Monday, May 10, 2010

Garden Number 02 - First Planting

The soil throughout the Happy Valley neighborhood is clay, and located near a creek, the Community Gardens are not lacking in this heavy, slow-draining dirt. Without amendments, it's not uncommon to see an entire garden turned into a mucky, muddy bog after one of our Pacific Northwest rain showers. Thanks to the use of a truck, most of a beautiful sunny day was spent shoveling two loads (aka, two scoops - aka, two yards) of a garden-ready 5-way mix soil from the bulk materials section of Bakerview Nursery into the raised bed frames in my Garden Number 02. Last year, the beds in Garden Nbr. 01 were amended with this same soil and I was so pleased with the quality of that soil and success of that garden.
Thank you so very much for all that help. I never could have done it all in one day without you!
Because the base layer in the gardens is clay, I like to use straw in the walkways. Straw does a great job of keeping my feet out of the mud after a rain, and even though I have to add more straw every year or so, I like that it decomposes and eventually works itself into the clay. Picking up a bale of straw at the local Country Store on the way to my garden, in no time I had that straw spread throughout the walkways and was ready to begin planting.
At first, I thought it was a drum roll that I heard as I prepared to plant, but looking up, I saw it was actually the awesome performance of a pair of red tailed hawks soaring and diving overhead in their annual mating ritual.
Reserving the very center raised bed for flowers, my first "official" planting was giant sweet peas in the middle, then more flowers all around. As this bed will be the first one we see when entering the garden once the deer/rabbit-proof fishnet fencing is in place, how delightful it will be to watch it grow throughout the summer as it overflows with beautiful, sweet-smelling flowers.
Meanwhile, I really like how Garden Number 01 is growing and taking on a style of its very own.

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