With my new border as finished as it is going to be until spring, I turned a critical eye today to the back border. Like the others, I created it a couple of years ago when I had no idea what I wanted to do there, and like the others, it turned out to be way too narrow.
I had mentioned this problem to the household management on numerous occasions before, and had secured permission to expand it to a width of about ten feet, and so I thought it best to get to work sooner rather than later. (This is sound advice anytime you have permission to do something that you want to do. Waiting is never to your advantage.)
I got the idea that, since I won't be planting anything there for at least a year, why not make the entire border into a giant compost pile, 60 feet long by 10 feet wide, and keep adding stuff to it over the next year? By the time I'm ready to plant, that soil ought to be so rich that I can just throw plants on top of it.
I put down some newspaper first, then covered it with sod dug up from the other border, and finally covered the whole thing with the leaves that I appropriated from my neighbors' curbs. Andy supervised the process.
See, if I were smart and patient, this is what I would have done from the beginning: mark out my beds and borders, pile compost on top of them, and let them sit for a year while I sat on the deck drinking tea and leafing through gardening books deciding what I wanted to plant and where.
In other news, remember those weigela that I rooted? I planted them today. Check out these roots! (This photo says more about the plant's adaptability than it does my skill at propagating.)
I saw a Baltimore Oriole at the feeder today. I was so surprised that for several minutes I couldn't think of the bird's name--all I could think was, "orange bird, orange bird." Orioles are uncommon in Greensboro, although I did have one visit the feeder last winter. Here's a photo from last year; it's not very good, but it just seems wrong to write about an oriole without posting a picture. Maybe I'll get a better one if he comes back!