I've spent the last four days watching the many birds who fly through our suburban backyard. Two years ago two of the neighbors behind us cut down their large trees and another neighbor followed suit this past summer. I was afraid that was the end of the birds in our yard.
How long has humankind spent trying to control and manipulate nature? I like to think I am learning to live more in tune with nature but I'm discovering how far I have to go.
I sit this morning watching a hummingbird in the bed just off the patio. Last year at this time, I was working madly to create a food forest. I started by spacing out fruit and nut trees in our suburban backyard and then creating lasagna layered beds around the trees to put in berries, herbs and flowers to attract beneficial and native species.
I've worked hard over the past couple of weeks to pull weeds, tie up sprawling plants and create some sense of order in the garden. There seems to be this fine line I'm walking. On the one hand, the goal is to create a food forest that is also welcoming to wildlife. On the other hand, I have a lot of years of garden perfection to overcome. I've seldom gotten the yard perfect but it's always been the goal. Now, my goals have changed and I'm challenged to let go of the perfection.
- When you are attempting to build a new garden bed area, decide where the paths will be and where the planting areas will be. Only walk on the paths and avoid walking on the planting areas. This protects the soil structure, allowing the worms and other microbes to build tunnels and connections easily destroyed by walking on them.
Think about feeding the soil. Some techniques such as lasagna gardening and sheet composting work on the idea of feeding the soil microbes. Rather than building a compost pile on the side of the garden, the items are composted in place.
I love music. It is another one of those things that can add beauty to my day. A few months ago, I signed up for Pandora and I've come to love it. They have what they call the Music Genome Project that categorizes music based on a number of factors so when you add a song or artist you like, they play similar music.