Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Imagination Playground

We finally went to see Alice in Wonderland this past weekend and what a playground for the imagination it was. It really got me thinking about my dreams for our little place unfortunately I'm having a hard time finding talking flowers. What I can find are bushes, trees, and vines that bear berries and fruit so I can have my own little garden of Eden. There are also many other plants I'm learning about that offer other multifunctions in a landscape. I want to use all of these to create meandering pathways that open onto random courtyards and conceal little niches and hideaways. Little rooms created with living walls to sit and read or just stare up at the sky above while enjoying all the fresh nutrition nature is providing. What I see in my mind is really quite fun, now I just have to acquire the motivation to actually put it on the ground. I still haven't posted for you my "walk about" where I photographed our place as it actually exist today. Hmmm, am I hiding that reality from you or me. I am taking workshops and reading books .... but need to do more to take it from a dream in my head to reality on the ground. The last workshop I took was on designing and constructing rain gardens. These are simply bio retention systems designed to retain stormwater while blending in with the yards landscaping and preferably using native plants. At this workshop I hit the jackpot by meeting Sarah Vroom from Bountiful Backyards. As quoted from an article at, they are "an “edible landscaping collective” based in Durham that designs gardens, provides ongoing training, and organizes workshops on everything from vermiculture (worm composting) to mushroom cultivation". Being true permaculturist they work within the area they live, which is still a little ways from me, but I hope to be able to use their consulting service to help springboard some designs, learn more about the plants, and gain inspiration to move me beyond my comfort zone which I seem to be well rooted in these days.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Contracted Time

I've been away for a bit seeing family and attending workshops which I'll hopefully write about soon. I'm continuing on my quest to absorb as much environmental knowledge as I can and motivate myself to get out there and live it. This week though I want to explore something else that's been on my mind, purge my thoughts as I often do here at KAP. A few days ago, quite suddenly and unexpected, I lost my beloved sweet boy C C. He went into intestinal distress and after trying for hours to save him we had to make that most dreaded decision to put him down. Last Sunday morning started off promising to be a beautiful day with the boys happily eating their breakfast, after which I turned them out to pasture. By mid afternoon the nightmare began and ended just as the sun was about to rise on Monday with my husband and I pulling out of the parking lot of the NC State animal hospital with an empty trailer and heavy hearts. This began my pondering of if I'd known would I have done anything different? It was a long miserable winter but would I have braved the elements and spent more time with my guys if I'd known he wouldn't be with me come spring? We all think from time to time how would we act if we knew how much time we had here and have been momentarily moved by the many songs on the subject such as Tim McGraw's "Live like you were dying". My question though is how would you act toward another if you knew you had a set contracted time to be together. If the day you met you filled out and signed a contract stating a start and end date for the relationship. Would we speak kinder, look one another in the eyes more, have more patience and let those pet peeves fall by the wayside. Would we snap less and bite our tongue from correcting them over trivial things they may say or do. Would we be more attentive and less distracted when we were with them. The list goes on and on and as I mull it all over the next question I have is are we even capable of maintaining that sort of intensity in all our relationships even if we knew it was not to last forever?
Unfortunately I had not done a post for C C yet on either blog so I've put one up for him now over at Sweet T Farm if you would like to see more pictures and learn a little about him.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Pimping Myself

Meadow Linn of Savor the Day posted a competition to name a drink. My husband and I had so much fun with this and I really want to share it with ya'll. I have it at my new blog Sweet T Farm and since I have more people visit here I just had to come and pimp myself. I hope it makes you laugh.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Gardening for Wildlife Habitats

“More than just plants grow out of helping a child tend a garden,” says Judy Sedbrook, a Denver-based master gardener with the Colorado State University Cooperative Extension. “Gardening gives children a sense of responsibility and accomplishment, and it enables them to learn about the environment.”

I found this quote on the National Wildlife Website. I was excited to see they have a section giving tips on gardening with children. I went to the site to get information on having my yard designated as an official Wildlife Habitat. I found not only the above mentioned information but that currently there is a drive in progress to create 150,000 Wildlife Habitats. I thought some of you might be interested and you may find your yard already meets the requirements.

As to my previous post, I've been working on the flip side to the dream - the reality check. I've walked the property, taken photo's of where it is now and look forward to one day looking back and seeing how far it's all come. At first I was seeing how far I've yet to go, but now I can see that a little progress toward the dream has been achieved. I'll get some pictures up soon to share as documentation and to lay out a path to lead to the next step.

The picture shown above is our group of ladies along with some children planting our first vegetable garden last year. I have to give all the credit to the ladies for that happening, I tend to say someday or next year too much. They have been wonderful motivators to just go for it and I thank them and many of you for that as well.