Ok, technically it’s winter – but only by a few days.
Besides, it’s still so warm out it feels like fall. It’s raining today. The boys have already been for a walk and they’re both sleeping soundly. Before I set out to do some last minute holiday shopping, let me update you on the yard.
As a said in the summer post – the mulch works like a charm at keeping down the mud.
You can see a lot of leaf litter in the picture above. After reading an article about the importance of leaf habitat to insects I decided not to mow the leaves to bits, but rather just nudge them out of the paths. I re-introduced the stone boarders to help keep things in place. I’m hoping that the leaves will break down nicely by summer. I am theorizing that a leaf-decaying microbial community will build itself up. I base this theory on observations of the woods – the leaf density is way higher than what I have to deal with, but by summer almost everything’s decayed.
The pond is doing well. The aerating stone was getting clogged with gunk, so I soaked it in vinegar for a day, and now it’s working like new.
I got a wild hair the other day and decided I wanted stone steps. I have stones, but lack hills. Luckily, I had spare dirt. Unluckily, it started raining before I could finish the job and hasn’t stopped since. So, this one source of mud is entirely my fault. When the hill is done, it will look much cuter than it does in the picture below.
Do you see the area between the raised bed and the stone steps? I’m going to try to plant there. I’m hoping the steps will discourage the dogs from running in that area. If that works, I’m going to try to come up with some other creative ideas to sneak in dog resistant planting beds.
That’s about all that’s new. I’m still tweaking the yard, trying to come up with (cheap) ways to make it more beautiful, functional, and fun for the dogs. I have a few ideas for the future – I’d love to put in a really cool two story dog house, but that’s just not in the budget. I plan on putting in some ornamental grasses next year, in the sunnier spots. I figure they’ll hold up well to the trampling. I’m thinking of relocating the dog fountain because the spot it was in is a leaf magnet. Oh, and I might try to tuck some ferns under the arbor vitae. We shall see.