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Making the birds and the bees happy

The birds have welcomed the return of a clean and refilled bird bath to the back garden with great splashy sessions and a commotion of chirping and tweeting (the good kind).

The back garden bird bath was moved and empty for a few days, while work on infrastructure happened. Apparently the water was sorely missed, even though there are three other animal watering stations scattered around the property. I understand. Neighbourhood cats tend to hang out around the two on the westside. Feathery evidence seems to indicate it may be for the good hunting.

The infrastructure project was plastering the cement walls of the garden beds.

This garden design of sinuous waves was laid out by the Last Emperor way back in November 2019. (Bottle edging and recycled brick pathway in foreground came post the Last Emperor design)

The core of these walls is recycled tin roofing saved from the 2016 porch remodel at the little adobe casita. The tin was cut using a metal blade on an electric hacksaw. This is a very noisy process which can spray metal filings, and create super sharp edges. Personal protective gear is probably advised.

The tin pieces were then set in place in shallow trenches, using rebar and cable ties for support.

In order to provide a base for the plaster, the metal form work was wrapped in chicken netting, fastened by, yup you guessed, more cable ties.

In the intervening almost two years, however, I didn’t get around to doing more than about one foot of the cement work. Grass had a field day as I planted in and watered the beds, defined by the structure.

The beautiful sinuous design became a fuzzy, unmanageable mess.

Next stage of the project is embellishment, but first the plaster must dry and I must prepare beds for garlic planting.


This little piece of northern Chihuahuan desert has come a long way since that day in mid October 2018, when first we met. This space was a desolate walled wasteland of dust and goats head thorns (Tribulus terrestris)

Now it’s a pollinator paradise full of birds, bees and butterflies and a nascent food forest already producing abundant food for this human, biomass to improve the soil fertility and cooling the ‘hood with all the green


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