In the garden: Next year's main garden (an aerial view)
Here we are, looking a bit drear, and not yet fully mulched with the leaves in garbage bags banking the house from last year:
Here's a sketch of my improved office area:
Improved office area
I love my office area, but there's one problem: If it rains, I have to rush to get under cover. And I mean rush, since I always wait until the last minute, so there I am, hurrying along the sidewalk as the drops begin to fall, holding the laptop and with the iPad under my arm... Less than ideal!
So my idea is very simple: Order eight bamboo poles, sink four in the ground vertically, then make a frame of the remaining four poles by tying them to the verticals with string or rope. Then throw a tarp over the whole contraption. Then, as with the water feature's stakes, grow twining annuals up the poles. I don't think this idea would work in a driving rain or a thunderstorm, but I don't want to be out in one of those anyhow. I think it would work for a light rain. My only real question is how far apart to plant the poles to take account of dripping, wind, and so on.
Bushes for birds
I remember Nippersdad saying that "Birds love a mess," so maybe I can create one for them! My thought was to purchase some bushes -- and not the thorny kind with the red berries, which I hate -- and then create a mess under the bushes with twigs and debris (which would also rot into the soil, helping it. But I'm not sure what kind of bushes to order form Fedco!
That tree I hate
Irrationally, I have always hated that kind of evergreen, even though a bird nested in it. Maybe I should get rid of it anyhow.
I have to think about them because I have an irrational hatred of bark mulch paths; paths should not be made from wood, is my strong feeling; it's like mixing food on your plate. And stone dust paths feel wonderful in the warm sun when I walk on them in bare feet. Anyhow, that's how they felt for the first two years, and then weeds figured out how to seed the stone dust, and this year they got out of control. But I don't see gardeners at Versailles or the Tuileries bending over those stone paths, weeding them, so there must be something clever -- and not petroleum- or poison-based -- they are doing that I can do. But what?
I've tried to plant stuff in that bed -- daikon, squash, peas -- but it never takes. That's because, I think, these beds aren't in my Zone 0; I don't normally walk past them on the way to the office. So better just to fill them up with no maintenance strawberries, I think.
Of course, all these presumes I don't get hit by a car, or lose the house, or my mind, but those are always the baseline assumptions....