No, really, there are no remains in the Memorial Garden…although you might suspect otherwise if you saw this.
While we were away, fall signaled its arrival.
Just hints so far, but the creatures know.
And with cooler days come a mountain of projects. First on the list: a complete demolition and re-do of the raised bed area of the garden.
Once, these housed a mountain of overgrown and deadly blackberry brambles. They spread their spikes throughout the garden, so they were banished to the perimeter a few years ago where they (and the bunnies) thrive safely out of the dogs’ paths.
Blueberries, California Poppies and a bed of Rosemary took their place, but the spot was too dry and hot for the blueberries, the boards were rotting, and the Bermuda grass was winning the war on all fronts. I have learned to let nature have her way…to a point which does not include Bermuda grass!. So, the raised beds have been razed and the blueberries donated – and in their place will be gentle mounds hosting native and drought-tolerant selections more appropriate to the site while echoing other sections of the garden.
The first order of business, however, are trenches.
When it rains, everything on the property flows from the dog yards and kennel to the garden. It helps to keep the dogs drier (our first priority) but creates lakes in the garden. We lost one tree this year to the swamp that collects in the center; we want to prevent that going forward. So, in the design are trenches and mounds – to act as catch basins for some of the deluge while keeping drought-tolerant plants high and dry.
Maria helped me with phase one: the blueberry and box frame removal while unearthing and capping the existing irrigation.
Nash came to the rescue to cut down and remove the heavy redwood boards.
And while the dogs did not quite grasp the principle of sled dogs to help in moving wheelbarrows of gravel,
Kermit the cat was happy to provide supervision and amusement.
A few plants will go in this fall to get established, but mostly, we’ll fill the bed with fresh compost and leaf mulch and let it “cook” over the winter to be ready for spring planting. I have learned the hard way: preparation and patience pays rewards in the end.
What’s on your fall garden list?