Everything around here reminds me of friends and family, every day. This great Pole Line Hardware box, from Hamilton Ontario, was in my father-in-law’s basement when we needed to clear it out. The little table was on their porch, and I repainted it.
The California Lilacs are buzzing.
A symphony is playing softly in the lavender and rosemary.
Maybe D’s mason bee condos have something to do with the buzzing bushes. He must have installed eight of them around the yard. Clearly the vacancy rate is low in this neck of the woods, because we get dozens of minute tenant applications every day, delivered on grains of sand.
In other news, I’m excited about our first gooseberries.
It chokes off the light and holds the water at the surface. I sliced off the top 1.5 inches of soil, and discarded it. Then I mixed a sandy loam with perlite and applied about 3″ of it to the soil to improve the drainage. It seems to have worked – my plants love it and I haven’t seen any of that horrid Marchantia return (so far).
From a gardening friend I learned this neat trick with cinnamon: sprinkle it on the surface to keep mould at bay – it’s antibacterial.
It’s been so very dry here – I don’t think we’ve had rain for the whole month of May. The water storage cistern has to be topped up with town water for flushing toilets and watering the garden. It’s a constant chore to water – more so this year than any other. Not as bad as California, but unusual for southern British Columbia. I’m afraid I’ve lost my new Umbrella Katsura tree to the drought.
But the bees and their comforting hum help me feel better.
Yesterday was Mothers’ Day. Our family has declared that both Mothers’ Day and Fathers’ Day are Hallmark holidays. Nevertheless, I decided to only do activities that I love, activities that take me to my peaceful zone.
I started with my usual cup of tea, made for me by my sweetie – did I ever tell you how much I love tea? (Oh, and how much I love my sweetie?)
Then, I went out to the garden to pick an early season tussie-mussie. As I wander in the garden, I see plants that remind me of people I appreciate and cherish. The old ranch rhubarb brings memories of my parents and grandparents.
The medicinal garden brings back the fun experience of designing it with our daughter, who declared she didn’t want a bouquet of roses like her fellow university graduates. Rather, to really commemorate her graduation, she wanted me to buy plants and seeds for the medicinal garden, and then she planted them with me.Every area of the yard reminds me of our 33 WWOOFers over three summers. They have left their mark in the most beautiful ways.
And, I could go on and on. Suffice to say that a day spent in the garden, even weeding, or hiking in the forest, gets my serotonin happening big time.
After dinner, a card game and a movie (Driving Lessons), with both a foot rub and a hand rub! And finally to bed, in sheets that have been laundered and hung on the line – wow! The best smell in the world, and I feel so content, so lucky. It IS the small things that give pleasure and meaning in my day. Ahhh!
Sharing with: Cozy Little House (FEATURED!), The Enchanting Rose, Savvy Southern Style, Ivy and Elephants, From My Front Porch to Yours, The HomeAcre Hop, The Charm of Home, The Chicken Chick, Dwellings: the Heart of Your Home, The Dedicated House, Tuesday Garden Party (FEATURED!)
Every garden undergoes change, of course. Particularly if our hand is not in it at all.
Plants want to grow. Especially weeds.
Decisions I made about new garden design four years ago may not suit my current goals. I shared, in this post, some lessons I’ve learned about the dangers of overplanting. And, in my zeal to plant a drought-tolerant xeriscape, have I missed some very desirable plants?
I swear that plants are tricksters. They like to keep me on my toes. A plant that does very well one year is the very one that nose-dives the next, even when I diligently practise crop rotation. Slugs have gained a foothold on my rooftop garden. The carrot fly has finally discovered my patch. Some bird has fixated on my tiny pea shoots. Edamame never did grow. But disappointments are often offset by pleasant surprises – finally, beets and basil have decided to grow, and OMG, would you look at that stevia and that wasabi!
Last year, the first year I had a greenhouse, I was so looking forward to growing perfect tomatoes, basil, cucumbers, eggplants, and peppers in this “perfect” environment. I would say the cucumbers and basil were successes, but I’m not sure, because they also did well in the open garden.
The tomatoes, in pots, were my biggest disappointment. At first, they had lots of green growth, and appeared to be happy.
But then there was a hornworm infestation, while I was away and couldn’t spot them myself. And all the tomatoes had blossom end rot, even though I used the soil mix my nurserywoman recommended. Obviously, somewhere along the line, I missed the need for calcium.
The purpose here was to start with a fresh base. I know that all the helpful bacteria and microorganisms that we were killing benefit the soil, but I was intent on getting rid of insect eggs, and there was no evidence that there had been any earthworms in there at all.
After thoroughly scrubbing out the greenhouse (and finally cleaning the windows and putting screens over the opening windows to keep out most flies), I replaced the tomato pots with planting beds, built from our scrap lumber pile. Some of the cedar boards were from a sling of used fencing from the former flower farm, now the Beer Farm. I hope that’s good karma for my tomatoes.
Also, cleaned out the bottom of the compost to add that black gold, which teamed with earthworms. Some lime, more Salish Soil, epsom salts, organic fertilizer, and perlite for aeration, and I think I’ve found a good balance. I sure hope so, because there is absolutely nothing as delicious as a fresh tomato off the vine. (Well, maybe a fresh raspberry!)
I’ll be planting some tomatoes in the planting box in the sun under the eaves, with a stone wall for a heat sink, for a controlled experiment, and even a couple in the rooftop garden, so we’ll see how that goes.Always learning, I’m sharing with:
We have no picture of the glass all over the flagstone, because we were very busy setting up for a house concert. The band carried right on with its rehearsal, unphased by the crashing glass.
Apparently, I could have ordered a new glass table top. But, nooooo, Gail has to make a new one. I considered using the broken glass in epoxy as the table top, but thought it would make it too heavy and use too much epoxy. Little did I know….
In the fall, I collected and pressed leaves from our yard.
Masking-taped the holes from the bottom.
Set up an epoxying station with plastic on the level floor of the workshop.
Here are the very easy instructions for using this product:
The kit “covers” 30 square feet. Applied product will set in 24 hours, with full cure in 72 hours. See this post to read about my first experience with this interesting product in our powder room.
Unfortunately, because I didn’t glue the leaves down thoroughly enough, most of their edges lifted up. The first coat did not cover the leaves.
After I apply the epoxy, it finds its level, like water. In other words, it settles down into any hole or crack it can find, and I wasted a bunch of it because it collected on the plastic underneath the tabletop.
This is all to say that one coat didn’t cover the leaves.
Two coats didn’t cover the leaves.
And, in fact, three coats didn’t quite cover the leaves. But, at $50 a pop, I declared it good enough. Finally, for the last coat, I taped up the edges so the epoxy wouldn’t just flow right off the surface.
Thank you for stopping by.
Here are some link parties I’m joining: