Today we were in the garden. Until about 1:30 in the afternoon, we worked slowly and steadily.

And it is starting to show!

One of the planters by the front door is now blooming nicely.

Not sure what types of rock flowers (succulents of some sort) these are, but I love the daisy-like blooms.
Not sure what types of rock flowers (succulents of some sort) these are, but I love the daisy-like blooms.

Tom and Grant built a lovely bench for me out of the reclaimed cement blocks that used to prop up our old house. There are more of these blocks — look for future installations!

The bench, partially completed, showing how they stacked the
The bench, partially completed, showing how they stacked the

I pruned back the St. John’s Wort a little bit, after Tom spent some time yesterday clearing the weeds from around it so I could see what needed shaping. I got a little too close in a couple places and it touched my face and skin, so I will be uncomfortable. At least I know what causes the rash, and so I am not as worried as the first time I reacted to it. Still, it looks a lot nicer than before and since we are actually living here again it will be easier to keep it shaped and manageable.

I started to pull some of the weeds from between the pavers in the front patio. It’s a constant, thankless job, but necessary. I cleared about 30 assorted aster-relatives, dock, and forget-me-nots. And noticed got distracted by the lovely pattern the table makes on the pavers when the sun shines…


Pattern of flower-shaped dots on the square pavers under the patio bistro table.
Pattern of flower-shaped dots on the square pavers under the patio bistro table.

Then I got ambitious and decided it was time to thin out the plants in the fish pond. This thought would have been appropriate ten years ago. Or at least five.

Here is what came out when GRANT got involved. No longer one or two plants, an entire ecosystem that was gradually silting up.

The entire pond was silted up within a few inches of the rim.  The plants' roots have interwoven until they are impossible to pry apart.
The entire pond was silted up within a few inches of the rim. The plants’ roots have interwoven until they are impossible to pry apart.

I LOVE IT! A perfect experiment in what happens when water does not circulate in and out of a space. It is exactly what happens when rivers are dammed and confined, the reason we have to dredge so many of our waterways. Slow-moving and still waters eventually bog down. Literally. BOG.

The emptied "pond" with just a couple inches of water remaining in the deep end.  Yes, that is a slug trying to climb out -- proof how little water remained were the many slugs living in the root system!
The emptied “pond” with just a couple inches of water remaining in the deep end. Yes, that is a slug trying to climb out — proof how little water remained were the many slugs living in the root system!

We’ll have a full pond again soon, with a few goldfish the way we used to have before the garter snakes went fishing. And we’ll put plants back in, too.

Grant, helping me separate a few of the plants so they can go back in the pond.
Grant, helping me separate a few of the plants so they can go back in the pond.

And just so you know, I checked the tadpoles a week ago, and they were already gone. So either they are happily skedaddled to maturity, or the snakes have enjoyed a good meal. Either way, I hope that messing with the pond won’t discourage future generations. I am thinking of putting in another pond, too — a larger one in the back that has a little more interest and visibility. And maybe a little solar fountain to keep the water moving…

Planning for the future. Now to make it happen!


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