Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Successive Plantings

The gardens continue to evolve as we continue to ponder and tinker.   Below you can see that Paul is relocating one of our square-foot gardening boxes to the side of the house where we can grow cukes or beans on the Triple-H arches.  The salad greens should enjoy a cooler summer in the shade of the vines, too.  Never mind that the winter's plantings are already bolting; we'll be sowing a new crop just about as soon as he's done putting it all together, anyway.

It's a lovely spot where I sit and watch him work.  The aspect is lovely, anyway.  :)  I can't help but notice another series of successive plantings: the peaceful parade of purple blossoms, from the chives and sage in the winter garden to the columbine and bicolor irises in the foundation plantings. Next year I'll add some of the larger allium that are blooming in the backyard.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Let's Try This Again

Clouds come and clouds go, but last spring when I created this flower bed, the clouds had come, and they'd come to stay.

Perfect conditions for gardening, I thought.  Not too hot, and not so blinding.  I knew just the place to transplant some of our shade-loving perennials in preparation for the septic installation upheaval.

Then the following week the clouds departed and the strengthening  sun blazed forth, clearly illuminating the boundary between shade and not-shade.  To my horror that area, so deceptively close to our neighbor's tree canopy, in reality bakes in the sun for most of the day.

I did what I could to save the poor, limp transplants by creating a true shade garden directly under the tree canopy, but the old not-shade garden lay mostly barren and cracked all summer long.

But not this year, Lord willing.  My Renaissance man started some flower seeds back in March, and today we planted the SUN-loving flowers in the sunny garden bed.  If they survive, and if they bloom, then we've just achieved another gardening first: starting flowering plants inside during the winter in plenty of time for us to actually get blossoms before fall returns.

So here's what we planted:

- Perennial wall flower, 12 to 18 inches with small orange blossoms
- Perennial Cupid's Dart, light purple, and Coreopsis, golden yellow, both 18 to 24 inches
- Annual Cosmos, pink and white mix, about 24 inches

But then there are also some clumps of something we don't recognize or remember from last summer's crusade against the invasive bittersweet but which overwintered nicely in the compost pile, plus another plant which produces pretty little orange lilies.

So we could potentially end up with a lot of different colors blooming at once.  How is that going to look?  I don't know.  I'm hoping it at least stays green this time.

Oh, and what's protecting the soil?  Why, the leaf mold we started a year and a half ago.  It's not fully matured yet, but it will do nicely.  And I mustn't fail to point out the watering can staged in the photos below.  It was part of my birthday gift last year.

For Their Own Protection

A couple weeks ago we incarcerated the strawberries, so to speak.

Last spring we had moved them from their endangered location in the then-future septic leach field to this location, but lamentably, we weren't able to harvest any fruit last year.

Too much of a disturbance for them during their flowering and fruiting season? you may well wonder.

No, too many birds with unlimited access.  But not this year, though.  Not if we can help it.

The plants themselves, however, are volunteering a little of themselves by growing beyond the confines of the netted hoops.  That's fine.  As long as our labors are rewarded with the fruit contained within, we're happy to be the means by which God provides for His little creatures.

Monday, May 6, 2013

He's making it attractive!

We're making trellises today, although we hadn't planned to.  So like us, really.

And so much better than what used to be there.  I like the casual formality of it all.  Besides, there's a certain grace about the fact that the raw materials were gathered from our spring prunings.

Friday, May 3, 2013

He's Gonna Catch It

Yes, we've had our share of rain lately, but we also like to have a watering can of rainwater handy to sprinkle around the seedlings that are still gaining ground.

Some say that necessity is the mother of invention.  In that same spirit I like to say that restrictions give life to creativity.  It's amazing how creative people can be when they can only use what's already available to them.

My husband proves my point time and time again.  But to our list of restrictions in this case perhaps someday soon we should add the requirement that it be... attractive. =)

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Weep Not for Me

Maybe it looks a little funny now, but tying the young cherry branches into a weeping growth habit will boost the production of fruit.  The principle is simple: aided by gravity, more health-giving sap will flow to the very ends of the branch, and the branch will produce more blossoms and tastier fruit.

It's not hard to draw a metaphor from this: as we humble ourselves, the life of Jesus Christ flows through us to produce more and more of His delicious fruit.  To God be the glory!

Monday, April 2, 2012

And Now You Know The Rest of the Storage

Remember this story about storage under the stage?  Paul hadn't finished it yet when I posted it, so here's how it turned out:

The rounded part of the stage is an addition to the original, so the floorboards never matched to begin with.

Using a good friend's suggestion and an old piano hinge, Paul turned what had originally been a plan based on pull-out drawers and made something fabulous and immediately vulnerable to stashing.

Someday we'll get more serious about organizing it, but for now it works great.  Especially when we can keep the cats out of it.