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Posts Tagged ‘mulch’

winter3

After a cold and windy weekend closed out a cold and snowy week, today we are being treated to a mild, sunny day. The snow has quickly melted and although it is still windy, the sun is blissfully warm.

winter4

It’s amazing how some plants can cope with the cold. In spite of having been buried in snow and subjected to freezing temperatures, these little epimedium plants appear unscathed. The parsley is still edible!

winter5

While this bright day is lovely, we know this balmy weather won’t last long. However, we’re ready for winter, as ready as we ever will be.

winter6

A few weeks ago, I had a load of bark mulch delivered and I spread about half of it around the garden. If this mild spell lasts for a few days, I might do a little more mulching, but otherwise, the remaining pile will be handy in the spring.

birds

goldfinches

A variety of birdfeeders are in place and are already attracting an appreciative flock of diners. You can see that these goldfinches are ready for winter too. They have lost their breeding-season brilliant yellow and are now dressed in a muted gold feathercoat, ready to be one of the flock.

winter7

Here’s our little kayak, hanging in the rafters over the wood pile.

winter8

Here’s even more wood! Garden ornaments have been returned to the little garden shed, where they’ll be protected from the worst of the weather.

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winter1

This hay storage building is new this fall. It was installed just a few weeks ago and our hay supply has been moved inside. It will offer drier, more convenient storage than the old, rather battered outbuilding.

winter2

Also new this autumn is this run-in shelter for Czarina and her two donkey pals. They’ll be able to eat their morning hay in comfort, protected from the wind and snow. But they’re not there this morning. They’re taking advantage of the last of the pleasant weather to graze for a few hours more.

donks

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dry2

Here, as across much of the continent, it has been hot, hot, hot and dry, dry, dry. In fact, from July 1st last year until June 30th this year, the weather has been both the warmest and the driest ever recorded during any previous July to June period in the Ottawa region. Our poor little river is no longer flowing. It has been reduced to a series of puddles interrupted by dry river bed.

dry3

Here, as elsewhere, there is talk of farmers losing crops. As climate change takes hold, we can expect plenty more of the same. Dave Phillips, Environment Canada senior climatologist, notes ‘Canada is not the Great White North that it used to be.’ If only Conservative denial of the problem could halt climate change, we’d be in good shape, but their strategy doesn’t seem to be working.

dry1

Still, my garden has been performing well, in spite of the drought. As you can seem in this overview of the main garden, it is mainly the grass pathways that are suffering. That’s not because the garden is well-watered. I don’t water anything except new plants still settling in. The rest are mostly on their own. When I do water, I use buckets or a watering can so that I can deliver water directly to the root area, rather than broadcasting water with a sprinkler.

dry5

Here’s my secret weapon. Mulch, and lots of it. I purchase it in bulk from a local tree service, shredded branches. The mulch both keeps down weeds and helps the soil retain moisture so it isn’t baked dry by the sun.

As I write this, there are thunderstorms in the forecast. Exciting! Last week, we had one single storm. It brought a 45 minute downpour of rain. What a blessing! I stood outside on the porch and enjoyed the rain as the garden sighed with relief.

dry4

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