There is one area just off the brick patio out back that I haven't touched yet.
What you are looking at here is my winter wood pile that I keep on the patio for outdoor fires. Immediately to the right of it is a small bed that has our only two hybrid roses as well as an herb garden of perennial lavender, thyme, and lemon balm. In Minnesota hybrid tea roses need to be buried completely underground using the Minnesota Tip Method. I usually bury these two but we were back and forth to PA in the late fall as Mary Ann's father declined and I didn't get it done. I piled some straw around them and then we were blessed with heavy snow. I piled it high on the roses and was pleasantly surprised to find them alive this spring.
In any case I usually clean up this area first since it is right off the deck and patio, but not this year. Here is why:
One of our resident Mallards has chosen this spot to lay her eggs. It's kind of amazing to me that she doesn't seem to spend time on them during the day but she comes in every evening and spends the night. Every year Mallards lay eggs somewhere on our property or on a neighbors. They never make it; crows or foxes or skunks get the eggs. We will see if these fare any better this year.