In Bloom

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Wednesday, May 22, 2013
Waxing Moon Second Quarter Libra
Celtic Tree Month of Hawthorn
Saturn Retrograde
Cloudy and cool

Things are blooming! The Stewartson Azalea (the red one) is doing so well! It’s such a lovely plant. It’s thrived over the past three years — one of the best purchases I made when we moved here.

I cherish the daily walk around the property I do every morning. I like hearing what the land tells me needs to be done. It’s different than just looking out and making decisions — the daily walking makes it feel more alive and makes me feel more connected to it.

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The Edith Cavell Lilac (the white one) is sweet. The old-fashioned large lilac tree’s scent has been intoxicating, but the blooms are fading, which is a shame. Someday, I’d love to have a whole hedge of the old-fashioned lilacs.

Although I don’t have a big rain barrel, I’ve started capturing rain water and using it to water the plants on the deck. They respond to this water better than the treated water out of the taps. And I feel that I’m not “wasting” the water coming out of the sky!

I finally got the meadow mowed, and everything looks good.

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I’m battling the ants in the front — I think I may have to break down and use poison — something I hate to do, but they just won’t honor the agreement about staying near the street and not coming towards the house.

Today is three days before the full moon, so I’m planting my little hills of corn, beans, and pumpkin. I started corn inside, just to see if I could do it in a pot — one strand is getting TALL — not quite as high as an elephant’s eye, but it’s doing pretty well.

Tomatoes and cucumbers and kale are happy on the deck. I dropped the lettuce seed packet and the wind blew seeds all over the place, so we’ll have lettuce turning up everywhere. Maybe that will keep the critters OUT of the main vegetable bed!

The huckleberry bushed died, which is frustrating — considering how much I paid for it and how I’ve catered to it for the past three years. It’s especially frustrating, because, in late winter, it bloomed inside!

I have to replant the peppers and the bok choy into bigger pots — and get all this done before I go away next week. I’ll be so happy if the veggie garden is bountiful this year!

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And isn’t this hosta great?

Devon

Growing and . . .Not

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Wednesday, May 15, 2013
First Quarter Moon in Cancer
Celtic Tree Month of Hawthorn
Saturn Retrograde
Sunny and cool

It’s been so cold for the past few days that we had to take in tomatoes, cucumbers, etc. By tomorrow, they should be able to go out and stay out.

The bush cherries are starting to flower, the flowering almond makes its brief appearance, and the lilacs are a bit late this year (that’s the big lilac bush behind the flowering cherry in the top photo).

The forsythia and tulips are fading. Very few of my maroon and yellow tulips came up this year, NONE of the red did, and only a few Queen of the Night, so I’ll have to replant more of those this fall. The daffodils and hyacinths are also fading. I’m going to plant more hyacinths next year — they’re lovely. Only the yellow came up, though, not the blue.

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I’ve started saving rainwater. I don’t have a fancy rain barrel — I’m just using buckets, pouring some of it into jugs, and setting out the buckets again. I have enough containers to capture 26 gallons from any given storm. Since watering the deck plants takes about 8 gallons a day, it’s used up quickly.

I also have to figure out how to clean out the birdbath, since I don’t have a hose that reaches that far — slosh a few bucketsfull of water through it, making sure to clean out any debris. On hot days, I’ll probably have to clean it every day, so there’s no mosquito-standing water problem.

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The birds LOVE it, though. As I headed down there for my morning property walk, a robin took his morning dip, not caring I was only a few feet away. It was adorable.

I have a stalk of corn growing in a starter pot – not sure where I’ll put it. Next week, when it’s warmer, I’m going to try a few hills of corn, bush bean, and pumpkin in the veggie bed.

One of the gala apple seeds has started to sprout, and I’ve got jalapenos and more lemon seeds to plant. And other seeds.

The basil refuses to come up this year — I’ll have to buy plants again, I guess. I can’t get it to grow from seed. The sage is growing, though, and, hopefully, I’ll have some luck with the rosemary. The first round of oregano didn’t do well, so I’ll start the next in its “final” pot.

The chives are growing to beat the band — talk about a great perennial — cooking chives in the veggie bed (I’ll need to dig one up to go with the cucumbers) and flowering chive in the terraced bed.

I love this time of year.

But the grass — I can genuinely watch it grow. Time to mow again — and I’m still not done with the first round!

Devon

Birdbath and Bugs

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Wednesday, May 8, 2013
Dark Moon, 4th Quarter Aries
Celtic Tree Month of Willow
Cloudy and cool

I finally found a birdbath I like, and I have happy birds splashing around in the yard. I figure I’ll clean it once or twice a week, but it’s now included in my daily morning stroll around the yard, connecting with the property and seeing what needs to be done.

The morning glories died — I think I put them out on the deck too soon. I’ll have to plant some more today.

Inside, I’m having trouble with those little cream colored bugs, infesting all sorts of my plants. They are especially aggressive with the eggplant, cucumber, lemon, calendula, and cyclamen. I have to de-bug these plants leaf-by-leaf. They haven’t been too successful with the tomatoes yet, but this is war. The stuff I bought at the garden center doesn’t work; ivory snow soap and water doesn’t work. I’m picking them off by hand, leaf by leaf, and washing the plants down, but I’ll have to dig into garden books and find something herbal that will kick ass. I also need more marigolds, especially to protect my tomatoes.

The tomatoes are getting moved to the “big girl” pots today, as are the bok choy, the cucumbers, and the peppers. It’s still too early to put them in the ground or even on the deck. But I’ll also start some other seeds, since it is a planting day.

Astrologically, I should wait until Friday to plant anything that appears above-ground, but I probably won’t. I have more lemon seeds, gala apple seeds, and jalapeno seeds harvested from bought produce to try, and I want to get some of the flowers going, too.

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The lamb’s ears in the terraced bed haven’t reappeared this year, but some invited themselves into the front lawn, so I’m going to dig them up and move them before mowing the front this morning. I mowed the terraced back area a few days ago, and then used the trimmers (I have hand edgers, not gas-powered) around some of the edges and yanked dandelions. I like the violets and johnny-jump-ups that pattern in the yard, and while I appreciate the dandelions, there are too many of them, and I’d rather they stayed in their own area.

It’s supposed to rain later this morning, and then rain off and on for the next few days, so I’ll be limited in what I can do. I hope to get started on mowing the meadow over the weekend, and maybe clearing out some more stuff at the property’s edges. I’d like to get some grass seed in a few places, before the rain starts.

In other words, I must adapt my day to the weather, not do things when I can fit them into my schedule!

Devon