Spring is always a whirlwind. Here are some things I’ve been doing lately in my 2-year-old garden.

  • Feeling grateful and extremely lucky that the previous owner of this land planted trees decades ago, and now I get to live with them.
  • Planting young trees, looking forward to watching them grow, and thinking about how — if all goes well — another person will be enjoying them after I am gone.
  • Admiring some of my groundcovers that have already spread enough to make a noticeable impact, including creeping horehound (Marrubium rotundifolium), curlicue sage (Artemisia versicolor ‘Seafoam’), pussytoes (Antennaria varieties), catmint (Nepeta), and Angelina sedum.

I hadn’t grown this variety of pussytoes (Antennaria microphylla) before and was pleasantly surprised that it blooms pink rather than white.

  • Delighting in the surprise of new bulbs planted last fall.
  • Noticing what resources my land produces that I can use. For instance, fallen pine needles make excellent mulch, holding warmth and moisture around new young plants that are borderline hardy here, like winter savory (Satureja montana).
  • Adding more of the plants — from penstemons to pinion pines — that seemed to settle in quickly and grow well over the last year.

Heuchera cylindrica, the native alumroot, has so far proven highly adapted to my garden, so I am spreading it around. Big solitary bumble bees frequently visit the pale yellow flowers.

  • Marveling at the worms I find each time I raise a shovel full of leaf-smothered lawn.

A serious number of worms, and rich crumbly soil, are giving my new plants a good start in life.

  • Welcoming a frog (same one? new one? not sure) back to the pond after a year with no frog.
  • Falling more in love with this place.

Now in its second year, my courtyard garden is filling in and offering more diversity and interest.


Hard to believe that it looked like this in March last year!