My life at home is pretty sweet. I love my wife, who is a great cook and an incredible mother, and also funnier than %&**. I do spend some time trying to figure out to properly incentivize my daughter to pick up the hard plastic six-year-old-y things that hurt Daddy’s feet so, but since she consistently brings the awesome in every other aspect, we’ll just keep working on it. I love the house itself. At work, my major supplier is the British Petroleum Corporation, a delightful little organization of which some people may have heard. Doing business with them is about the closest corporeal experience to having God’s foot on your neck, but since I can do about as much about them as I could God’s foot, I try to spend as little mental energy upon them as possible, other than every moment I draw breath.
When not involved in Family Time or at work, I think about things like ‘When did red wine start to hate me,’ and ‘What do I want to BE when I grow up, despite the fact that I am middle-aged,’ and ‘how I can make it so Herbie Hancock’s Cantaloupe Island is always playing in the background whenever I am doing something I like or am good at.’ This free time is also when I pursue my hobbies of furniture making, painting, sculpture, carving, building stuff, and of course, gardening. And gardening has been consuming me.
When I first received my copy of the original Mitigation Plan in October of 2010, I was told that I was responsible for ‘replacing plants as necessary,’ and that ‘adding to or enhancing the Plan’ was acceptable. Let us consider me to have been doing those things since last February, and I have done a lot of replacing, adding, and enhancing, so far:
Yellow Cedar Chamaecyparis nootkatensis 15 Mountain Hemlock Tsuga mertensiana 5 Subalpine Fir Abies lasiocarpa 7 Shore/Lodgepole Pine Pinus contorta 3 Vine Maple Acer circinatum 5 Pacific Dogwood Cornus nutalli 5Douglas Fir Pseudotsuga menziesii 10 Sitka Mountain Ash Sorbus sitchensis 2Pacific Rhododendron Rhododendron macrophyllum 10 Tall Oregon Grape Mahonia aquifolium 6 Evergreen Huckleberry Vaccinium ovatum 18 Redtwig Dogwood Cornus stolonifera 16Cascade Oregon Grape Mahonia nervosa 2 Western Sword Fern Polystichum munitum 46 Oregon Box Paxistema myrsinites 30 Deer Fern Blechnum spicant 6Trapper’s Tea Ledum glandulosum 8 Bog Laurel Kalmia microphyllum 8 Maidenhair Fern Adiantum pedantum 28 Bog Rosemary Andromeda polifolia 5 Salal Gaultheria shallon 48 Kinnikinnik Arctostaphylos uva-ursi 31 Western Trillium Trillium ovatum 10 Orange Honeysuckle Vine Lonicera ciliosa 5 Wood Sorrel Oxalis oregano 1 Inside-out Flower Vancouveria hexandra 2 Woodland Strawberry Fragaria vesca 1 Foamflower Tiarella trifoliate 1 Western Columbine Aquilegia Formosa 6 Vanilla Leaf Achlys triphylla 5 Oregon Stonecrop Sedum oreganum 5
That’s an even 350 plants, and it does not count the ‘placeholding’ Irish Moss, or the moss
plugs I have transplanted from elsewhere on-site. I have also placed 48 one- and 1 1/2 man boulders, five yards of topsoil, three yards of compost, and five bales of peat–in addition to the countless boulders and cobble rock I have collected on site, plus the many nurse- and moss logs I have salvaged and re-situated. I’m not done, however.
I could sit and wait for my moss to grow together and call it good, but there is more land and more forest to add to and enhance. Bulbs and perennials, more evergreen huckleberry, you just can’t have enough orange honeysuckle vine.
As the Pacific Northwest Uniseason (La Nina! How I missed you those 3 1/2 weeks you were away!) settles in upon my forest glen, bringing with it ten months of wet darkness punctuated by periods of sodden half-light, I’m looking around for the next thing. There is a spot over there that needs some boulders, a multi-trunked alpine fir, maybe some mossy logs, too…and I can just hear the first piano chords of Cantaloupe Island playing in the background.