Early Spring in Dunsmuir
Hello, all! I'm a longtime gardener living in the SF Bay area. I currently rent, but my DH and I bought a shabby little house and yard in the mountain town of Dunsmuir, near Mt. Shasta, which we run away to at least once a month. We spend at least part of the time working on the place. We have a nice tenant in the main part of the cottage, and have created a studio apt. in the basement (with windows and it's own door to the street) where we stay. The plan is to relocate there in a couple of years, so I am dreaming a lot about the the garden I want to have there. (See past entries for more Dunsmuir dreams...) David and I spent last weekend in Dunsmuir, where the weather was as gorgeous as it was here. The town was full of blooming forsythia, daffodils and plums, although it's too early for lilacs and tulips. I saw a lovely bed of wood hyacinth: must plant some. Sarah gave me some miniature iris bulbs to plant last fall, and they are all up and blooming jauntily, even before the crocii! Do plant some, they'll grow anywhere. I worked hard to dig out the last of the vinca from around the grapevines, and with David's help, finished pruning and training them. They are ancient Thompson Seedless vines, that haven't been pruned for years: I'm sure they are very surprised! We talked a lot about the plan for the back yard. We have lots of creative projects in mind. It will take a minimum of 5 years to start looking really good, but we'll have fun getting there. The plan will effectively divide the yard into a shady half and a sunny half, bridged by a deck with an arbor over. There are a few rockpiles laying around back there. Some is good quality local river rock, but we used a lot of that already for a planting bed in front of the house. The rest is what the permaculturists are calling 'urbanite', concrete chunks. I'm planning to use some of that to create some planting mounds. Will have to get a load of topsoil, too. Next fall I'm going to plant a birch, a flowering dogwood, some redbud and holly, and a lot more bulbs. The birch will anchor my 'Maine' guild, which will have blueberries, wintergreen for ground cover, daffodils, lily-of-the-valley, etc. There is a huge incense cedar, which will get underplanted with ferns and hosta, and a bench for sitting, and on the other side, I hope to put one of those comfortable hammock swings. The area near the wall o'grapes will become the vegetable garden, with raised beds built of that plastic & sawdust composite lumber. Nontoxic, weather-resistant, bug-proof(there are wood ants up there that are almost as bad as termites),and employing waste materials: useful stuff. We may use it in the future deck, as well. Last summer that patch was hip-deep (on me, and I'm 5'9"!) with vinca, blackberry and sprouted fruit tree stumps. I've gotten out most of the vinca and blackberry, have another afternoon's toil to go, and David helped with the stumps. I'm going to seed it with clover for the next couple of years, until I'm ready to plant it. I'm delighted to find that the soil is diggable, not the adobe clay that I have here. Next trip up, in early April, I'm going to plant purple asparagus at the feet of those grapes. I'm also going to plant a lot of clematis, a climbing rose and a white wisteria. By the time we move there, I'll have lots of flowering vines, and perennial vegetables already established, etc.