Spring Countdown: 8 days

sticks

March: a wild corner of the yard; later to be covered with green. The grasses in the background will soon be cut down and added to the pile.

By Debra Knapke

one, two, buckle my shoe,

three, four shut the door

five, six, pickup sticks

seven, eight lay them straight

nine, ten, do it again!

This perfectly describes what I am doing in the yard right now.  Branches from two red oaks, sugar, silver and black maples, hackberries and a dawn redwood litter the front and back yard.  Even our stalwart ginkgo has lost branches this winter.  Wind and snow graced us this past winter, and there are many “hangers” in the trees and twigs on the ground.  It seems that there are more branches down this year than the “usual”.  Although, I’m beginning to wonder what “the usual” is anymore.

This bounty of branches goes into my wood compost pile or into a wild corner of our lot.  This is where Mother Nature can do what she wants.  Later in the season, Jerusalem artichoke will come up along with many plants some might call weeds: pokeberry (although, I only leave one or two; apologies to Mother Nature), thistles, dock, red clover, ironweed, goldenrod, cup plant and more.  I have not taken a picture of this area, because, well… it’s messy.

I also place the leaves of cut-down grasses here.  Need to do this soon.  These seemingly useless old leaves have been used by resident chickadees and wrens to build their nests.

Yesterday, as I wandered around the yard picking up sticks, I also catalogued the chores to come; can’t wait!

March:  the quiescent garden – plastic covered object is an Earth oven protected for the winter.

March: the quiescent garden – plastic covered object is an Earth oven protected for the winter.

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