I just finished spending a very pleasant couple of hours weeding around my apple tree. I planted it last fall, and worried that if I used my usual depth of mulch on cardboard that I could suffocate the developing root system. I compromised with six inches of mulch and a commitment to occasionally hand pulling the emerging grass until it's all been beaten back. It's planted inside a curve of my first swale, which has been planted with mixed wild flowers.
So, for the last hour and a half (maybe two) I have sat in the middle of a circle of wildflowers, under an apple tree, running my fingers through the dirt. Two days ago I defended a infestation of aphids from my mother squishing them. I could see a few ladybug and hoverfly nymphs who need the food to grow. Today, when I looked up, nearly every leaf had an immature predator and there was hardly an aphid to be seen. As I was digging a stingless black wasp kept divebombing my face, so somewhere near there is a nest waiting to release more helpful predators and pollinators. In some places there were very tiny baby earthworms sheltering under the mulch. Felt like every time I turned around there was a another busy life devoted to working for my garden.
yesterday was a lovely windy sunny day, and I was feeling very lucky to be able to hang out my laundry to dry. In fact I moved up the household linens wash just so that I could take advantage of the wind yesterday. I love hanging up laundry in the sun. It is my favourite household chore.
Today I got to put some seeds into starter trays, and discvoered that some seeds I started last week are starting to sprout.
Mowing around wild flowers in the back yard. Bachelors buttons are starting to replace the red flax.
Planted a delicious smelling cuban oregano below the apple. I'm not sure if it will survive a winter here, but it's beautiful. Think I'll take some cuttings this fall to be safe.
The moved the the front to plant replacement transplants of snake melons and tatume squash. Cold nights did in the first ones but the reserve squad was waiting the the green house. Was pleasantly surprised to find the roots were just reaching the edge of the pot, not root bound. Found some unexpected carrots when I dug the first hole.
Fixed lunch and then ate it while sitting and enjoying my front gardens. I had to guard my drink from an industrious pair of bees. They know the rules, and if I was bright red I clearly had some sugar for them. There was a time we couldn't let my nieces where flowered dresses visiting my mother because the bees in her garden would chase them around the yard.
Neighbors on one side are planting shrubs and young trees in their front yard. Neighbor boy on the other is flying his remote control drone. I took a moment to help him rescue it from a tree.
As I was cruelly dividing my purchased herbs and planting them around my apple tree, the sky opened up and a perfect soaking rain began to fall. Not only did I manage sixteen reasonable sized starts from the original six plants, I'm getting out of watering them in. Eventually I'm gonna have to post a picture of my first planned fruit tree guild.
I squeezed in two more squash plants in the area that I'm haven't decided the perennials for yet. Possibly it will remain a vegetable niche, if this works well.
Love walking down to a "borrowed" property in the early morning with the smell of redwood and dried grasses, and the CHEE-CHEE sound of the neighborhood hawk, and being able to open a barn, walk in, and see the staring faces of goats waiting to be fed, that's a wonder! How amazing the smell and quiet instead of traffic and noise.
Mmmm . . . all so lovely. My favorite things are just wandering around in my garden, looking at each plant to see what it's doing, and giving it a prune if needed, popping a ripe cherry tomato in my mouth, munching on a sprig of parsley or a broccoli sprout; checking out the flowers to see what insects are hanging out on them, deadheading and pruning as I go; brushing past the lemon balm and sweet alyssum to get those delicious smells wafting through the air; and then picking the veggies for that night's dinner. I find that this process completely satisfying.
Most of all I like 'chop-and-drop-weeding'. Whenever I am in the garden and I see some 'weeds' (plants in the wrong spot) with large leaves, I cut off the leaves with my nails and drop them in an empty spot.
"Also, just as you want men to do to you, do the same way to them" (Luke 6:31)
My only chores are watering, saving seeds and deadheading a few plants, all of which are pleasant. I like to sit outside and watch the butterflies enjoying the flowers. We have quite a few and I have enjoyed learning their names. The prettiest is the large black and blue Pipevine Swallowtail.
Invasive plants are Earth's way of insisting we notice her medicines.
Everyone learns what works by learning what doesn't work.
I just took my new tricycle out on bike ride to the closest local nursery. Round trip the bike ride was just over half an hour, the nursery is full of demonstration water gardens, and all but one of the plants have been on my want list for a while.
The yaupon is going in my privacy hedge to hide the neighbors trash cans. If the tea is as good as rumors say, I'll plant the berries to add more plants over time. I have high hopes because I have yet to find a complaint posted anywhere.
I've tried growing clematis for the past few years without success and all the plants in the nurseries have been minimum 25 dollars, usually more like 70. These were healthy plants being cleared out for 15.
I've only seen oxblood lillies for sell online, for the same price as these were in the store. I've actually looked for them in previous years and no one was carrying them. The woman in the nursery said they've only had them a couple of weeks and there were only a few left, so I feel lucky to have got some. The only catch is their recommending a planting depth of 2 to 3 feet. I'm gonna do some research because I suspect they meant plant spacing.
Usually shopping isn't one of my 'pleasant chores' but between the bike ride, the demonstration gardens, and the plant scores; today was a success.
Just adding: I really think the Schwinn adult tricycle they carry at Academy is a good value for the money. I was getting it because I don't trust my balance on a regular bike. The plants rode very nicely in the attached basket.
Today,first I checked the electric fence line in the pasture and clipped stuff that was a problem. I went to a neighbors who sells organic feed and traded my plants and herbal tinctures for rabbit pellets. I noticed before I felt some movement in the nest of black fur from one of my silver fox rabbits. It's her first litter . I picked up a few supplies in town and shipped orders out for goods from the garden... nuts and seeds mostly. I came home and pulled grasses and picked apples to feed the rabbits and harvested white grapes, butternut and bay leaves for selling leaves and rooted plants. I picked up white pine cones to use as a firewood starter in winter . None of it was hard labor but it is more a rythmic flow of my daily like. There are days where the labor gets hard but they are balanced with these days of planting and gathering foods almost year round . Now its time to get the horses in as the sun is setting.
It is difficult to free fools from the chains they revere - Voltaire. tiny ad: