Saturday, February 04, 2017


This post has been languishing in my drafts long enough!

A long-time dream-garden design came to fruition just before Thanksgiving, while having been started some weeks before, when Tom & I finally took salvage on an abandoned utility pole nearby... after which the builder in me had lusted for several years.

We went out with the chainsaw, but discovered it had rotted at the ground enough that Tom simply attached a rope to the original stabilizing cable attached near the top & pulled it down!

The theatre continued as we first cut it into pieces short enough to be rolled along our road the hundred-plus foot push to the north garden gate then dancing them into place with his good eye at the chainsaw to cut the subtle angles allowing the evolution as the curbs of the reconfigured path.
This geometric generosity replaces what had been a steep push from the Italian Cypress, in the middle-right of the image below, up to the gate which is at the top in the lower-left.
Over several recent years we have developed paths which allow us to rather easily move about material by wheelbarrows to nearly all the layers of our steeply sloping property. Firewood can come up from below the south slope [although we also have made several sets of rough steps as well, allowing choices to match one's energy & proclivities]. 

Compost, or gravel for paths, can be moved from it's delivery by truck on the road, can be wheeled down this path to the several levels of the north garden beds. We also have a "chute" which drops compost down a level below the road to be shoveled into wheelbarrows for the beds of the south garden. 

The "alley" between the house & the "Forge"... Stephen's writing cottage... transversely connects the upper lawns, both of which drop sloping to the level which connects them embracing the house in front of my studio, which I call the "Hold", nestling in the foundation. 

I posted in September, about this path, which Tom made, impressing me with its graceful simplicity & functionality.
It  inspired this new project. He regularly proves himself... I love being well attracted.
He inspired another project seemingly out of the blue at lunch on the deck one of our work days, to grow mushrooms...
Why not?!?
We  immediately made an order to Paul Stammit's Fungi Perfecti... committing us to choosing logs fresh enough to be virgin for our rough inoculation by drill & mallet after the kits arrived... This maple stump shows the process of plugging wood with bits of dowels impregnated with fungal spores & sealed-over with wax to prevent wild fungi from intruding.
We inoculated most of the nurse logs in the studio which will be moved to find the best seasonal light & moisture, hoping to have harvest beginning in 6-9 months. The instructions suggested that a month in dry warmth at the beginning is helpful. They got moved outdoors just in time to clean for the Open Studio weekends.
Obviously there is an adventuresome story being written for later!
This longer view from out in the "north lots" below the new path shows the permaculture bank we've been building for several years over an old slough in the property with organic material too rough for the regular compost bins... healing that crack by building soil & thus creating space for future planting close to the fire-pit there.