Micro.blog

jabel
jabel

Sanity Project is a page I’ve set up detailing our effort to turn our backyard into a healthy ecosystem. What started out as a way to document the project turned into an account of how we’ve survived the past two years.

toddgrotenhuis
toddgrotenhuis

@jabel awesome project!

In reply to
odd
odd

@jabel What a wonderful project and good results! I’ll be sure to follow this further to see how it goes. Best of luck!

johnjohnston
johnjohnston

@jabel what a lovely project. I particularly enjoyed the ideas behind the project and linked thoughts.

crossingthethreshold
crossingthethreshold

@jabel This is wonderfully inspiring. 🌱

tracydurnell
tracydurnell

@jabel your pond turned out great and the grotto plantings look lovely! I tore out my lawn and replaced it with a pollinator garden a while back - I was impatient and overplanted so now it's a bit wild and needs some attention 😅

jabel
jabel

@toddgrotenhuis @odd @johnjohnston @crossingthethreshold Thank you all for your kind words.

jabel
jabel

@tracydurnell Thank you. Your pollinator garden looks great! Thanks for sharing that link. You have some good advice there that I will keep in mind.

annahavron
annahavron

@jabel wow, what an inspiring post, and what a great project! I love this.

ndreas
ndreas

@jabel very cool. Very inspiring. I love the idea of local changes making good for the greater.

jabel
jabel

@annahavron Thank you! :)

jabel
jabel

@ndreas Thank you!

Denny
Denny

@jabel As the old saying goes, "Think globally, Act locally". What a fantastic project! And it's so true that so often we feel that there's nothing we can do to fix the problems we see around us but it is so true that we can have meaningful impacts close to home. And yes, the pond! Small bodies of water are so important and often bring life in immediately as you've discovered. Have you ever heard of Permaculture? A fantastic method/philosophy for small space ecosystems, energy capture, and design. For example, runoff water from concrete or roofs can be channeled into swales for water loving perrenials thus capturing that energy and turning a potentially destructive force into something positive.

A note about your future plans and costs, if you haven't already, you might consider using your current garden as a nursery. Many folks often tidy up their garden in the fall but if you leave everything as is your coneflowers, milkweed, and the rest will often multiply. Some seeds such as the coneflowers actually need to be left over-winter to freeze for pollination in the spring. Certain birds love eating the seed but whatever remains in the spring can be gathered off the brown stalks (coneflower seed heads are large and obvious) and then sprinkled into the soil of areas you want to plant. In a three or four years each original coneflower plant will turn into many more via seeding. The milkweed seeds are also easy to gather from their seedpods. Really any native wildflowers are easy this way. Lower your cost and in several years you'll likely have enough to share with neighbors!

Good luck and have fun!

jabel
jabel

@Denny Thank you for the comment! I have heard of permaculture but I don’t know a lot about it. Just the general idea of it. Do you have any books/videos/etc that you would particularly recommend? A couple of useful ideas that I’ve learned from my basic understanding of permaculture are to keep energy within the system and to solve problems by using other parts of the system. One thing we want to do over the coming months is to install a rainwater barrel.

We are planning to leave the perennials in the ground. The hairy woodmint in the grotto actually started in the original raised beds. That, purple poppy mallow, and orange butterfly weed really spread well in the soil here so we plan to transplant it into other areas. We have a lot to learn about growing from seed though. This winter will be our first attempt. And we figure that even if only a few seedlings survive, it will save us a chunk of money.

Denny
Denny

@jabel I don't ever actually grow anything from seed so much as gather whatever seed heads remain in the spring and then scatter them on the ground where I hope to see them grow! At most I give the ground a light raking so that the seeds have more exposure to some loose soil. I've found with wildflowers the seeds are pretty hardy and viable. The other method I most often use is just transplanting new plants as they emerge around already established groups.

As for recommendations on permaculture videos, nothing in particular, just YouTube searches - so, so many! Books, Toby Hemenway's Gaia's Garden is a good one to start with. A rainbarrel is a great start.

A couple easy to grow perrennial plants loved by pollinators that I'd suggest that, while not natives, are hardy and multiply readily: Garlic Chives, lemonbalm, mint of any kind, comfrey. These all spread readly so often need to be thinned out after a couple years. Comfrey is great for bumble bees and is a fantastic plant to chop mid-summer - then put the leaves around trees or in compost as a fertilizer. The plants will keep going. The others are all great for tea or cooking.

jabel
jabel

@Denny i like that idea about seed pods in spring. I’ll also look into those other plants. This is a lot of good information. Thank you!