Restoration Diary – Week 2 … Into the Garden

On Day 11 – finally – A chance to look at the Garden.

Under a dark, grey sky, with everything absolutely soaked,
the first efforts in the garden have involved
pulling back the mass of Hedera that blankets
the ground almost entirely.

Beneath the tangled mass, the sandy soil is carefully dug
and turned around the roots systems of dying cedar hedging
that are trying to find nourishment
from soil … that has none.

There are no worms to be found
in any portions of the garden that a shovel has turned.

The property is completely enclosed
by a six-foot chain-link fence
with locking gates to front and rear:
complete security, yet one that lets
the garden be seen by passers-by.
It has been a genuine pleasure to speak to those
who stop for a bit of a chat.

After removing weeds and Ivy,
horse manure has been forked in, and the first
ferns and hostas were set in place today.

Ferns Polystichum munitum along with the beautiful,
red-stemmed Athyrium japonica
moved into their new home along with two
hosta ‘Blue Mammoth’, Hosta ‘Blue Blush’,
and a delicate Athyrium felix-femina ‘Tatting Fern’.

The first 16 feet has been cleared, forked over,
composted, and planted.

Evidently recognised for the ‘soft touch’ that I am,
I was joined today by two very large Grey Squirrels
that have taken to sitting on the covered porch,
ands staring until breakfast is set out for them,
the Chickadees, and a small assembly of black-headed Junkos.

The fish have been spending the week
in a child’s paddling pool, which has been regularly
filled to overflowing from the heavy rain
that characterizes winter here on the Pacific coast.

Today, they got a much-deserved home …


‘Bone-cold’ from 4 hours spent working
in the 5-degree temperature and persistent rain,
the trimming of the liner, general tidying up,
and addition of rocks to the pond surround
will have to wait for a day or two.

At least – like us, the fish now have
somewhere nice to live.

P Livingstone
21st November, ’17

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