24.7.2014 Native Elderberry in a lung-shaped patch!
Here we have the “Native #5” Elderberry. The second swale has a 3” elbow pipe working as an overflow pipe (rather than having a spillway). This pipe was emptying into a straight shot line to the upper pond. One of the great things about evolving with a site rather than simply implementing a design and leaving is the ability to fine tune these things.
Wanting to put that water to use one more time before going into the pond, I swung a small trench into a double bowl-shaped pits and mounds patch. This double bowl resembles lungs in shape, (unintentional) and has a few different levels. This creates a great situation for maximizing diversity in the little guild. Of course, I would have loved to have an entire palette of plants to choose from, but we make do with what we have. And I’m really pleased with this one.
The native elderberry sits in the center of the downslope mound. Surrounding it is a barrier of lemon balm. To the east we have echinacea planted in a large cluster. On the base of that side of the mound, we have yarrow shoring up the path’s edge. The driest part of the mound, which circles up towards where the water enters the bowl, are a mass of oregano. Yarrow is planted into the irrigation channel, along with some oregano and seeds of white clover.
On the other flank of the native elderberry are cuttings of bee balm. Inside the pit we sowed a mix of cover crops: red, crimson, and white clover; alfalfa, California and common poppy. Three cuttings of Bocking 14 Russian comfrey are situated among the low spots. The deepest and most wet sections of the bowl have yellow irises planted in them.
Wanting to test the new construction, we filled the bowl with water from the hose. Within a few minutes, water began seeping out and into the upper pond. Slow, spread, and sink in action! (The upper/small pond is empty, but visible in the first photo)
Now for the garden to just get back on track with rain…