening, holiday, illinois, nature, personal

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