Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Being Backyardovich in January 2010


Earlier today I was running around mad trying to find a collection of plant tags that I found in the back porch last summer. They were obviously Wayne's, from when he planted the garden, and identified most of the junipers. I still can't find them, but in my mind's eye I can see them in a few places, so I'm sure they'll turn up - which will give me something else to post about when I do.

Instead I doodled our garden using notes and photos I've collected since the summer. I took a photo this afternoon of the January garden to use as a guide because some of my notes are sketchy, and I wish I had more sketches - I remember best by those. As I reflected upon one (which I'd rather not post) I slipped into a daydream; sitting in one of my neglected Adirondack chairs in the backyard. I had brought the chair nearer to the fence to the dog run so that Claire, on the other side, wouldn't feel so apart from me. This tactic was a complete failure; Claire sulked on the other side of the fence, taunted me with rock chewing, paced until I felt uncomfortable. Few drawings were ever completed, though I can still see them in my imagination.

In one of my little green Journals I found a list of the garden's plants. I remember compiling that list. It was before I found the plant tags. Still stumped on the names of the Lilies, I'm only guessing. I'd like to believe the Daylily closest to the house is Mini Pearl. The Daylilies were what I was most curious about. I had wanted to talk to Wayne directly to ask what his inspiration was; what was his plan? The only time he was over I wasn't home. Rohan said he was thrilled with how the garden has grown, saying, "It is exactly what I had envisioned." I can completely understand his sentiment. I had that vision at Castlegreen. I only really saw it thrive in maturity one season, woe.

I was able to admire Wayne's design even more during the summer as I waited for and watched the daylilies bloom. The first question I had for Rohan regarding the garden was which daylilies were each. He didn't know. I don't think he realized how many different ones there are, or anticipated my attention to their names. I told him about my daylily circle of yummy things: 'Raspberry Parfait', 'Melon Balls', 'Vanilla Fluff', 'Strawberry Swirl'.... We still don't know the daylilies names, but I did document their colours and blooming periods, and have a vast collection of photographs (of course). What I found most spectacular about Wayne's plan was the timing. The whole garden was colour-timed throughout the seasons. In early spring it was the purples and lavenders who stole the show, then some yellows and peaches in the daylilies, and in late summer when things are lush and thoughts of autumn begin to surface, the red daylilies change the hue of the whole garden accordingly. The thick greens and reds almost brought thoughts of Christmas, and brought us to the end of the season.


By the drawing above one would think Rohan and I have no business going through seed catalogs, like we were last Saturday. Lying in bed on a January morning with coffee and dogs, newspapers and seed catalogs. We discussed the state of the world, the state of the locals, the Thumbs Up Thumbs Down section, and agreed upon enough seeds and plants to fill our yard twice over. How we will accomplish this is what we have to look forward to, and what this journal looks forward to recording.


Taken on August 13th, 2009 - I also used this photo to assist my memory in doodling today's drawing.

There are things missing from the drawing, names, and I'm sure I missed a plant or two. The dogs are each included 1.5 times. (Maybe because each dog, in his or her own way, often feels like one and a half dogs i.e. in poop scooped and household fur.)
Especially included is our glorious boulevard tree, who is currently the only one on the block to be holding on to some foliage. Also in front are a number of mystery plants and shrubbery. I had wanted to tackle the space in August, and add the hostas and other shade plants I have saved from amy's garden. I didn't. There's always this coming spring.


I have the best love. Rohan's careful maintenance, and enthusiasm for his own additions can be thanked for the garden's success. Appreciation

This summer will be an interesting challenge. With all our expectations for incorporate all our food plants, and establish them, while exploring/returning to Australia for most of August. (Oh just imagine what amy's garden will travel-blog about Australia!)
Being the cooking enthusiasts that we are most of our wishlist is comprised of things we most often eat: garlic, herbs - namely basil (and lots of it), thyme and rosemary, sage, dill, garlic chives (already thriving under the tamarack). Capsicum of many kinds from hot to sweet, tomatoes, and squash - if we can grow these at home, in pots and clever tucked in places, we'll be able to satisfy many meals. The Rhubarb will feed us for months. The onions will likely never stop.

The lack of space for both a goat and a small flock of backyard chickens is easily demonstrated through the drawing. This doesn't stop me from saying often how lovely both would be.

And so this is a new backyardovich, the best backyardovich. It's just beautiful.