Sweet and witchy

Since I was off my feet at the end of summer and into October, I missed the usual season of transplanting, end-of-summer plant sales, and gardening in general. But, it has been warm and I’m more excited than ever to get started on setting the tone for our landscaping next year. After posting pictures of sweet fern a couple of weeks ago, a friend said she has a bunch growing in a field that they plan to burn to get some blueberries started. Yes, I was interested! I headed out (in a drizzling rain) on Friday and we dug several sweet fern (Comptonia) plants for me to try out in our yard. Thank you so much, JM!

Even though sweet fern is native and grows in all kind of difficult sites, it’s reportedly hard to propagate. I put most of the plants right in the ground, but I am also trying this propagation technique with one root sucker – we’ll see if it works. They are cold-stratifying in the fridge right now.

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Also saw a witch hazel in bloom this morning while walking the dogs. Nearby (in a roadside edge), a sucker is growing in what was recently bulldozed ditch material. Might have to go liberate it from its gravelly grave – it won’t do well given its location right on the new dirt road edge.

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We’ve also been organizing the garage (not photogenic) and will circle back to working with the rest of the logs that need staining next weekend. But it was nice to get my hands dirty outside for a change!

Houses of the holy

We are slowly but steadily finishing up the big projects this summer: the porch (June), the garage (July-September, including my time out of service (on crutches)), and the large front steps (September-?). We got a lot done, but it was pretty huge!

In between framing the garage, I started putting together a little side project – a well house, to cover our well head more elegantly than the few fiberglass stakes and pieces of red flagging we had ‘installed’. Our well is at the top of the driveway, and we felt the need to make it obvious after several delivery trucks *almost* backed over it. Eek! So, we had a lot of small ends of logs lying around, and I laid out a little ‘freebie’ house during breaks from framing. K helped fasten the unwieldy thing together, and we scrapped on some plywood leftovers and some leftover Grace ice & water shield on the roof. Then, my leg incident…but this week, I can walk again so we went up to the woods behind the house and got a slab of moss/plants to make a green roof. Voila! Totally rustic, 100% free, and much better looking than mismatched stakes. It felt good to FINISH a project after this weird summer.