Tuesday, June 30, 2009

A few good reasons to garden

These were just a few of the reasons for gardening that I found today. It has been a very warm and dry spring for us in the PNW. Usually by now we are eager for the 4th of July because that signals an end to the rain and the start of summer. It has been so much like summer already that I am wondering just what I will have left to flower and look forward to in the garden. Everything is about a month and a half ahead of schedule. Then again I really should admit that I am basing my wealth of meager knowledge from one year of gardening. Ok, you can stop laughing now. Maybe by mid July it will just be greens. Maybe in my desperate need for color I will buy a bunch of annuals to get through. Or maybe, just maybe, I will find that the plants know just what to do and will put out more flowers the rest of the season. Happy thoughts. Yes, I will think happy thoughts.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

It was a quiet day today. The sun shone but just enough to make you love summer. The new fish have learned who brings the food and follow me now like eager puppies. The squirrel who lives in the cedar tree outside my bedroom window has decided to make me a friend. Well at least he listens to me now when I tell him to quiet down. The Stellar jays grow more and more bold, lining up above my head to watch as I fill the feeders. The humming birds are fearless and abundant as they fill the garden with their antics.

It was a quiet day today. I clipped back spent flowers, cleaned pond filters and pulled algea. I let the sprinkler trickle in the beds and added to the compost pile. I wrote a letter to a new friend and thanked Microsoft for spellcheck. The dogs napped in the shade, snapping at the occasional errant bee. The pick ax lay untouched next to the gravel ditch I started to dig out for the new bed. It will be there tomorrow. I will think about it then

It is evening now and the frogs are singing, the honeysuckle is drifting in the windows and the waterfalls are soothing. Tomorrow will be a less quiet day.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

A night visit in the garden

I just spent some time out in the garden tonight which I have not actually done before. We don't have lighting out there yet so there was only the fading light in the sky for illumination. We have worked so hard and for so long that I have not had the physical energy left at the end of the day to venture back into the gardens at night. With only the stars and moon to see by I was able to see the gardens in a whole new way.

In the daylight I see what still needs to be done and what just isn't working. How this plant is doing or that one needs trimming and so on. I look for the best photo ops I can find or the newest birds and butterflies. What I don't do is just BE. I don't let myself see just how much is actually growing out there in what was just three years ago a deep gravel patch.

Tonight I was able to simply see not the individual plants or flowers but the whole of the garden. In the fading light you only see the shapes and masses. You can smell the flowers, the honeysuckle, hear the frogs and the sounds of the waterfalls tumbling and splashing as the breeze blows through the trees. At night you can't see what you need to do or haven't done. You can only see what you have done.

It was a good night.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Acts of insanity

Today I began pick axing the gravel driveway in what will become a long narrow bed to separate the driveway from the garden. It has long been a thorn in my side that the driveway ran right up to the garden and all down the length of it. I can't move the driveway nor can I afford to continue encroaching on it. I was stumped for some time but I think I have decided on the only option there is. I will dig out a long narrow trench along the length to fill and mound with soil. Then I will plant.... something ? in there to visually separate the two spaces.

The gravel is unforgiving. The only reason a human being would be out there swinging a pick ax at it is because they were wearing striped pajamas and chained to their neighbor who was also wearing striped pajamas. I however decided that I am unwilling to look at that gravel driveway even one more day. So pick ax in hand and the chiropractor on speed dial I go out there to fulfill my mission. It will be 60ft long,
1-2ft wide and as deep as I can get it. After about a foot and a half you just start hitting bedrock.

I know I'll love it when I am finished but right now I am pretty sure I need professional help... and I mean the kind that can prescribe psychotropic drugs.

An easy read

This bench is by the little pond and I took this picture last June. It was the first year we had any plants in and I was so excited to see them. Last June was cool and rainy unlike this year's hot and dry month. I had been reading the book The Forgotten Man by Amity Shlaes. It is about the political decisions that helped prolong the Great Depression. Unfortunately that was a very precient choice in reading material.

The big pond was still a month or two away from going "online." I had gotten the little pond up and running in February and was so happy to hear its waterfalls. It was wonderful to be able to curl up with a blanket and read on that bench as the water played next to me.