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Old 10-07-2017, 11:28 PM   #11
Leslie's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Olympia, WA
Default First plantings!

It's been a long hard road, but we finally moved in on July 29th. I've waited 'til the rains started (mid-September) to begin planting, and now, at least, here I go.

The first picture is before planting, taken in May before the rain stopped for the summer. The yard (which is mostly the septic drainfield, no trees allowed) was a mud-bowl in the spring, then became a dust bowl all summer. I had a constant film of dust in the house. Several northern flickers were regular dust bathers -- at least someone liked the dust. Watching the dust baths was a thrill -- they are the coolest birds.

So, dust. Too much dust. I didn't want lawn, and the soil was like iron interspersed with gravel and rocks. I can't afford to get topsoil, so I spread 10 yards of shredded bark mulch. I'll have the flower gardens where the mulch is. Currently there's only Rudbeckia Goldstrum (black-eyed Susan) and a few roses.

I've planted grass seeds (not natives) in the middle non-mulched area (Pro-Time fleur de blanch lawn seed, mix of grasses, clover, sweet alyssum, and daisy) because my husband wanted a little bit of lawn, and I wanted something short that didn't need frequent mowing. In the more open areas in the back, I'm planning to plant some taller bunch grasses.

On the right and left sides and back I've planted my native bushes and trees from the list in the start of this thread, mostly Douglas fir, western red cedar, serviceberry, Indian plum, bitter cherry, western crabapple, vine maple, Douglas maple, blue elderberry, red flowering current, Pacific madrona, kinnikinnick, and red osier dogwood. I planted the baby bushes and trees pretty close together, but at this point they're just 1-2' sticks in the ground. It seems like it'll be forever before they'll fill in. I'm torn between taking some out, or waiting to see what survives and grows and then eventually having to thin them.

I have a lot left to plant, but at least it's started. Once the rains started, the ground softened up, so I enjoyed planting them. I can't wait to see them grow!

I've also set up my bird feeders, and have regular Northern flickers, Stellers in the yard several times, and I'm hoping they'll come to the suet feeder, too. I already love my yard!
Attached Thumbnails
Wildlife gardening with a septic drainfield-backyard-20170515-01.jpg   Wildlife gardening with a septic drainfield-20171004_162045.jpg   Wildlife gardening with a septic drainfield-20171004_162039.jpg  
Forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair.
-- Kahlil Gibran
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