@indie Could you explain a bit more what I'm looking at here?
You revived a forest floor and found these firs, which aren't from clones but just natural growth cycles? Is that right?
Deleted the lawn. Had to re-build some soils, working on em 2+ years; this made the parent trees happy, apparently? Some of the flowers and mulched areas started sheltering baby trees. (Like, a lot of baby trees. I gave several away to my coworkers in the spring).
From what I understand (and it makes sense that), there's more generic variation in bonsai started from seed rather than clone + roots.
What you're looking at is what I found to be an interestingly beautiful condensation pattern on one of the young trees. (We've had some rain recently).
Over the last few days, I've transplanted several of the saplings / seedlings to mixed soils that have better drainage; as any #PNWer knows, drainage is important.
@indie Tell me more about how you're rebuilding the soil, if you would?
The grass zapped a lot of health out of the great soils here, so mostly it has been a gradual process involving things like:
* working fresh organic materials into the existing soil, sometimes it's homemade compost from leaves and yard waste, but sometimes I'll grab a bag of local topsoil or mulch.
* focusing on an area or two at a time, especially where annuals go
* building up watering mounds and ditches for groups of plants to share watering pools.
My front yard also has a severe slope above the curb; it has been great fun for experimenting and designing some erosion control. I've found the "steppe" solution works pretty well.
I am kind of a short person, so tools are important. The two I love: a nifty Japanese hoe and this weird but amazingly effective thing called "Basic Garden Tool" which is kind of rad. Got it at Mother Earth News fair in Albany, OR 2 years ago. Instead of a standard handle side, they gave me a junior sized one. This thing can be sharpened and works great.
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