Friday, August 21, 2009

Garden Sprawl Friday

There are two projects pending for the front and the back.

In the frontyard I am planning a native garden, along this side area that curves around and along the front:

It gets afternoon to late afternoon sun. Being a native garden, it will consist of lingonberry, wintergreen, huckleberry (both red huckleberry and a 'cultivated' huckleberry from the wilds of Tofino on Vancouver Island, called 'Thunderbird'), salal, beach strawberry, blueberry, and whatever else that takes my interest that is a native species.

The soil will be raised, which will make it somewhat easier to amend the soil. I have to scrape some of the dirt off and border it with layers of rock. The soil must be very acidic. Fortunately some of the trees along the property line are spruces. Basically any evergreen is good since it sheds its needles which are acidic. But the soil as it is, is clay alkaline.

Wood shavings, cedar bark mulch, saw dust, coffee grounds; all of these can go into building up a good acidic base. It's not so much a "soil" as a loam in the process of decay; there must be lots of that wonderful bacteria, like you find in a forest floor.

Take the red huckleberry. There is a reason why it is not cultivated. It will generally only grow from decaying stumps or from the bases of living trees. I am going to try my best to imitate these contexts.

One thing I will be using is this:

It is two pick-up truck loads of the material I salvaged from one of the sites I was working at for my landscaping job. There were at least several more truck loads I never got. It's the chippings from various trees and bushes, both living and dead and rotting material. The property sold before I could get back up there to get more.

I know someone though who has lots of forest land, and I'm going to ask him for anything he can give; chippings, rotting logs, whatever.

Being a B.C. native garden, it is good that it will get some shade for part of the day.

The other project is in the backyard. This shade-loving bush,

will be coming out from that corner, which is northern exposed and gets no light, except for the first dawn light. The reason is I plan to dig two dug-outs, for root cellars. This project is actually probably going to be more difficult than the other one. My concerns have to do mainly with: will there be flooding? I want to dig them pretty deep and have cement walls, but with the bare earth floor; then devise some kind of system where two levels in each root cellar are involved for storing. One level can be pulled up at a time.

I don't know.

I will be updating as the projects progress of course.

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