Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Black Gold

The mulch I ordered from Earthbank arrived this afternoon. Five yards of black looks as if it will take a long time to move to the various garden beds!

Besides the new bed I am making,( right behind the picture of the pile) I will also add two or three inches of this mulch to the existing beds.

Earthbank compost is certified organic. Fish waste is used in the making of it, along with ground up wood waste from the Forestry Industry.

This compost is the result of a two-year long process. And it competes with synthetic fertilizers with aplomb, gaining Rodale's Seal of Approval for Organic Gardeners.

When I prepare the bed, all wood waste...branches, small trees and limbs...will be placed aside for the Town's bi-annual wood chipping programme. Then I will rough up the soil that's there, digging a little, breaking Earth's crust. I must be ever-mindful of Cork's roots.

Then my leaf harvest will be put to use. At one time, I owned land that had large-leaf Maple Trees, and I would chop those leaves up with the lawn mower. But the leaves I have now break down quickly...they are not as tough and leathery as Maple's. And they are much smaller.

After I place the cardboard pieces over the cleaned area, I spread the leaves over it. Then I mix those leaves with some soil and some compost. I usually try for ten inches or so of this soil mix over the cardboard.

Then I will place Daffodil, so that she looks as if she has always been there. Some of the plants Evelyn gave me will also be placed, their roots spread out and comfortable.

And then, I will cover the plants and bulbs with more compost, leaves and soil.

It will take a while to do all this, as there are Boulders that also have to be planted. But I am a Stone person, and the Rocks seem to know this...they fall into place easily, finding the perfect place to be.

Taking receipt of the Compost was a large step ahead, in my procrastination and fear of hurting myself with hard labour. I see the pile every time I park in the driveway. It sits there, patiently, calling my name. Telling me how beautiful this area will be in the Spring and giving me incentive to face the blustering Wind and cold that has suddenly appeared, showing signs of an early Winter.

And tempting me with it's black beauty, it's friable nature. Compost like this speaks to a Gardener's soul. When I work with it, spreading it, covering the beds with Nature's blanket, I become part of the earth. I become part of the process. I have time to just be, right here, right now.

With peace and serenity.


  1. I laugh when you call your wonderful garden a "yard". To me a yard is a place with flattened dirt or tarmac and washing lines :) You have some wonderful trees and could probably make your own flower essences.

    I see why you call it black gold. I can't wait to see your photos when the bulbs come up in Spring.

    What is the white flower ? I don't recognise it.

  2. Anonymous10:35 a.m.

    To an Alabamian used to red clay, that is the most beautiful dirt I have ever seen! Nobody could procrastinate with that pile beckoning. You'll have to delay some other project, won't you!

  3. That is wonderful looking compost marion, I'm sure you willhave an abundance of happy plants next year.

    I do love it when you spread new compost and everyting looks so dark and fertile, you immediately want to place plants in it. :) I do all my own composting as we have several rather large trees so lots of leaves and always a huge supply of grass and weeds especially nettles. (the stinging kind *groan*)

    Good luck with moving it all, it looks a pretty impresive pile. :)

  4. The white flower is a double-flowering clematis, Jackie. The flower is double in the Spring and single in the Summer...but it's a huge blossom, whether single or double.

    Yard, I guess, is a holdover from when I lived on acreage, lol.

    DB, you've got that right...It was hard to put it off today. Tomorrow's booked, so it looks as if the weekend will be taken by the Pile!

    Sandy, you don't know how lucky you are...I so miss my huge compost piles, all in differing stages of readiness. That was real satisfaction!