Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Latest Adventures

Leaf Hauler, Harvester, Teacher....

The north side of the building is "no man's land".  The soil is slick and sticky, shady in the winter and hot and sunny in the summer.  My landlord and I tried to plant a few things on this side last summer and dug straight into construction/renovation rubble. Yuck.

You may have noticed I am a bit of a scavenger (recycler, ya, that's it, recycler).  Leaf fall this year seems to be at an all time record, so I made a deal with my part-time temporary seasonal employer to take the leaves from the nursery grounds.  Several truck loads later I have started piling the leaves up so they can decompose here.  In the spring, I will turn this leaf compost over into the soil and hopefully have the start of a better planting area.

The burlap bags were also courtesy of my employer via a pottery shipment container. I have double layered the main walkway and topped the leaf piles.  I really don't want the leaves to blow away now.

Sunflowers planted by my neighbor on the east side of the loft building.  (There is some soil here.)  This photo was taken November 2nd.

It became a really good crop but the heavy tops tipped the plants over the pathway with the recent rains.

The seeds looked ready so I did some trimming. 

The heads have been sitting out in the sun now for a few days and are looking pretty good. If these were mine I would put a bow on them and hang them on the fence for the birds. I know the birds do not require a bow but it would dress up the presentation.

Now, you know where the sunflower seeds are... don't you?  Seems like a silly question to ask the gardening community but you would be surprised how many people really did not know these were the beginnings of the "seeds in the little plastic bag".  My neighbor (who was growing them to show her son) did not realize these could be eaten.  A few minutes on a cookie sheet in the oven to toast = yum!

A gardener's work is never done.


Anonymous said...

You really have a helpful and generous employer giving you that burlap. I was busy working and not looking at blogs when in came the email from Google+. I did not join yet and was surprised in a nice way. Do I not have to get an account? Well, anyway, I am glad to see all the work you are doing in such an environmentally, civic good way. You are taking an area that is somewhat blighted previously and transforming it into beautiful gardens and a place where wildlife can grab a snack and people can enjoy the garden visitors. I have been following the progress all along and really am happy to see all that you have done for the betterment of the building and residents within your community.

Bernie H said...

I have an area just like this one, so I'm going to be avidly watching how all your work progresses. Leaves I have in abundant supply, burlap bags however are not so readily available.

Loved your close-ups of the Sunflower flower-head. Sunflower seeds are one of my favourite snacks. I"ll have to make sure I plant some Sunflowers next year.

HolleyGarden said...

I need to grow sunflowers. My husband loves them. But, I always thought the birds would get them first! I'm surprised the birds hadn't eaten all these up already! Your soil is going to love you!

creekside rummager said...

Hey TG - you have been working hard on this area to make it useful. It will be interesting to see what happens come spring. That is great recycling. I have a huge bin (6x8' and 4 12' high now) of decomposing leaves. I'm figuring 3 yrs before it is useful. Happy Holidays, Lani p.s. I enjoy crossing paths on pinterest.

Carol said...

Somebody has been working very hard!!! Keep at it and you'll have a workable paradise some day!!!

Kate/High Altitude Gardening said...

Good for you! That 'leaf medicine' should be just the ticket to revitalize that soil. Are you a coffee drinker? Over winter, I save the grounds and add those in springtime when I turn the soil. Just a thought.

Loved your sunflower pics. Especially the close up ones. Now I'm all excited to plant sunnies though planting season is 6 months away. :(