After unpacking our new Ikea kitchen, we had a lot of cardboard left over. So I decided to sheet mulch the path along the contour of our north-facing valley slope. It's about 120 feet long! It was hard work! I was so glad to see the bottom of the truck bed finally!
But soon the cardboard was thickly layered, and I spread three to four inches of Golden Nugget mulch on top.
The path has lasted well for several years without mulch, but the outside edges were starting to sink - I hope the mulch will help to spread the foot traffic pressure. Also it was getting weedy. Also - I'll need to put more stones on the downslope here and there to help shore things up - and add plants where there are none right now, to stabilize things more. The lower slope is a weedy future project.
I had to do a bit of rework because - ahem - I accidentally cut through an electrical cable running to a little building nearby. Thankfully, I survived to tell this tale! Dear Mr Wood Rat patched things up, but had to disrupt the path. So I did a bit of remedial stone work:
And I made another little bench in the stone wall. You can see some of the bunch grasses I've been planted in this photo, too:
It's very comfy. Sometimes I sit there and see interesting birds back in the north garden.
Is this a varied thrush? Photo from a distance, so not a great shot… Seems to be a recent winter visitor.
Next I thought about plants. I've put a lot of bunch grasses on the slopes above - a friend came to help me one day and we had a good time. But I want to plant in and around the bank and the new walls, too. So I decided to rescue some ferns from the ditch of the little road I drive a lot. After seeing the road workers scalp the roadsides around here recently, with their mechanized scalping machines — I no longer have any compunction about rescuing a few plants from the roadside ditches (not higher up where they might escape the blades of the road maintenance crews).
Some sweet polypody. I took three small clumps from three different spots in the ditch.
Of course many ferns live happily in our area with no help from me, and they seem to enjoy the stones. Some gold-back ferns, some woodfern. Also some sword fern.
|These ferns just grew there all by themselves. Clever ferns!|
I also brought one clump of five-fingered fern home with me. There was a lot more of it on the roadside, but it was growing higher than my "ethical collection zone."
I'm sorry to say I'm not quite finished with the path, but there isn't much to go.
Now, if we can only get some rain - our constant lament of late. January is shaping up as a warm, dry month indeed. Pleasant for humans — but only in the short term!