Compare this wild place to the meager lettuce in my header...those are the same plants!

Compare this wild place to the meager lettuce in my header...those are the same plants!

Twelve days away is a long time, and there have been a few changes in the yard while I was gone. I spent much of yesterday just trying to unpack and manage the mound of sandy laundry we brought home, but I did get a little time to survey the yard. There’s a lot that needs tending in the coming weeks!

The garden has finally taken off, and we should have the first edible cherry tomato very soon. The lettuce is shooting up wildly, as well, so we’ve got to eat that all up before it looses it’s charm. I think I’m going to try starting some pumpkins in there this weekend for the fall. It’s also time to start thinking about fall greens, since I want my own spinach and kale for the autumn holidays.

Elsewhere in the yard the fruits are coming along nicely. There a few almost ripe raspberries, a handful of plump-but-green blueberries, and a dozen or so small peaches still hanging on despite the peach leaf curl. Hopefully we’ll get a taste of homegrown fruits soon.

There’s a wisteria in the side yard that Hubby identifies as his nemesis. It mounted a full on assault of the house in our absence…another week and it would have reached across the porch to the door to our bedroom:

The wisteria reaches it's sticky tendrils out to snatch us away in our sleep, or maybe just trip someone walking on the porch.

The wisteria reaches it's sticky tendrils out to snatch us away in our sleep, or maybe just trip someone walking on the porch.

We had a long talk about it earlier today, and I have finally agreed to let him rip this beautiful old plant out of the yard. Once upon a time this wisteria grew around a thick metal pipe and formed something of a tree, which offered the yard a graceful presence. But a three years ago the ancient pipe rusted through and the “tree” collapsed into an unmanageable bush that sends long tendrils out to choke the roses and grab at the house, blocking the side porch.

In it’s place we’re going to install a rain garden. There are two downspouts on that side of the house, and the land slopes gently back to the area currently dominated by the wisteria. I think we’ll remove a lot of the growth on that side, which would include the wisteria and a few leggy roses, regrade slightly to direct water down a rocky path to an infiltration pool at the end, and replant with some hardy grasses and maybe some highbush blueberries. Who am I kidding…definitely some blueberries, and possibly some wintergreen.

This coming weekend, though, we will be filling in the old pond by the patio and planting it as a new garden bed. The previous owners had installed a small pond with a paving stone wall and a water fountain made of slate cemented in place. It was a nice feature, if a bit buggy, but regrettably they used a poor quality liner. This year the pond no longer holds water due to many large tears around the sides. Hubby and I discussed dismantling the whole thing to replace the liner, but as I have mentioned before, I am lazy. This pond will become a planting bed with a smaller water feature to provide the bubbling ambiance of the previous pond with much less maintenance. This will also eliminate my concerns over having small children over (who could not resist reaching out over the deep water) or having one of the dogs drown (the older one broke through a thin layer of ice this winter and could not get herself out).

I saw some good ideas for a smaller water feature up on the Cape, so now I just need to go find the stuff to do it and figure out what I want to plant around it. The spot gets dappled sun, but not really enough for most food plants, which means I get to play with flowers here. I think I’ll focus on plants that attract butterflies and hummingbirds, since those are always nice to see in the yard.

And finally, the groundhog appears to have packed his stuff and left already. I filled in the hole last night and let the dogs trample over it, leaving their rather large paw prints there for the critter to find. He has not returned to dig out his burrow, which is a good sign.

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