Project 48: Reviving the spiral garden – offering to the hares

The closest thing to a pet we have is a hare that hangs out by my spiral garden outside my front window. Sometimes it looks very relaxed, sprawled out completely in the sun. Why not be at ease, with an offering of plants to sample right under your nose. I have lots of plants that seem to grow just fine in the front yard. But whatever I plant in the spiral gets chomped by the hares, especially in the early spring when there is not much to nibble one. They also like the crocuses.

2012 – the first spiral with hens and chicks, with a heart shaped stone at centre

I have tried hens and chicks. Hares seemed uninterested. They did fine in the summer, but were decimated in the spring. Same for golden creeping jenny and chartreuse lamium. There are little bits of these plants that have survived. It’s also a dry spot since it is beside a huge spruce tree.

2013 – Hare by the spruce and some thimbleberry, just beside the spiral, staying dry during the flood.
2014 – a rare week of rain. Good for the transplants.

My kids suggest that I plant carrots to see if rabbits really do like carrots. I transplanted some self sewn lettuce, 1 carrot seedling, blazing star seedlings and wild strawberries from the back yard and lots of heartsease, or Johnny-jump-up which is a self seeding annual which has made a home in my garden boxes and back yard gardens. I love the name of that viola tricolor – heartsease. It has many names. Another is Love-in-Idleness. It is the source of the love potion used in A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Heartsease or Johnny Jump up

It’s a tough love kind of garden in the front yard. I don’t water unless a plant is new. I do try to weed out the thistle and dandelions. I have some native plants like the thimbleberry (from Bow Point Nursery) and Canada anemone (from Wild About Flowers) that seem to be doing all right. My bets are on the thimbleberry. Others are very hardy and drought tolerant like the snow in summer and lily of the valley. Many of the plants are described as aggressive spreaders, but so far they seem to be well suited for the space. Calgary is a semi-desert in a chinook zone, so these plants would probably cause headaches in more friendly climates.

Mostly the hares seem to eat the grass and dandelions, some crocus and whatever is in the spiral garden. As long as they stay out of the backyard, I am fine. The little ones do get into the backyard in the spring and I chase the cuties out of my yard and try to eliminate the gaps under the gate where I think they get in from. They move fast and end of startling me as much as I scare them. My kids would vote for them to stay and eat the vegetables, especially the kohlrabi.

Allium and sweet woodruff.

Random bits…

  • Listened to the podcast Everything is Connected on npr TED radio hour. Love the story about re-wilding describing how re-introducing wolves changed the way the river flows in Yellowstone National park and the importance of planting flowers for the bees and how dependent on bees we are for our food production
  • Chives + green garlic + cream cheese = homemade Boursin
  • Have you heard this artist? I am more smitten the more I hear. Hear Passenger live at PinkPop 2013.
  • You can eat lamb’s quarters and chickweed.
  • You can now stream videos for free from the library on Hoopla. I started watching one on Kundalini energy and saw another called Today’s Special that looks interesting. I’m a sucker for a food film. Son, who is a classically trained western chef takes over the family business – an Indian restaurant. Just like the ebooks, no late fees!

“we’ve got holes in our hearts, yeah we’ve got holes in our lives well we’ve got holes, we’ve got holes but we carry on” – Passenger (Mike Rosenberg)

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