open letter to the skunk, high summer arrives, being a “soil scavenger”, a new backyard path

Open letter to the skunk:

Dear Skunk,

Thank you for visiting our garden last night again! I am happy to be sharing space with many creatures and you are welcome here. I smelled your lingering perfume on the cool air this morning, and saw that you’ve been busy as usual digging for worms and grubs. I don’t mind re-arranging the soil and smoothing over the little holes you make. But, I wonder, could you stop digging up the marigolds and petunias? They’re getting a little ragged from getting dug up every night and re-planted every morning. Have a nice day, and thanks again for visiting!



high summer is here!

Along the roadsides, a garden of blue chickory, daisies, black-eyed Susan, clover and Queen Anne’s Lace is always for me the signal that high summer has arrived. We’ve had glorious days of hot sun and blue skies. In my own garden, an increasing flow of produce from the vegetable garden, and the close of the peony season signal high summer. Here is the last bouquet of peonies, from a late-blooming bush of fresh-looking snow-white “Elsa Sass”. last peony bouquet

The day lilies are all budded but only the wild orange ones and the Stella D’Oro are blooming. The beebalm have made their splashy appearance, while larkspur and delphinium add cool shades. bee balm light purple



honeybee on larkspur


My dictionary says a scavenger “salvages discarded items”. For me garden scavenging is all about adding amendments to the soil to keep it healthy. Recently I have been dragging half-rotted logs and branches from the woods to place in the garden to to line paths, or to make garden art. small tripodAnd all summer long I keep big tubs, buckets and a pitchfork in my all-wheel-drive Subaru Impreza hatchback to bring home various organic materials. One favorite spot is the dumping ground for used stall shavings from a large horse barn. A few weeks ago another gardener tipped me to a source of free wood chips which I was delighted to make use of. I am putting these chips on some of my paths. They break down very slowly, are good for moisture retention, blocking weeds, and of course do eventually become soil.

A new backyard path!

I am very pleased with the new, wide, log/branch/rock-lined path in the back yard. Here is how it looked before I started clearing it:back yard jungle

Going into the back yard from the meditation garden I had earlier created a wide path:

back yard panorama June 6

But most of the back yard was a trackless mass of plants and I had to thread my way through whenever I wanted to get into it to weed or whatever. So I put some thought into where to put a path that would disturb the least number of plants, and this is the result: new backyard pathwayNice and wide, mulched with wood shavings, and with the plants politely standing aside.

2 thoughts on “open letter to the skunk, high summer arrives, being a “soil scavenger”, a new backyard path

  1. My goddess you do good work Anne. It’s just lovely. I feel calm just viewing the photos. And let me know if Mr. Skunk responds to your letter. Be well my Friend.

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