Friday, March 09, 2007

More views of the Extension Backyard Herb Garden...

In these shots you can see the pamphlet box that holds folded-page handouts that explain the compost area, and some of the remaining compost bins. The site was originally meant to showcase various methods for backyard gardeners to compost. The herb garden was just planned for a pretty backdrop for the compost demo area. Little did they know...
It's hard to get people around here interested in compost (what a shame!) and the individual on the paid staff who was gung-ho about teaching composting has moved on. But the herbs are still here, and some of us hardy old volunteers.
Most of the finicky, short lived perennial or borderline hardy plants have disappeared over the years. The list of remaining plants is about a third of the original list. Some amount of signage from disappeared plants is or are sitting on a shelf. And the plants that were hardy, agressive or 'happy to be here' have grown with very little encouragement into each other and will need to be divided as we go. Lots to do!

Hope we have a gardening-friendly year. I understand it's an El Nino cycle. I'm not a hothouse violet, but I appreciate enjoyable weather for my gardening time. After all, gardening is my avocation, not my vocation.

Still a blanket of snow covers the ground. I've always grown snowdrops and winter aconite, and in the past few years planted some Cyclamen coum (the zone 5 hardy cyclamen that blooms when the snowdrifts melt) and Hellebores (believe it or not, before I heard Barry Glick speaking at a trade show in Lansing.) I have flowers blooming outdoors when many Michiganders are whining about their lack of garden flowers. But this year the snow has not had a chance to melt off the beds where my little gems are waiting. Patience!

There IS a little chervil still green and alive up near the house in the gravel under the overhang on the south-east side. I saw a big jack rabbit sitting there when it was even too cold for the cats to run out and back indoors on below zero morning a few weeks back. The world is never without some kind of life waiting to be discovered.
Weather this weekend, after all the awful cold we've had in the past two months, is expected to be in the 40's... I believe we'll be thawing, hoo-ray!

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