Hi you all! Where is the time going to? It's hard to believe it will soon be March in the garden. Daffodils are finally coming up and many of the hellebores in my gardens are about to bloom. Woohoo! Can spring be far behind?
Mr. Fix-it have been working hard on our land as we are able to in between cold and rainy spells. Right now the driveway is a soggy mess so everything we do has to be hauled 700 feet by hand. It is not fun because the ground is very soggy and slippery due to its high (very high) clay content. The new land just does not drain well so I am having to learn to work with a new kind of garden. It is a learning curve indeed. Some of the things we were able to complete recently are installing our new garden name sign. Both Mr. Fix-it and I are very excited about this! Our old garden name was Tiger Gardens. We added the 'way' because we are doing things 'our way' in the new gardens--hence Tiger Way Gardens! This sign was ever so easy to make. I purchased metal letters from Hobby Lobby and painted them bronze, then glued them with E6000 glue (using clamps) to a piece of wood I found at the landfill (free). Add some cable and a few hooks screwed into the shagbark hickories and there you have an easy garden name sign.
On my way to the land deer are quite common but upon cresting a hill I was a bit surprised to see four deer perusing the neighborhood. They quietly exited the scene upon my arrival.
Not too far from the new garden sign we have a lot of trash along the driveway in the form of broken glass and what nots. I was busy picking up the broken glass pieces that were exposed due to all the rain when I ran into this huge spider. It was a bit of a shock when it moved needless to say. I believe it to be a trapdoor spider; which are common spiders around here. We have lots of them in this area of the driveway (or so it seems because I am always picking at the ground here). Trapdoor spiders can eat small lizards and other hapless critters that venture too close. It did not bother me tho. I placed the quarter nearby to kind of show you its size-at least two times the length of the quarter. A rather intimidating spider that we left alone.
I submitted three checklists to the Great Backyard Bird count this weekend. As is normal I often get an email asking for verification of a certain bird I may have identified (or misidentified--purple and house finches are hard for me to identify). In this case it was the white throated sparrrow versus the white crowned sparrow. We have both types here at Tiger Gardens but I was only able to capture the white throated sparrow. Can you see his white throat? The white crowned sparrow does not have this marking. Both of these sparrows are forest birds and are quite common here due to my hedgerows and the adjacent woods. They love sunflower seeds.
Lastly I finish with yet another project on the land. The ground has been frozen everywhere so moving the garden has come to a standstill for awhile. Instead I've been trying to get some hardscaping in place. This little cabinet was created to house our electric fence charger and the marine battery that will provide the electricity. Right now we do not have the electric fence turned on simply because the seven strands of wire seem to be working to keep out the deer, and aside from that, the orchard and berry plants are all dormant. We may add the charger for the fence this spring but for now it is not turned on. This cabinet was a purchase from a Habitat Restore ($20). Mr. Fix-it and I installed the pressure treated 4 x 4s (they came from Tiger Gardens) and set them in concrete. I had built a frame for the cabinet to rest on so we had a good template for where to place the 4 x 4s. Putting the plywood roof on top and shingling it was quite another story. I had no template for it and had to beg my neighbor to help me out with his chainsaw to make sure I could get the roof on. I then spent some time shingling the plywood roof and now the little cabinet is waterproof and sturdy enough to provide a good home for a charger and battery to be out of the elements and secured. Can you see the orchard fence right behind the cabinet? We have high hopes for this orchard and the electric fence is a big part of protecting it and the critters we plan to put inside of the fence for safekeeping--more on them later....
in the garden....