Growing it with Greywater

A friend came over recently and was astounded by my front garden.  “You must water like crazy!!”  That I do NOT, but there are a few elements that help this garden abound in the spring time.

Lush spring garden green

First I credit the Plants; Edible, Medicinal and Beautiful…This garden is mainly self-sown  (plants that like it here, drop their seed every season, spread and thrive) like Catnip, Clary Sage, Columbine, Lamb’s Quarters, and planted ones like Tarragon, Horse Radish, Yarrow, Mint, Jupiter’s Beard, Loveage, Lavender, Lemon Balm, Valerian, Echinacea, Rudbeckia, Day lily, Comfrey, Iris, Bleeding hearts, Hummingbird Sage, Bee Balm, Garlic Chives, Chervil, Ground Geranium and Tulips, Daffodils, Snapdragons, Clover, Poppies, & Rue, to name a few.  The annuals are put in other spots around the yard.

Shady now most of the day

The Sunlight….The garden is in full sun in the spring, until about May 1st, when the trees above it leaf out and create a very shady garden, cooling it in the summer months.

The Time….garden is old, about 10 years of adding compost & mulch makes a big difference in getting it established, enriching the soil and covering up any bare ground, and of course keeping that moisture in!!

And of course the Dishwater.  Yep– year round, every day, sometimes twice a day this garden gets oh,  maybe 4 gallons of dishwater dumped here and there.  I let the days dishes gather, neatly by the sink, organize from cleanest to dirtiest.  When the time comes, either in the quiet of evening or along with morning coffee, but strictly ONCE a day, (who wants to do dishes more than once a day?) I fill up my bins, squirt a little sodium free soap in and wash.  When complete, I dump the bins out the front door and begin the dish gather again.

The basins in the sink get filled once a day and dumped in the garden

The garden soaks it up like sponge and come spring just booms with delight.  I do water it with the hose too, but not very much.  In the hottest days of summer maybe once a week, and from November to April, not at all.  I won’t claim to be a radical water saver myself, but let’s face it, the stuff is sacred, the bearer and giver of all life on the planet, it is not to be wasted, and we each must do more to honor the water we have.

Every Drop a Miracle

A friend of mine, Amanda, is in fact totally radical water keeper, using and reusing only rainwater for herself and her family to drink, bathe, cook, wash, live in the high dry desert.  Totally an inspiration when it comes to, well everything, but we do what we can, as we can…….so little by little I am trying to reuse, conserve, respect and honor our sacred water by dumping it in the garden and watching it grow, and who knows, maybe someday it will turn into, more water!!

Catch every drop

My Handmade Garden Fence

Well, I made myself a garden fence today…why do I post about it?….  Well because it was fun, creative and free, which are all inspiring to me, I thought they might be to you too.  I know it would have been easier to drive down to Home Depot a buy some easy insert lattice action, but who knows where that wood comes from and who puts it together, and heck why buy when you can DIY.  As I have said before I am also time rich and cash poor…and happen to live 100 yards from river with a generous willow patch…so I really saw no other way than to make it myself.  That and I had a vision of what I wanted and I knew I couldn’t buy it.  I  started with my inspiration.An amazingly beautiful fence on a meticulous farm in Patagonia, Chile we visited a few years back.  It was so tidy, keeping in these perfectly white sheep who were keeping the green, green grass perfectedly trimmed…. we might as well have been in the England…or as we called it Douglandia…but I will save that story for another time.  I also got a little inspiration wasting too much time on Pinterest.  Anyway, with the babe trying to pull himself up by hanging onto the rose bushes, a fence was in order around here. So we went down to the river & gathered a ton of really tall straight willow branches, trimmed off the side & top little branches….until we had nice clean long weaving sticks.  I actually did buy a few stripped cedar latillas which I cut down to 3ft each to use as the posts.  I would have used willow but Joel reminded me cedar was a lot stronger and would resist rot in the wet garden a lot longer than willow would.  I sunk them into the garden about 2 ft apart and about 1 ft deep with a sledge-hammer and then I was ready to weave.This was taken right as I sunk the first cedar posts…….And this was taken when I was down the weave.  It does the trick of keeping Jangy out of the garden and he sure seems to like it pulling himself up on it.His pure delight was more than I could have hoped for.Which made my delight all the more.

If you are inspired to do the same, just a little note– I used way more willow than I imagined I would have, I think there is something like 50 ten footers for a 1.5foot high fence.  Lucky willow is an abundant renewable resource here. Use what you have, the is earth is generous with her offerings if you know how to see them.  Here is a cool link called the Willow Bank for further inspiration

Water Moon

Oh spring rain we are so very grateful!!  Filling our buckets, calling the whole family outside to see the gifts you bestow upon us.  Some of you may know I garden religiously and for the past few years I have been planting according to the Biodynamic Calendar.  This Calender guides plantings not only by the waxing and the waning of the moon, but which Zodiac sign the moon is in.  Basically you plant roots, in earth signs, leaves in water signs, flowers in air signs and fruits in fire signs.  It is hard to say if it is “working” but it gives me guidance & rhythm, it also calls me to pay attention more to how my day activities are guided by the night.  I have started noticing all kinds of subtle things, the heat of fire days, the winds of air days…..

Good Friday-Full Moon in Virgo

What has struck me most this month is the water moons.  Right now the moon is in Scorpio, a water sign…and water it did bring, a spring thunder shower, first of the year!!  Last week, when the moon was in Cancer, yes, water again, though in the form of a luscious snow!  Just another way to pay attention, just a deepening of relating to the myriad of mysterious forces that are working on and around us every day in the subtle magical ways.