Odd Thoughts: Langley gardener bogged down in yard restoration

Bob Groeneveld and Mother Nature are both busy gardening but her work is on a much different scale.

I have a nice garden in my backyard, both literally and figuratively.

I’ve been working on restoring my garden to its former glory, after years of minimal maintenance resulting from more than a decade of increasingly working too many hours at a day job. After two years of retirement my backyard is looking a lot better.

Little wonder, then, that Mother Nature seems to be taking forever to restore her bog garden in Langley’s backyard at Derby Reach after it was despoiled by decades of industrial extraction of peat moss.

In my backyard, off to one side of my garden, is a pile of vinyl plastic gutters that came off the house recently.

Next to Mother Nature’s bog garden is a pile of plastic pipes and irrigation-related junk.

The difference is, our gutters were salvaged in a neat pile, to be attached to our garage, which has thus far survived for decades creating a pronounced drip-line running along the edge of the garden.

The pile of junk between the commercial cranberry bogs and Mother Nature’s Derby Reach garden is a bulldozed heap that threatens to dissolve into the bog. It’s outside of the protected parkland, but leachates have difficulty understanding property boundaries.

Birds play an important role in both places.

We feed our birds through the winter and provide natural habitat year-round, including subsidized housing for chickadees, junkos, finches, sparrows, Stellar’s jays, hummingbirds… each year the variety in our friendship circle seems to grow wider. Their summer foraging is the payoff, as they keep our veggies, fruits, and flowers relatively pest-free – except for an occasional holly tree and other weeds they redistribute. The bog attracts more exotic fowl, including sandhill cranes.

Pippin is no longer allowed in our garden. The little digger is capable of incredible damage, as he vigorously pursues wildlife.

Dogs aren’t allowed in Mother Nature’s bog garden, either. Pip knows why. He just can’t control himself.

• Read Matthew Claxton’s Painful Truth at langleyadvance.com

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