Monday, August 29, 2011

Problem Areas To Rose Garden and an Orchard

       When I took photos of the farm before we moved here, I apparently took none of this area.  I suppose it looked so hopeless that I never expected to do anything with it.  Now that's the bull pen vegetable garden between an asparagus patch and the metal pole barn down the hill, and I have plans to eliminate the need to mow the foreground.    
       Mowing this small patch of ground involves tight turns, too-close contact with the asparagus and dealing with the slope to the loading chute.  I loath mowing this section.  So, I won't, not ever again!
This 25 x 33 foot area lies between the loading chute and rose garden.
       I believe it was 2004 when I started cleaning this area. The goal at that time was to create a rose garden within the foundation of what was once a horse barn.  That barn was, so the story goes, destroyed circa 1930 by a "tornado" while the owner took a nap in the house.  We suspect it was actually a micro burst rather than a tornado, but in either case, the barn collapsed, leaving only the stone foundation. For decades, the foundation and surrounding area were used pretty much as a dump site. I expected to cart away a lot more trash than I did.  Later, I learned that my mother- and sister-in-law had started to clean the foundation years ago--to make a rose garden--but had abandoned the task as more trouble than it was worth.
       Getting rid of the trash was only part of the task.  The floor of the horse barn was clay, great for horses, lousy for roses.  So I took out the clay and replaced it with top soil gleaned by the wheel barrel load from around the farm.

The rose garden in the old horse barn foundation. 

       The fence around the rose garden is salvaged from old fences elsewhere on the property.  The cement steps were a gift from my father-in-law to his wife many years ago and originally led to the front door to the house.  One of the climbing rose bushes on the far fence was also a gift from Dad to Mom.  I found it in the weeds near the barn in the background, struggling to survive.  This is the first year it's bloomed for me.  The other roses on that fence are from the farm across the road, rescued after that neighbor died a few years ago at the age of 97.  He'd moved there in 1951, the same year Riley's family came here. To the right, not visible in this photo, are some old fashioned white roses that came from the farm up north where my husband's father grew up.  A lot of history here.
       I pulled up coils of half-buried barbed wire in the area between the rose garden and loading chute, and I'm not sure I got it all.  As a result I'm not eager to till this plot, so the idea of planting a few trees has appeal.  I have a mail order ready to go for a couple of quince trees and two wild sour cherry trees.  The Oikos Tree Crops catalog claims that quince is one of the most widely used fruits in the world.  Really?  It's difficult to even find recipes for it here in the States.\
       The trees I'm ordering are little, bitty things so I can't say that the ground cover under them will probably be strawberries and cinque-foil; rather, I'll say that that will be the ground cover around them.  Riley has given his blessing to whatever I want to do around the loading chute as long as he can get to the areas where animals might actually be kept, eventually.  Right now, I'm leaning toward planting lots of strawberries and cinque-foil to see how these plants handle shade and traffic here.
       I really like my rose garden.  Riley says it needs a solar-powered bird bath as a centerpiece.  I hope he'll think of that when he wondered what I'd like for Christmas. 

No comments:

Post a Comment