Back Forty, critters

Back Forty Update

Pablocito chose this very moment to bite me in the back of the head. Will ya look at the fangs on that guy? No harm done, just part of the dominance games. I was nipping him on the back of the neck earlier.

But this is supposed to be a Back Forty Update, right?

I have learned over the years that when the Back Forty is a mess and I don’t take “before” photos, I am sad when it turns beautiful and the mess is gone (or cleverly disguised) and I post the “after” photos and there’s nothing to compare them to.

Today I planted Long Standing Bloomsdale spinach and Red Deer Tongue lettuce in the two shadiest areas along the fence. This is a new place for planting veggies because it used to be much shadier when my neighbor’s tree was on the other side of the fence there. The flowers in between are bloodroot, and they may be moved to the front yard since they like shade. I had one Zephyr squash and one okra there last year. I used to plant lettuce and spinach under the maple tree and let the lettuce reseed itself. That area has been reclaimed by ground ivy, English ivy, and soapwort. I don’t think that I will plant on that side of the Back Forty anymore.

This year my focus will be on keeping the critters from eating all my food and flowers. The rabbits will have to make do with the violets. This nifty little black netting hoop whatchamacallit is from Pinetree Seeds and I hope that it will last a few years. I’m going to start my beans and peas under it. The other beds will have wire cages and gauze fabric over them. Not attractive but my husband will just have to get over it.

I dug out the Lenten roses here and moved them to the front and the plan was to move these day lilies to another spot toward the back to give me this newly sunny area to plant veggies in. My body, however, had a different opinion so this may have to be a fall/winter veggie bed or wait another year.

The front shade garden is getting better. This is the second year. I transplanted more large Lenten roses in the middle between the Yoshina cherry trees and that’s why they look so sad. Eventually I’ll have this area covered with hostas and foxgloves and ferns and whatever else I can snag for free. I still have many in the back but I have to stop digging for a while because of tendinitis.

The plot at the UNCG Community Garden is small but I am excited about having a dye/papermaking garden there with Susanne. I was going to prepare the bed this weekend with the soil and compost they provide but the shoulder thing put a stop to that. Sandy is working a 12 hour shift today, and Susanne is out of town. Next weekend I will probably go to Mama’s. Maybe after work one day. I’d hoped to get a few seeds planted before the rain tomorrow.

Yes, we butchered the fig tree. It was way, way too big and most of the figs were feeding the birds. I wouldn’t have minded that, but it was shading too much of the garden area. I hope that it will come back, but if it doesn’t I won’t be upset.

There are a few pretty things happening in the back though.

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