Sunday, December 1, 2013

Gardening is over for this year 
As you can see from the November header the garden definitely has that Winter look to it.  I've finished up the yard waste mulch caper with a total net of 971 bags of mulch for this year.  It covered my fenced (well almost fenced) area and the guerrilla garden area.  I did have a scare with that.  While covering up the new area with mulch a young lady (at my age they all look young) in a city car pulled up and asked if this was my property.  Oh, oh, I'm in trouble now, so I thought.  I explained to her that my property ended about 50 feet down the road and that I was just trying keep the weeds down on a derelict property.  She seemed not quite convinced so I directed her to drive down and take a look at Terra Nova Gardens to see what I'm trying to accomplish.  As she drove past me on the way out of the neighborhood, she gave me the thumbs up.  I guess I passed the test.
Neighbors both at the Urban Ranch where I live and Terra Nova Gardens have told me that the yard waste company have taken pictures of all the yard waste bags.  Apparently, the yard waste caper has caused a stir in at least a couple departments of the city. 
Well, then there was the EPA visit.  A couple weeks ago the door bell rang and when the door was opened a nice man with a big smile and a clip board was standing on the poor man's patio.  I thought, "Oh, boy, another survey."  Nope no survey today.  He showed me an address on the clip board and asked if I owned this property.  After I told him yes, he indicated he represented the EPA and wanted me to sign giving them permission to test the land for lead.  Several lead smelting refineries along the river over the last 100 years put lead particles into the air which then settled onto the land in Terra Nova Gardens' area.  I talked with neighbors in the area and they said that many yards have had about 12 inches of top soil scraped off and replaced with "good top soil".  Oh, well there goes all the mulch.  The test results haven't come back yet so I can still hope for a good test.  The good news is that they probably won't require me to take down any fencing.  How much gardening happening at Terra Nova Gardens next year is sort of hanging in the wind.
A few more warm days this next week will allow me to finish up putting away all the rain barrels and storing away the hoses.  I did get all the leaves cleaned up from the Urban Ranch front yard and covered the four raised garden beds in the back yard.  The back yard leaves will just be left to over winter and melt into the sprouting grass (crab grass that is) next spring.
 This will be my Winter project.  After 12 years of neglect and catching any thing that I just didn't want deal with at the moment, it looks to be even a hoarder's worst nightmare.  Bradley has been after me to make it into a play area for him.  It certainly would be nice to have my living room back. 
So as one thing is shutting down for the Summer season another is ramping up for the Winter season.
May this be the best Christmas shopping year ever.  I don't mean spending lots of money but just meaningful gifts that build memories.  Now that black Friday is over, sanity will come back to shopping.


  1. That's certainly bad news about the lead. I hope it all gets resolved for you.

    And your "winter" project is going to keep you busy--but should make a great space for the grandson. Have a wonderful winter, Dave

  2. EPA isn't exactly on my good list. Glad they are doing something useful.

    Merry Christmas, Dave!

  3. I think it's great that you did that. So many times I've driven by bags of leaves sitting by the road for pickup and been tempted just to take them for mulch. But I've never done it. I can't see why anyone would mind, but I just haven't brought myself to start doing it. Maybe now I will. I also love the guerrilla garden. May it inspire more of them!