Ah, Jan­u­ary. I have cre­ated a new folder in Pho­to­shop Bridge enti­tled Gar­den 2011. I have one sin­gle photo in it, but it’s an impor­tant one—a shot of where we’ll be cre­at­ing a wood­land garden.

Out of neces­sity came oppor­tu­nity. We had the local tree guys out to take down a large tulip tree that was in immi­nent dan­ger of falling onto the chicken coop and across the dri­ve­way. It was a tricky under­tak­ing because of its loca­tion. The older of the father/son pair is in his 60s, but you wouldn’t know it by the way he scam­pered up that tree. Start­ing at the top he sawed off limbs and then he topped it. I was in the house when the top 10 feet of the tree came down. There was a huge crash, which I would have been wor­ried about except I heard the two men erupt into whoops of glee. Isn’t it great to take joy in your work?

Any­way, the rest of the tree came down, as did another in the way. I will also have to move a lot of the hostas I planted there in the past two years since they will now likely scorch in the sun. I’m not show­ing you pho­tos of it all because the whole process made a humon­gous mess that I will have to deal with when the ther­mome­ter climbs above freezing.

While the tree guys were here they made me a good deal offer to clear some of the woods. I hopped on the chance to get this sec­tion of the woods cleared of under­brush and trash trees. It is the area near the house that we look on when we eat din­ner out­side in the sum­mer. With­out all the tan­gle of under­brush and trash trees, we’ll get a bet­ter view into the woods. We’ll also put in a path and a bench to over­look a ravine that you can’t see very well in the photo.

What­ever else goes in the wood­land gar­den, I am deter­mined that it will be low main­te­nance. We already have a healthy crop of moss. I like moss. Some of the hostas will also find a new home there. Then there will be bulbs. And a ham­mock. And my bot­tle tree.

So here you have it, the first view of the new wood­land garden.

Keep Reading

If you were expect­ing a savory fall poul­try recipe from read­ing this post title, you’ll be dis­ap­pointed! You can’t eat these chick­ens because they’re pets. And you can’t eat this sage, because it’s orna­men­tal. (Okay, the flow­ers of the stun­ning salvia ele­gans—pineap­ple sageare edi­ble.)

As I was giv­ing the chick­ens fresh water this morn­ing they were kick­ing up such a fuss about the fact that they didn’t get their after­noon walk­a­bout yes­ter­day that I opened the gate so they could have extra time wan­der­ing the yard and gar­dens. Fall is one of their favorite times of year, I think, because there is such adven­ture search­ing for bugs under every fallen leaf. I am also less prone to shoo them away from areas of the gar­den that I don’t want them scratch­ing in since the gar­den is largely dev­as­tated by fall already. What harm is a lit­tle bit of chicken for­ag­ing going to do?

The chick­ens did seem to tire of their bug hunt­ing adven­tures early though because I caught them con­gre­gat­ing near one of the bird baths for a mid-day snooze. As you can see though, T. Boone Chick­ens is still guard­ing his girls.

He’ll have some help with the guard duty soon though. As it turns out, my instincts on the gen­der of Edith’s baby were cor­rect. Baby is a rooster and is now learn­ing to crow. He is now called Ricky since he is clearly not a Lucy.

Keep Reading