Hidden Bluebell Garden

    In a far corner of the back yard is a small area along the fence, probably in that no man's land part of many lots in the city, the utility easement, under which runs sewer and water lines, and overhead, power and phone cables.  There used to be two stunted cedar trees, old friends, back there behind our compost pit and the place where we keep the rubbish and recycling bins; a couple of years ago one of them died, and the other, possibly grief stricken in its vegetable way, also began withering away.  At the same time, the super predator plant of the northwest, a blackberry bramble, climbed over the fence and started to smother the remaining cedar.

A few snips with a pair of clippers took care of the berry vines, and some swipes of the trimmer cleared away some other opportunistic plants that had sprung up where the other cedar used to be: morning glories, yarrow, thistle, bunch grasses, and a rather sticky unknown species of vine.  That, along with liberal watering over a couple of months, got the surviving cedar back to health, and I continued to keep that small area trimmed down to short grasses.

Recently, especially this spring, there has been a new, but very welcome wild plant invasion: Bluebells (Hyacinthoides non-scripta) have begun growing in that space, and it really lifts my heart to see them whenever I go back there to toss some trash or compost.  As you can see, since I've stopped trimming that space, a few other plants have also sprung up; and I'll let them, rather than mowing everything.  Bluebells are early season plants, and tend to go through their cycle by the time summer arrives here in western Oregon.  When it's time to trim it all down in a month or so, their roots will be well established, seeds will be in the ground, and next spring, there will be more Bluebells than ever, here in this tiny, hidden Bluebell garden.

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