Continued pictures from May's slide show.
May 22, 2012. Parsley comes along a little later and is quite the popular choice for specialist insects. Although we only had about four parsley plants from the year prior, now we'll have hundreds of seeds to spread throughout the garden.
May 22, 2012. Having done some yard work for a neighbor, I took the cuttings home to use as bulk-sized mulch. We had a lot of evergreen/acid material so I used this to bunker down the berm extension- which has a southwest facing aspect. I knew that we would have a hot summer, but no idea it'd turn out to be the worst drought since the 30s. Anyway, my hope was to 1) cut down wind drying out the bed 2) act as a hide for insects and 3) a slow layer of mulch. The large bunch of branches in the foreground is acting as a wee little wind break for the rest of the garden
May 22, 2012. One of my favorite photographs- we have at least three species of birds in one shot! A finch is occupying the mustard plants devouring seeds, a cardinal is swooping in (center left, red blur), a gold finch is hidden among the branches of the birch, and what could be a sparrow is perched upon a bamboo pole.
May 22, 2012. A pepper transplanted below a few mustard plants. While it'll take a while to gain some footing, the partial shade from the overstory of mustards keeps it from being stressed from the sun quite as much.
May 22, 2012. The transition zone between the old green and nightshade guilds.
May 22, 2012. Chopped and dropped red clover and alfalfa in the old nightshade guild. They regrow quite fast so a few times a season isn't out of the question. And since it takes a while to make sure we aren't cutting down other plants at the same time, this allows for quite a bit of flowers to be available throughout the cutting season. In other words, by the time we reach the end of the garden, the earliest cuttings are flowering again.
May 22, 2012. Back to the transition zone at the upper, first swale. Self sown lettuces doing well in a mixed cultivation with echinacea getting ready to put on its flower display.
May 22, 2012. Some of our native perennials growing out to size before transplanting. They include three Baptisia (indigo) species, Thermopsis caroliniana, Robinia pseduoacacia, Amorpha fruticosa, two species of Lupines and some others...
May 29, 2012. Bee balm looking nice- leggy, but still healthy. We cannot wait for the other three species of Monarda to take off.
May 29, 2012. Same location as the other chop and drop one week later. Like I said, it doesn't take long for them to regrow!
May 29, 2012. Now that is wild fungus! No idea what it is. Growing on a pine stump we chopped down November 2010.
May 29, 2012. This is an experiment that didn't do too well... cool season crops sown under a pine tree during the summer. Thought I'd give it a go, and they didn't fare very well at all. Probably needed more water besides the lack of light.
May 30, 2012. The sheet mulched bed with transplanted natives, among other crops. We took to soaking our mulch in a bucket before putting it on. Seemed a lot easier than standing over it with a watering can waiting for the wood to become saturated. The squash produced prodigious amounts of food this summer.
May 30, 2012. Bumblebees love onions.
May 30, 2012. Cucumber seedlings, among other veges and herbs, emerging in a newly established bed.
May 30, 2012. A view of aforementioned bed. It had been growing copious amounts of chickweed over the winter, which I chopped and dropped regularly. The soil was soft in this minihugel mound and we put mini terraces and little pools for water to stay in when it rains (or when we water). Cucumbers, tomatoes, and sunflowers were the main crop with many other herbs making an appearance.
May 30, 2012. While we are happy to see bees and other pollinators, we cannot help but to feel that if neonicotinoid pesticides were not used by our neighbors that we would literally be humming with bees. Unfortunately, people do not know what they are using. At my place of occupation I regularly informed customers that it was being banned abroad, but the stuff still flew off the shelves. Systemic pesticides are "easy." An easy way to kill off the bees...