I’m Back!!

It’s been a few years since I posted.  There is a very long story attached to that fact but here’s the Twitter version:

Hard freeze.  Hard freeze.  Drought w/ water restrictions strictly enforced.  Hard freeze.  Almost nothing left of my beautiful garden.

I’ve summoned my courage.  This weekend, I started restoring the Labyrinth Garden to its former glory.  This is going to take a while, and you are welcome to join me in the journey.

Labyrinth Garden.

This is looking along the back fence. The Labyrinth path lies through that white trellis. There is no room to pass the wild rose that has overgrown on one side, while the passion fruit vine on the other has withered.

Deck across to start

View across Labyrinth from outside of the outer ring toward the beginning of the Labyrinth on the far side. The Labyrinth has lost its visual shape.

From Gated Trellis

View of the Labyrinth from outside the outer circle looking toward the far side of the labyrinth. The gated trellis is a part of the outer edge of the Labyrinth.

Second ring

These are the outermost 2 rings of the Labyrinth. The path is overgrown so that it is difficult to tell what is path and what is garden bed.

 

I wanted to share a few updates since the last time I’ve actively blogged in case you are curious:

ANIMALS

My best four-footed friend Alex, who appears in so many past photos, died in 2012 at age 19.  His heart finally just gave out in old age.  He did not suffer.  My neighbor told me that after I had spoiled Alex so much for so many years, he might find Heaven a bit disappointing.  Hopefully not.  He is sorely missed and still much loved.

Elsie, my beagle, is now 9 and 1/2.  Since Alex passed, she and I have become very close.  She was always stand-offish before but has since tried valiantly to fulfill Alex’s “lap dog responsibilities”.  She’s very very sweet and healthy.

My friendly squirrels that I loved so much died in suspicious circumstances that I have never fully unraveled.   That family has lived peacefully on my property for 15 years.  All of them were struck by cars in the road on separate days, but within 2 weeks of each other. I am unaware of any reason they should have become suicidal, and so suspect foul play.  A friend suggested that perhaps someone in the neighborhood put out poison for mice or other pests and the squirrels ate some, thereby slowing their reflex rate and speed as they crossed the street.

The birds that were so plentiful when I spent a lot of time in the garden have all but stopped visiting.  Maybe they will return now that I’m out and about and there is activity there.

My wonderful hummingbird visits most of the year (except winter), and the butterflies continue to come as well.  I was a bit surprised at this since the volume of flowers has drastically decreased.  Maybe it is a sign that they have faith in me.

PLANTS

We went through some extreme weather for several years which coincided with work-related busy-ness on my part, and I didn’t manage to save most of the plants.  The trees are fine.  Some of the roses survived.  Several invasive plants took over like passion flower, pineapple sage, clover, and a wild rose.  It’s not a national disaster, but it’s so disorderly and unkempt.

FUTURE CHANGES

I’ve tentatively decided that I’m not going to continue to use Lasagna Gardening as the method of choice.  I have had difficulty starting seed, and taller plants don’t seem to have a strong enough base.   Also, I hesitate to put perennials in since the organic materials will cover them in winter and I worry about bark damage.

I am also considering gravel rock for the path.  I’ve always used wood mulch, but constantly replacing it year after year is expensive.

And with that, we’re off!!

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