Compost bins were built & rebuilt. A small greenhouse evolving into a bit larger one provided space for starting seeds & transplanting seedlings to ready them to be set out into the garden as well as for propagation of plants. In the massive concrete back patio openings were cut out for planting. The concrete blocks were used elsewhere for stepping stones, to shore up a swale & as flooring for the duck house.
Having chosen alien plants for attractiveness rather than natural habitat, many did not thrive or died. Some nonnatives were removed, like the 24 Buddleia bushes, which come from England requiring Summer water and needing drastic pruning each Fall since the flowering occurs only on new growth. And then there was the fungus like organism that thrived on the leaves, making me sneeze and itch during the annual pruning process. Cutting them to the ground and mulching thickly obliterated that mistake. AND it has been fun discovering natives that offer natural nectar for the butterflies.
As native planting became the focus & flourished, a diversity of creatures: four legged, winged, mammals, insects, birds, beneficial, predatory, now also call this place “home”. Along the way MuRefuge became a certified wildlife backyard habitat
as well as a certified butterfly garden.
The land was restored mostly by human trial and error as well as a commitment on my part to be rooted here, knowing full well that this small piece of the planet is NOT perfect, rather imperfect.
Dwight is a sculptor & potter so a diversity of sculptures abound. “Give Peace a Hand” welcomes all who begin the drive off the paved onto the dead end gravel road that passes our house.
As the vegetable garden became more productive a vast array of veggie cookbooks appeared. Canning supplies multiply as the fruit trees & various berries become more productive. First one & now 2 deep shelves of the pantry are filled with the abundance for Winter enjoyment. From the medicinal herbs, healing preparations are made instead of buying synthetic mimics.
Climate change, gophers, wild turkeys, feral pea fowl & other 4 legged predators including feral cats (up to 25) present challenges. BE-ing rooted in place, practicing essential living offers opportunity to reflect, heal, evolve, be present to what is . . . now.
Anyone interested in a brief glimpse of MuRefuge is invited to participate in the tours various Sundays through the nonrainy season from 9:30 to noon. There will be plenty of time for questions during the brief introductory talk & during the actual walking tour. Plant lists (natives and edibles) will be provided as well as free “passalong plants". Photos of the evolution of the garden are available to see. Space for the tour and parking (ride sharing would be greatly appreciated) is limited so please contact me (firstname.lastname@example.org) for dates & directions.
The fee for participating is 1 bag of Fox Farm Organic Potting Soil.
Comments from April 25, 2010 participants:
Thanks so much for your generosity in sharing your land, plants and knowledge in the tour today. It was such a treat to visit. It is a beautiful spot you are caring for. All your hard work and care are really reflected in the land.
Wow, thanks so much Cathie!
BTW, you and your garden blew my mind! Thank you deeply.
I can't wait to for my friends and family to see MuRefuge; please
do keep us in the loop for future events and/or volunteer needs.