The bleating roar of March is behind us.

Nora drove 25 miles to the north with E & I to J&J Garden Center, where we picked out 3 Miss Kim Lilac trees, and a Serviceberry Tree. We planted the Miss Kim lilacs down the fence row by the drive. They will soften up this hard view, and grow taller than the fence.
A large wild rose bush had been here, I moved it to the other side of the house creating a long line of three rose bushes.
I’ve been cultivating this big rose back from the brink, someday it will get some Miss Kim shade.
Nora stands in for scale to heavy section of tree. I brought in two rangy truckloads of this hardwood from a neighbor’s yard as a base layer for a Hugelkultur keyhole bed I’m putting in the back of the back yard. This log was too big to throw over the hugelkultur wall- it will find its place.
I dig out the old herb garden (E brought most of them in for the winter), drop it deep down and fill as a hugelkultur: logs, sticks, dirt with chicken manure, then grasses, then dirt with cow manure.
Ready for transplanting when spring warms up.
This is the new tree, a Serviceberry- blooms white, has bright red fall foliage, and produces berries to draw in Waxwings in winter.
One of many loads of twigs and branches for the hugelz.
I refitted this series of steps that I created last fall, putting in a base layer and chip stone.
A long while back I welded up a retaining wall from old military ammo boxes, and had a big pile of these wooden boxes that had served many purposes (bug nurseries, bird feeder barrier) over the years.
The wooden boxes now form the front wall of a giant hugelkultur keyhole garden, the new idea for what to do with this inferno and shade space behind the studio.
After digging down well below ground level, I filled the hugel with two truckloads of the tree Nora stood by earlier. Then filled in with dirt/chicken manure mix, then branches and more dirt/chicken poo mix, then hedge trimmings and cardboard pictured here.
I trimmed the lower branches of the crabapple tree, and in go the trimmings.
The triangle form in the foreground is the “keyhole” hoop of wire (covered with cardboard and a flat of steel) that descends to the bottom of the hugel. This is a composting bin that feeds the hugel.
Next I trimmed down our big Bermuda grasses, and made a straw layer.
This layer will be topped with “garden soil”, of a cow manure mix, and will be the layer for plantings.
The long narrow hole forming behind the barrow is providing dirt for the big hugel.
The hugelkultur is “full”. Full at this point will mean lots more dirt on top, as it will all settle.
The spring veg sale is coming up, and well see what tomatoes and squash and strawberries may happen here.
The hole providing dirt for the hugel is fit to the log too big to put in the hugel, and so forms its own hugel for a flowerbed.
The black form is our compost spin bin. I decide it needs a dedicated spot.
But first, I put in the long remaining length of our plum tree as a retaining wall for the hump- after splitting our blue fescue grasses from 12 humps into 30.
This is the new digs for the compost spin bin.
She tests out her new spot. Spot on.
There is a plan emerging back here. A few more weeks of garden delerium should bring it together. We had a months worth of March moisture in one overnight snowstorm, snapping tree limbs around town and shutting power down around the city (not here)- but it stalled out any weekend progress.
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