In my last blog I mentioned that there is a wasp nest in my garden compost. Yesterday the husband once again proved his handiness/heroism. Armed with only a pitchfork, a can of raid and a motorcycle helmet, he dug through the compost bin. He found tiered layers of wasp nest between the different compost layers and pulled them all out and tried to kill as many of the wasps as possible. We are now letting the compost pile air out a little bit, with the hope that the displaced wasps will find somewhere else to live.
While the husband tamed the wasps, I was on the other side of the garden safely digging up the stray raspberry canes that were making a break for the back meadow area. I replanted them in the spaces left in my raspberry patch by the canes that died (who I knows why) and then I tied them all up to the supports, spacing them out to hopefully discourage rust. There are a few late raspberries starting to ripen as well, and they are huge and flavourful from the rain.
Last week I was registered for a course on “Putting your garden to bed for the winter” at the UBC Farm. Sadly, it was cancelled due to lack of interest. I was hoping for some definitive answers about winter mulching, as opinions differ greatly. I pretty much like to let the leaves fall where they may and let the perennials rot away, and then I clear it all up when the new shoots and bulbs start to appear in the spring. (Lazy, I know). However, last year Sourpuss Neighbor down the street accused me of creating an “environment that encourages pests” because I swept the fallen leaves around my boxwoods for mulch and nutrients rather than pay someone with a 300 decibel leaf-blower to stand in my front yard and dry each wet leaf one by one and blow them into the street. Another walk-by garden advice-giver told me that by raking up the remains of those same leaves before May 15th I was killing all the bees that were over-wintering in the soil. No one except us finds joy in our garden it seems….