A Long Weekend in the Garden

The long holiday weekend meant being able to devote two days to the Homeward Bound Memorial  Garden, working side-by-side with the indefatigable, Maria.

Earlier in the week Anthony (the EMT son of one of our volunteer gardeners) cleared the remaining circle bed and Willow garden.  He did an amazing job of loosening the packed clay soil and removing all traces of weeds. Inspired, planting and mulching the circle garden became the first priority to ensure that his hard work would not go to waste. Newly christened the Hummingbird Garden, it is now filled with Lantana, Asiatic Lily, Verbena, Bee Balm, Salvia, Coreopsis, Red Sage, and a Butterfly Bush, all of which seem to attract more bees than Hummingbirds so far! Everything received a dose of organic soil conditioner and a thick layer of shredded bark mulch to block out any chance that weeds will see the light of day.

Bitten by the same bug, Maria delivered a couple car loads of plants to her Bed Garden and Whimsy Garden – now taking shape as an Herb Garden.  Her sunflowers are about waist-high now and beginning to bud. Every time we turn around, they seem to have grown another six inches. Between plantings she managed to attack weeds under the Grape vines and around the beds, while I fed and deep-soaked the roses which take a lot of abuse in the hot sun and wind of this country garden.

Joanne, a cheery dog-walker volunteer, made her way into the garden with one of her dog wards.  We quickly surmised that she had more garden knowledge than she professes, and when she said that she didn’t mind weeding, we put her to work. Unexpectedly enlisted, she managed to clear half of Sue’s garden before she had to leave.  We thickly mulched it to ward off their return.  Hopefully, we didn’t scare Joanne off and she will return for more! We are always in search of dedicated dog and garden lovers!

A beautiful Golden Retriever topiary now graces Jody’s garden, and will soon be covered with a vigorous Creeping Fig Vine.  She continues to bring shrubs and perennials weekly and each find their place as the bed takes shape.

Plans were made for the delivery of stone to create a simple patio laid in the earth under the shade of the fruit trees, and a pathway in the newly cleared willow garden, setting the stage for an Asian-inspired bed.

Thanks to Dick, the table that we planned to use under the trees was rescued and reconstructed when it literally fell to pieces as I attempted to move it. Dick was also gracious enough to replace the shovel I broke in the clay soil. There will soon be an entire crew dedicated to repairing all that I touch.

Dick and his volunteer crew are kept constantly busy building, repairing and maintaining all in support of Homeward Bound and its mission to rescue displaced, abandoned and homeless Golden Retrievers and their Golden+ mix friends.  The hard work is gratifying as you are constantly surrounded by the rewards of your efforts; like the three-legged Golden, happily chasing a tennis ball this weekend. These dogs have such enormous hearts and spirit. They spur us on.

Updated pictures follow for all that track our progress turning a patch of hard clay country earth into a Memorial Garden for Homeward Bound.

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I am a nascent gardener, rescuer, and photographer, chronicling the journey of the dogs at Homeward Bound Golden Retriever Rescue and Sanctuary near Sacramento, CA - and the Memorial Garden we have devoted to them.

3 thoughts on “A Long Weekend in the Garden”

  1. All, if you subscribe to this blog, you’ll see that I spent too much time in the sun this weekend. I meant ‘Maria’ in the first two paragraphs, but wrote ‘Sue.’ Apologies to both! If you refresh the page or go directly to the blog, you’ll find it corrected. Thank you!

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