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Bed building at the farmette


It's a gorgeous day - again - at the farmette. Sun is shining. It's already more than 20C and there's even a breeze to keep the damn mosquitoes at bay.

We've been busy building a new flower bed. The established ones need a lot of TLC and weeding...but it's much more fun to plant new stuff.

We had a big pile of yard waste - dead branches, old Christmas trees and various bits of detritus - that was getting out of control. The thing was getting taller than me! It was already fairly substantial when we moved here seven years ago (!) We've added about sixteen tonnes to it since then.

This spring, we decided to finally get rid of it. Hired Bill, our handyman, to do the heavy lifting, and Rob loaded up the John Deere cart with the smaller bits and hoiked them to the back of our pasture...where the new pile is piling up.

In one morning, the guys had taken it right back to the ground - which was this rich, loamy soil that looked ripe for planting new flora.

But - and I thought this was a big BUT - the location is under our stand of black walnut trees. I had heard that basically nothing grows under them because their roots give off a toxin called juglone. It turns out that, while tender plants like tomatoes and eggplant are susceptible, there are many, many more that are immune. Not sure why you'd want to plant sun-loving tomatoes under a tree canopy anyway, but...

You do have to be careful, though, and the friendly lady at Westside Nurseries and Greenhouses had a huge list of the tolerant types. We scooped a Japanese maple, some ferns, a few astilbes, some euonymous and a few low-growing junipers. I supplemented these by stealing from my vast collection of hostas that needed dividing anyway, and I got some cheap annuals yesterday ($1 a plant) that the local Foodland was trying to get rid of.

Our walnut stand has been there for almost as long as the house (150+ years), I suspect. The canopy is waaaayyyyy up, and the trunks are the size of woolly mammoth legs.

While it's pretty shady in the morning, it gets dappled sunlight in the afternoon, so I think all my new beauties will be happy. I hope.

Yesterday, I put the finishing touches on it and mulched all around everyone. Eventually, I'll get some flat stones for a border finish at the front.

So, here's the result. From dump to triumph. My Canada Day garden - complete with red and white impatiens. Happy holiday! Until next week.


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