First a video re “Salamander Castle’s Ant Colony”, then some pics of Crossroads Compost (below the video):
Garden Tour (Salamander Castle’s Ant Colony) (video):
Crossroads Compost, a brief history (pics):
January, 2008. Crossroads Compost was yet to be born, but the straw bale at the back of the yard, next to the fence, was the seed waiting to be planted. That bale was allowed to age there, providing habitat for soil critters and enriching the soil as it broke down.
May 2008. By now, we are storing straw next to the back fence (but not touching it) at the junction of our garden paths. There is a bale left intact as a seat, habitat, and future source of old straw. Other bales are pulled apart to create a mat over weeds we wanted to eliminate. Note how low ground level is and how young the plants are: currant (foreground), fig (left, supported by hoops), and the pineapple quava (back right).
May 2010. The ground level is still fairly low; I have not started to stockpile wood chips in Crossroad Compost yet. The currant is larger and sporting green fruit. Fig and grape vine hover on Kiwi Gondola trellis.
April 2011. Salamander Castle moved to back garden. This lucky oak stump was rescued from our nearby bike path, where the massive tree came down. Work crews cut the tree away from the path and left Salamander Castle off to the side, not knowing that its destiny was to become an animal habitat. Note the beginning of the wood chip pile covering the Crossroads, soon to be buried with other chips 3 feet deep – that’s a whole lotta nutrients and moisture for the fig, grape, kiwi, currant, blueberry, pineapple guava, apricot, lemon to enjoy. Salamander Castle was moved next to the currant stand and wood chips were piled against it.
Happy dusting ants off yourself (from disturbing their nest) and see you tomorrow.