As I have mentioned many times on my blog, I love volunteers in my garden. Some volunteers are planned as in self seeding annuals and biennials. Others are surprises like the cherry orchard and mulberry trees. I've developed a theory that my house will either be pulled down or supported by the vines and ivies which are increasingly winding there way up the side and back of my house, some by intent, others by giving them their own willful way. However, it never would have occurred to me in a million years that my house's foundation would be an attractive spot for ferns. The closest planned ferns are at least 8 feet away. Apparently the storms which ended our summer drought sent some spores flying and that was all she wrote. When I glanced at the foundation of my house in the front and saw the fern above I burst out laughing and thought, you've got to be kidding God. Then I grabbed my camera.
The daily thunder showers have given me and my garden a new found energy. In spite of the fact that it feels a bit like pea soup outside with the heat and humidity, seeing the buds forming again on plants that looked like goners a few weeks ago, and how green and lush everything is becoming, makes me want to sing. There is something invigorating about water from the sky. I've collected about 30 gallons of water in large outdoor trashcans and washtubs so even if it dries up I have a lot of places to dip my watering can for the odd splash here and there.
My city has recently started year round water restriction which I was very pleased about. For summer after summer we've had to have mandatory restrictions on irrigation and other water usage but they never made the leap to putting sensible restrictions in place permanently until this year. There was a recent newspaper article in my local paper about how the bulk of the citations for ignoring the water usage restrictions were handed out to people in the most expensive houses with automatic irrigation systems to keep their lawns green and their flowers pretty. Suits me. The fines they are paying could be well spent in the community. Probably the same people that want to keep taxes low are willing to pay fines to have green grass so why not use their fines to help people who are homeless, or to build much needed new schools, or to help people that can't afford rising energy costs. The fines probably won't be spent that sensibly but one can but hope.I recently found out that the National Wildlife Federation will certify your yard as a Wildlife Habitat site. Looking over what you have to do to qualify, I was pretty sure that my yard would qualify although I'm not sure how my non native plants fit into the guidelines. I have everything they require but I also have a lot of non native plants too. The part of the program I find appealing is silly. First, the reason the silly part is appealing is because whether they certify me or not I'm already providing a rich habitat for wildlife so I don't need certification to do that. I am glad they encourage others to do the same and don't find that part silly at all. However, it's kind of silly that I want to be able to order their sign saying that my yard is certified by the NWF as a backyard wildlife habitat site. The reason I think the sign would be fun is my subdivision has a yard of the month sign. Every month, they reward one of my neighbors who has green grass (top priority) and well tended flower beds (slightly lower priority).
The one thing they don't reward are habitat gardens. Let's face it, birds poop on cars and trees litter on their neighbors yard. I'll admit it, I'm overstating and being a tad silly but I've already said this train of thought is silly. I've often joked that I'll never get yard of the month and my daughter pointed out that the reason was because I don't have a yard, I have a garden. Nice thought but I don't think that's it. I think it's about an overall attitude towards the way I want to live which is evidenced by my wild and woolly surroundings. I do think it would be hysterical to have a NWF sign certifying me as a habitat gardener which would say, hey guys this is intentional.