Posts Tagged ‘soil amendments’

heart of the garden

This was a fantastically satisfying day! We had a smaller crew because of Memorial Day, but we were no less productive.We laid stone paths in our central circle and planted a few foundation plants–holly hocks, meadowsweet and sweet cicely–among the 3 center stones. We also put lady’s mantle and a few violets and violas in. We had my mom’s help, too–she was hot on the trail of the pernicious bindweed, and made sure our stone paths were good and sturdy. Everyone also got a good glimpse of how I became a plant geek!

We had thought a lot about the paths in the center and had originally been planning 4 paths aligned with the compass, but in the end, it seemed a more organic, sinuous design wanted to emerge. It ended up looking a little like a yin-yang, with an extra squiggle, appropriate for this garden.

We also got a fair number of plants in the ground, too: many of our nervines, such as wood betony, catnip, blue vervain, motherwort, anise hyssop, peppermint and more lemon balm and skullcap; the beginnings of our lung bed, including angelica, elecampane and marshmallow; and then good beds full of echinacea, black cohosh and valerian. We are so grateful for the many mature transplants we received from friends–what a difference it makes to have happy, established perennials. We have many of the same plants coming along in the green house as seedlings, but we like having older “role models” for them to look up to.

Some of  The Evil Corners finally yielded fully to becoming the balance of the east side of the circle and all was amended with compost and wood ash. Wood chips were spread on the paths around the center. It’s really starting to shape up! Our structure is solid. Below is a gallery of some of the plants we put in and closer images of some of the stones and paths. (more…)

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We had to skip meeting on the second Monday in May and so came together again after 2 weeks. What a difference! Unfortunately, it was mostly a difference in weed size. We had a lot of digging to do, especially to reclaim some of the rocky, clay-filled corners of the garden that hadn’t been worked before. We also had a lot of amending to do–especially in beds that had been home to greedy potatoes–and in others that are just too full of clay for most plants to absorb nutrients or respirate properly. We added tons of compost to improve nutrients and aeration and a bit of wood ash to raise the pH. Medicinal herbs are far less picky about soil conditions, especially pH, than veggies, but we decided we might as well adjust our slightly acidic soil to give them the best environment possible.

Here’s the whole crew hard at work on those rocky corners and other weedy pursuits.

reclaiming the corners


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