Here’s the site 24 hours after the rain stopped.
The soil remains quite squelchy, as it is supposed to, but the kids and the mosquitoes must get over the idea of a pond (maybe later, elsewhere).
Stepping forward a few days, I ordered my soil amendments, which arrived last Friday.
This is four cubic yards of 60% composted horse manure and 40% decomposed granite. It’s gorgeous stuff, if you get turned on by dirt.
I added back a layer of excavated clay soil, then a layer of manure-granite mix, and ran over it lightly with the tiller, taking care not to let the tines plunge in too deeply (I don’t want to hurt the big tree roots).
I smoothed all this over with the back of a rake and planted it up. Because most of the plants are dormant, there’s not much to see at the moment. Here’s a plot sketch (don’t judge):
- Dixie wood fern, Dryopteris x australis
- Autumn fern, Dryopteris erythrosora
- Pulmonaria ‘Trevi Fountain’
- Ajuga reptans
I’ll mulch a bit later, but life won’t be happy here if I order mulch before I’ve got the pile of compost spread.
A word about Ajuga: This is a plant I have grown to love. When I first moved to this house, I hated it; it grew everywhere and I couldn’t get rid of it fast enough. But time and other responsibilities brought me a fresh perspective on this helpful groundcover. I don’t do anything to cultivate it, except throw a clump down where I think I might want it to grow (honestly, that’s it). It’s evergreen, and it chokes out most weeds. It looks after itself. It survives brutally hot, dry summers, looking a bit wilted (like everything else, including humans), but perks right up after a rain. It needs no mowing. It sprouts little sprigs of blue flowers in spring. And it looks better than mulch. So I’m adding plugs here and there to the rain garden as I get segments planted. I hope I’ll have lush greenness before very long.