Three weekends ago... the weekend of the Big Fall, as I like to call it... when Keith fell off the scaffold... Chris and Hayleigh had begun preparation of the southern half of the new flowerbed started last summer. This bed had been allowed to grow up to weeds over the mild winter, because we put paper down and then didn't secure it enough, so that over the course of weeks it had come up and been ruined. So Christopher weed ate the bed down to the ground, and we put some wood on the thistles growing in part of it, and then, three weeks ago, Hayleigh and Christopher spread Max Mix and peat moss and straw over new landscape paper to make the base of the bed.
Here is the northern half of the southern bed, that we started planting last summer:
I have never planted kniphofia (Red Hot Pokers) before... this is a huge plant, and I love it. The achillea behind it has also grown huge. I must say that the layering of the beds really pays off. Yes, there is some grass I need to get out... there is a bed behind it that is not prepared yet, and I need to root all that grass out as it is invading, but, overall... this bed is beginning to look good. Tucked back behind that kniphofia is a white lilac bush, about ten inches tall. I'm going to carefully dig it up and transplant it somewhere where it has room to spread it's wings.
There is another kniphofia in the north bed, at the far end, where it has a lot of shade from the big maple... it is not even half the size of this huge one!
Here is the bed looking to the north (the south end of the south bed)... where you see dark dirt, I planted purple coneflowers, and then white coneflowers, having been given seed by a friend at work. I also have black eyed susan seeds to plant. Behind the butterfly bush, hydrangea and clethra is a row of sunflowers of all kinds and colors, now well-started up from seed. I love coneflowers, and hope these get started well.
And here is a new compost heap started. We had great luck with an old heap we had... the one year we had stellar pumpkins, they were volunteers from a compost heap much the same as this. You see our bins to the south of this heap, which is grass and cleanings from the llama yard. I didn't get a picture of Lil rolling in the llama poop. (There is also a base of chicken house cleanings under all this)
I have a lot more grass from the pasture to put on this heap, if I can get our little cart hooked up to the tractor tomorrow. I can't push the big cart up and down the pasture hill when it's full.
And... the main reason I'm not using the compost bins at the moment. I threw a two year old gourd in here a few weeks ago after Ranger played with it for weeks and finally chewed it up.
Look what happened!