Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The hills are alive...

... with the sound of bleating...

Surely Maria Von Trapp wouldn't mind if I've made a little tweaking on the lyrics of her iconic song to something that suits my topic for today.

As I have mentioned before, my purpose for this blog is to chronicle the transformation of our sleepy farm into an integrated farm and tropical garden retreat. Part of this plan is to put a garden and landscape the area where it is either barren or overgrown with weeds and wild vegetation and blend it with the animals which also call this place their 'home'.

A few of the plants planted on top of a mound overlooking the sheep pen below.

One such area is the current grazing ground for our small herd of sheep. A sizable portion of the farm has been allotted for them so they can freely roam, play and seek their own sustenance. Watching them loiter in their own pen somehow elicits a sense of calm and relaxation. After all, these are peaceful and docile creatures.

Plants were positioned near the fence which will eventually hide the wire fence from clear view.

To embellish their stark surroundings, we have made the the initial step of landscaping their perimeter with tropical plants. As they grow thick and tall, this should help camouflage the wire fence and fence posts that surround the sheep. More plants and accent details like rocks, arbors, and water features will be added in stages as resource permits.

We all know that weeds and wild grasses are hard to get rid of. The best way to control their growth without using herbicides is to deprive them of sunlight. Hopefully when these garden plants grow bigger and fuller, the shade they produce will help stunt the growth of these unwanted plants below them.

A young Traveler's Palm and Crotons are competing with the wild grass for space.

Time and nature also need to lend a helping hand to allow these plants to mature and make them look like they have been growing there naturally. What I hope to achieve is to create a harmonious balance between plants and animals, at the same time create a strong contrast between a heavily vegetated area and a field that is in a constantly mowed down state.

The hills are indeed alive with the sound the sheep make and are getting livelier still with the addition of more beautiful plants.