I talk a lot about #growyourown, urban farming, and homesteading. But there’s another part of our @HomeCrazzyHome that is just as important. That is working in harmony with PachaMama to foster a habitat which fosters the life of her otehr creations as well.
After our first year here, I heard about the concept of re-wilding, allowing your yards to grow instead of those Pleasant Valley Sunday mowings.
Trust me, our posh upper-middle-class white only neighborhood is very much in keeping with that song. But Alan was happy for me to let the back garden go to wild. He did keep digging dandelions up the first year or two.
Even before we gave up on mowing, we had begun the process. That first spring @PanKwake discovered frog spawn in the grass. We learned through neighbors that a previous owner once had a frog pond. Then during one of those first mowings, I discovered the edge of it. Our first summer here digging it up became a family project. My son from America even helped shovel a tiny bit when he visited. By early fall, we had successfully unearthed it. Most of it remained intact. We need only line it. We bought water plants. That winter we discovered more spawn in it. We placed old logs from the basement and rocks all around it. The area around it became the first No-Mow zone.
But it is not just frogs. Bees, too, are welcome in our garden. That’s one of the reasons why Alan gave up digging out those dandelions. They are the first food of spring for bees and other insects who are just waking. Of course, due to pesticide use, bee populations world wide are declining. But not at our @HomeCrazzyHome. In fact, we delayed work on the old carriage house at the back of the garden when white-tailed bumblebees took up residence in an old bird box on its side. Once last summer I counted a dozen bees in less than five minutes time. Of course, bees are great for my fruits and vegetables too. A true symbiosis.
It has been a bit more challenging to get Alan on plan with the front garden. I would turn it into a forest-community garden if I had my druthers. But it is teeny-tiny baby steps on that one. I have managed to stretch the time between those mowings. The result is that moss, clover, and a few other wildflowers are beginning to take over there too. I have sown more wildflower seeds and even he mentioned that the neighbors might have to cope as allowing lawns to return to meadows was becoming more popular. Give it a couple more years, I’ll win him over.
But the biodiversity of flora and fauna in our back garden is astounding. The bees, frogs, and butterflies are joined by numerous varieties of birds. I like to imagine it as a bit of the Garden of Eden, Shangri-la, or Xanadu right in the middle of that Pleasant Valley of lies. I treasure it greatly and do my best to be a good custodian of it, not only for myself, but other creations as well.
Yesterday, we began our journey with a new young apprentice/helper. His first task was to take the new garden trimmer to the stone patio. I left the garden bit alone for the flora and fauna. I have my plant babies coming along to feed us and others. But my dream is to crave out a niche in the corner with a table and chair where I sit each morning with my cup of coffee and a tablet. A place where the beauty of creation overcomes the nastiness of hate and prejudice that have soiled her…and me.
@HomeCrazzyHome is my island, my oasis, my refuge from (Un)Pleasant Valley. May all of you find and steward yours.