Tuesday, April 24, 2007

A cool spring but lots of sunshine!


Having spent the last 7 spring seasons on one fastpitch field or another huddled under an umbrella, I'm pretty sure this past month of Sundays are the first I can remember having consecutive sunny weekends! I am in gardening heaven!

This past Sunday afternoon found daughters, A and S battling the montrous weeds that now inhabit the flower bed that seperates our side yard from the neighbor's. As you can see from the picture above, it was quite a task. The next photo shows how gigantic the blackberry roots were!

We got about 1/3 of the length of this bed (that runs from the front of the garage to the back corner of our lot) weeded before they ran out of energy. My girls provided all the muscle that day. I just sifted through the loosened soil, pulling out the extensive roots of lemon balm after leaning over too far and having my low back slip out. Fortunately, I had a muscle relaxant handy and within an hour or so it had gone back into place. Phew! I had been so careful about not lifting too much or twisting with a load and then wham, all I did was lean forward. I am so thankful that it's not giving me any problems this week!!!!
About 2/3 of this raised bed will get sunshine most of the day. So this will be our Square Foot Gardening vegie garden. We bought Roly Poly and regualr zuchinni starts, cucumber starts, bush bean seeds all to be interspersed with giant zinnias, marigolds, 4 O'clocks, maybe even a couple of squares of wild flower mix. As soon as we get the soil enriched with compost, get the squares partitioned off with twine and the starts and seeds in, I'll post a picture so we will have a 'before' picture to compare at the end of the growing season. Happy planting!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Another beautiful weekend

They were predicting showers last Friday with rain moving in for the weekend. They got the Friday showers right, but Saturday dawned bright and sunny. Bonus day!

After daughter, A got home from work, she badgered us into weeding the front pond area. With help from her DaddyDearest, who manned “The Garden Claw” to break up the weed packed soil, A and I sifted thru the broken-up soil, removing all the roots of dandelions, creeping buttercup and horse tails. It was hard work! We were so proud of our efforts, getting about a good third of the way around the pond, that we headed to the nursery department at Freddie’s for their Buy 2 Get 1 Free sale on all blooming plants. Daughter, S joined us for the trip into town after she got off from work. We bought mostly perennials but decided to fill in the empty areas with annuals for instant color. I even put in 2 new peonies. Hah! Let Son,My Son try and reach those with the lawn mower!

For those of you who didn’t hear my shriek last summer, he got a wee bit ambitious..?..absent minded..?.. and mowed over my ready-to-bloom, beautiful, double bright burgandy peony!!!
I made sure that won’t happen again, as I took him by the hand and pointed it out as soon as it started growing again (luckily for him, it did) AND I put a staking ring around it!

After nearly closing down Freddie’s and filling the van up with plants, we staggered into our Friendly Neighborhood Grill and enjoyed appetizers and steaks! All three of us were moving rather slowly, A and I for bending and pulling on stubborn tap roots, S had cramping calf muscles from dancing all night Friday!

Bonus Day #2: Sunday also dawned sunny, if a bit breezy. We took the potting soil from last year's planters and hanging baskets and worked it into the harder clay soil around the pond, replaced the slate stones that edge the pond and had a blast decided where to plant everything!

So far this spring the starlings have been at their pesty best. They have been busy poking thru the wire on the bird blocks in the soffits around the house. Just moving from spot to spot as we blocked each entrance. Son,My Son earned his keep and our gratitude by cutting (what must have seemed like hundreds!) of rectangles out of galvanized ¼ inch heavy duty mesh, climbing the ladder and stapling them over the bird blocks, preserving our ventilation and preventing infestation! Our neighbor next door has let them nest in his attic for a couple of years now. What a mess that’s gonna be to clean up!

As you can see in the picture above, we still have the lawn side of the pond bed to weed, but we will probably wait until the wood hyacinths with their pretty little blue bells are done blooming. Amazing to think, I brought just a couple of self seeded bulbs from our apartment with us when we moved into our brand new home 14 years ago! The wood hyacinths welcome spring in just about every flower bed around the house and perimeter of the front and back yards!

What's even better than a sunny weekend to garden, is a rainy Monday morning that makes it so very much easier to go to work!

Sunday, April 8, 2007

Pascha Blessings

Christ is Risen! He is Risen Indeed!
What a glorious weekend, the predicted rain held off until this evening. I enjoyed every moment spent outdoors. I had Good Friday off, as the stock market was closed. I spent it in the yard. I completely cleaned out the flower bed that runs the length of the garage, leading into the back yard. It was severly overrun with lemon balm and the lilac tree, planted at the front corner of the garage had sent several roots into the bed that had to be dug out and trimmed. That is a determined lilac, every year I have to lop off about a hundred suckers out from under it. It's overtaking the narrow pathway between the planting beds and I'm going to have to prune several branches back, but not until I get to enjoy all the flowers!
Saturday, I planted the center run of the bed with Oregon Sugar Pod peas, as they are one of our favorite vegies, enjoyed most right out of the garden! To either side of the peas I planted it thickly with snap dragon and marigold starts. This will be my cutting garden, so I can enjoy flowers in the house and at the office!

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

What's on my desktop?

These are the people I loved first in life.