Wednesday, April 15, 2015
When we first started out at the farm, the whole place was dominated by blackberries, bahia grass, cactus, and weedy laurel oak trees. The bahia isn't so bad - the cows can eat it, and it isn't thorny. But it seemed so monotonous. I missed my favorite little herbs and wildflowers. It stayed like this for a long time. I tried planting lyre-leaf sage and spiderwort, two plants that seem to thrive everywhere else, but they withered and died. The front of the garden was kind of a joke for Ethan and our former squatter, Miles.
It was when we had the chickens moving along the grazing lines, and finally the grazing animals, that seemed to make a break in the botanical monotony. They stirred things up. Scratch daisy came first, and then clouds of agalinis and daisy fleabane.
This spring I was charmed by the appearance of lush chickweed and cleavers in the garden, black medic and henbit among the rye. And although I have tried so unsuccessfully to grow plantain out there, now the second line is full of it, and it was practically taking over the garden. Lyre-leaf sage is spreading itself out the grazing lines, alongside a native skullcap. I feel so charmed and blessed. It's like they moved themselves out there to meet me, so I wouldn't miss them.