Thursday, April 29, 2010

Protecting the New Growth

One of the things that I have found therapeutic in the last few weeks has been work in the backyard. My backyard is and always will be a work in progress. My first post on this blog was about digging up and moving rocks in my backyard to make borders. I like to create space. I see myself more as a landscape novice than as a gardener. My sister and step-mother are the gardeners in the family. Check out my sister's blog if you are interested in flowers and plants and such.

Unfortunately, for the last few years, my oasis has been ruled by 2 big young dogs. Anything I did, they seemed to undo. If it was not enough to pick up after nature, I had to continually remove items brought onto the porch through the doggie door or deposited in the middle of a foot path. And I had to be very diligent to not leave anything of value on the porch, patio, or deck or I'd be sure to find it in many pieces spread over many square feet.

This spring, I felt the need to recapture my space. I finished a stone border around one planting bed that had been in a state of incompleteness for too long. I had planted a Crepe Myrtle there that a friend had given to me as gift of encouragement several years ago. I thought I had lost it for good when I came home one day to find the dogs had chewed it down to a small stump. But, to my delight and with the addition of an electric fence it has rebounded this spring. I was encouraged to try again.

Then, I restacked the woodpile that the dogs had totally dismantled in their hunting of small wildlife that lived beneath. I raked and raked. I cleaned the porch. I wacked the weeds and oak tree saplings.And then I got brave.

I had wanted to create a new planting area .. a rock garden of sorts. But, the space was not protected by the electric fence. It is, in fact, right in the middle of Boomer's and Rufus's domain. I moved rocks. I brought in new soil. And I plant several shade plants. The dogs watched the invasion. And my confidence in them waned. I knew it would just be a matter of time before they would have to do what dogs do when they smell something new in the ground...dig it up and or roll in it.

So, in order to give this new life a chance, I had to protect it until well established. This all seems like a physical metaphor of my life right now.

Here are a few more pictures of the backyard here in the first stages of a new season. There are a few more on the slide show on the sidebar. IF, things in my mind become reality in my yard, then I will share more pictures.

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