Troutbirder II

Troutbirder II
Click on Mark Twain to jump to Troutbirders book review blog

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The Bank

Today, in a slightly odd juxtaposition, I recieved my Prairie Moon wildflower catalogue and the worst blizzard to hit Minnesota in at least five years arrived. Thus, instead of looking outside my living room window at a total whiteout, I chose to think spring and the next steps in my woodland wildflower restorations. This "project" has evolved slowly. First, there was a new house in the woods, next to our home of thirty plus years. Then walls and pathways were built around and thru the prickly ash and gooseberries in the south woodlot. It took three years for it to look like this.
The next step was to figure out what to do with the east facing bank, next to the road. It was the only semi-sunny spot on the property. Morning sun till noon, then shade and more shade. I consulted the wildflower specialists at Prairie Moon Nursery. They had just the right native wild flower mix for a semi-shady area. . I hacked everything back in the fall and burned the rest. Then the seeds were mixed with sand and scattered and tamped down by foot and hand. Would they stay put or would the melting snow in the spring wash everything down into the ditch? Only time would tell.
I know that one mans weed patch might be another mans treasure but in 2006 I thought this bank lacked quite a bit in the way of color. Neighbors had commented on how much they liked my flower gardens, so I thought they deserved a little better to look at while driving to work.
The spring of 2007 saw the bulbs emerge, planted the fall before, after the burning of the bank.
By midsummer the weeds were as tall and robust and ever. The precious wildflower seedlings? I didn’t have a clue if I had any at all. By midsummer the next step was to weed wack everything back to about four to six inches. This gave the seedlings (if there were any) a fighting chance for survival.

By midsummer 2008 things were looking a little better
The summer of 2008 saw the purple coneflowers appear along with dozens of other varieties.




In 2009 the next step was to begin the restoration of the even larger north wooded area. But that's a story for another post.

15 comments:

  1. What a great way to spend a blustery day-dreaming about the garden. I placed my seed potato and onion orders this morning. Never to early to beat the rush.
    Your yard is certainly gorgeous, and a wonderful work in progress. I say in progress, because as gardeners, are we ever truly "done"!

    ReplyDelete
  2. You have certainly put a lot of work into your garden. It is beautiful. At least the catalog arrived in time to provide a distraction from the snow and cold. Before you know it Spring will arrive again and then you will be busy.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I love the way you handled the blizzard. Take yourself back to the warming days of spring. I planted hundreds of sunflower seeds six years ago. They went wild and now I have sunflowers all over. Weeds just can't thrive in a thick stand of sunflowers. Not very diverse, but my weed problem is all but non-existent. Oh, finches love my wild sunflower seeds.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Your property will be a showplace in no time at all because you "believe in tomorrow." I could almost taste the bergamot scent. Those days of catalogue gazing while blizzard is raging are fading fast in the old memory. I'll just come here for a fix now and then.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Oh, what a blessing to the eyes on this 28 degree morning! See? Look at all we have to look forward to! Your neighbors are all very fortunate. :c)

    ReplyDelete
  6. I really enjoyed your post today! With all this snow it is hard to remember what spring looks like. But I do enjoy the seasons changing.

    ReplyDelete
  7. It looks like you have a lovely mixture of wildflowers.

    We got a nasty, heavy snowfall that has my trees and shrubs bent down to the ground. Hope there won't be much permanent damage, but I'm afraid there will be.

    I'm like you, in complete denial. Except for going out to work and feeding the birds, I'm pretending the white stuff and the below zero temps aren't there.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I would be thinking of summer too TB. What an awful day to be outside.

    I love the garden and it is always so nice to see our efforts in it paying off.

    Thank you for your kind words TB.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Kia ora TB,
    All that colour and lovliness as your world outside is white - a lovliness of its own to be sure, but what a great way to enjoy the storm. Hope you have a cup of tea and a warm fire. Happy holidays.
    Cheers,
    Robb

    ReplyDelete
  10. TB,
    I thought of you mid week as I sat in the early morn and saw the storm that was settling upon your state..but I think you did the best thing one could do to keep those Spring spirits alive..dream of what is to be!! Very nice photos of all your hard work..that has grown into a very colorful and lovely scene! I hope all you saw was a nice white and had no problems with power or getting around! Can't believe the storms that have hit various places already!! What does Mother Nature have in store for us with this winter after such a wet spring and summer?

    ReplyDelete
  11. I love your garden and indeed know how much hard work, even if pleasurable, has gone into it. But as an aussie girl living where the temps rarely fall below 10c I can't help but wonder how it survives in the extreme cold weather?

    ReplyDelete
  12. We are already missing the green pastures as well! Going to be a long winter - bleh!

    Glad to see all is well

    ReplyDelete
  13. I like your "summer dreaming." Time to wax those cross country skis, though!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Impressive Garden.

    When I'm not out boating during the summer or out on the old roads, I enjoy working in my yard as well and am quite proud of the results of 17 years of effort.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Hi Troutbirder..Your bank is looking mighty fine. I have an area that I work on from time to time..once it took off we burned..but mainly we mow it in the late fall or early spring. Patience..you need that for wildflower gardening and blizzards:)

    ReplyDelete