Thurs. Aug. 13, 2020: Bean Harvest

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image by matthiasboeckel via pixabay.com

Thursday, August 13, 2020
4th Quarter Waning Moon in Gemini
Pluto Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Celtic Tree Month of Hazel
Humid and cloudy

I think I’ll be able to do my first harvest of green beans today. They’re ready to be picked, steamed, and enjoyed with butter.

We’re getting more cucumbers, and the tomatoes are starting to form. The tomatoes are late this year, even though they were planted pretty early.

The tiger lilies are faded and the chlorophyll is draining back into the bulbs. Some of the hosta blooms have faded, so I’ll have to cut back the stems.

I feel like I do nothing but battle kudzu.

It’s still terribly dry. I was out watering the lawn by moonlight this morning at 5 AM, because sunrise is later and later. I’m having trouble getting the lawn food I want. I thought I saw a coyote take off down the street when I turned the hose on.

There were a pair of bunnies out in the meadow eating breakfast while I was out watering (I made sure not to get them wet). And a bigger bunny later on the terraced area. He comes right up to the steps. He’s used to us.

The morning glories start the day a deep purple, and fade back to a red violet in the afternoon. I thought I had a multi-colored pack – I didn’t realize the blossoms themselves changed color.

The leaves are already falling. They’re not turning pretty colors. They’re drying up and brown, giving up and letting go of the branches.

Sort of on point for 2020.

Charlotte and Willa take turns coming out on the deck in the playpen. They both like it. Tessa hates the playpen and won’t have anything to do with it. She doesn’t even want to come out any more, which is a shame, because she always loved her time on the deck.

I’m trying to spend some time out on the deck every evening, when it gets cool enough. And early in the morning, after I water, with my first cup of coffee, for my first writing session.

How’s your garden doing?

Thurs. Aug. 6, 2020: Noticing the Changes

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image courtesy of skeeze via pixabay.com

Thursday, August 6, 2020
Third Quarter Waning Moon in Pisces
Pluto Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Celtic Tree Month of Hazel
Partly cloudy and cooler

We’re going to have a nice crop of beans this year. I wonder if any of them will make it into the kitchen, or if I will gobble them up as soon as I pick them?

The morning glories are finally blooming. The vines are stretching everywhere, but they are lovely. The zinnias and nasturtiums are still going strong, too.

The tomatoes have blossoms, but the blossoms aren’t turning into tomatoes.

We are getting more cucumbers, though. We ate the one that already grew. It was delicious. It never ceases to amaze me how much better garden vegetables taste than anything I can get from the store.

I’ve been watering the yard early in the morning, front and back, and the back sometimes in the evening. I can feel the difference – it’s not crunchy when I walk on it. It’s still not very green, but it looks and feels healthier.

I don’t have an irrigation system; it’s using the hose, so the yard gets a drink not saturation. Anyone who gives me guff about it can go stick their illegal fireworks right up their asses. When the nightly illegal fireworks stop, I’ll stop watering the lawn and hosing down the roof.

The bunnies eat their breakfast and dinner in the yard. One of them comes pretty close to the deck, while I sit there in the mornings, writing. He thinks it’s interesting to watch me as he eats. I’m very quiet, and do my best not to startle or frighten him.

I change the water in the dish two to three times a day, depending how hot it is. I didn’t put out the birdbath this year because of the mosquito-based disease and it’s 2020. But in the heat, I want to make sure the critters have water. So I have a large dog dish out there, and change it frequently. Haven’t seen any mosquitos around it, but the bunnies, Che Guevara Chipmunk, and the birds appreciate it.

The cardinals are more vocal lately than usual, too. They’re spending much more time in the large pink hibiscus (which is in bloom) now that I got most of the kudzu out of it.

The Tiger Lilies have mostly faded, and the leaves and stems are already losing their green. I’ll have to clear them out/cut them back early this year. Usually they’re dancing around well into September. The storm, earlier this week, blew off a lot of the faded blooms, so I don’t have to deadhead until the weekend.

Some of the neighbors are annoying, between nightly illegal fireworks, constant leaf blowing, and cutting down anything natural to put up bare ground or gravel. Just ick.

When we first moved here from New York, I was amazed, when I washed my face at night, how clean things were. Now, when I give it a good scrub, the washcloth is just as dirty as it was when I lived on 42nd St. in NYC. A big difference in pollution levels in a decade.

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image courtesy of Bergader via pixabay.com

But I am grateful to have my little patch of lovely in this chaotic time. A trio of trees has grown over the past decade we’ve lived here, and now I have a small enchanted forest in the back – a little forest glade where I can retreat and enjoy some peace. It’s not as large or elaborate as the photo above, but it gives me the same sense of peace.

It makes a difference.

How’s your garden doing?

Thurs. June 18, 2020: Growth

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image courtesy of Conger Designs via pixabay.com

Thursday, June 18, 2020
Waning Moon 4th Quarter in Taurus
Pluto Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Venus Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Foggy and cool
Celtic Tree Month of Oak

Things are growing, and it’s lovely to watch. Summer Solstice this weekend, and then we start losing light.

The morning glories and the moonflowers are both doing well. I think the morning glories might start blooming next week. The pollinator mix and the zinnias are coming up, but the hollyhocks never sprouted, which is a disappointment.

The pansies are still going strong, but with the weather getting warmer, it might become too much for them.

The tomatoes, basil, and other herbs are coming along nicely, and the eggplant and cherry seeds have sprouted. Keeping a close eye on them, for transplanting.

The lettuce is nearly done; not a good year for lettuce this year, sadly. We usually have it going like gangbusters well into August. I might try sowing some mixed greens (today is a planting day), and maybe finally get the beans in. Might be too late, but worth a shot. Someone told me I can still sow the sunflowers.

Everything on the deck was covered in a thick layer of yellow tree pollen. I hosed down the deck and the furniture, but some of the plants will need the leaves sprayed or individually washed, or the pollen will choke it. I do love the pine trees, but the pollen can be annoying.

Neighbors all around are cutting down perfectly healthy trees, which is infuriating. On Independence Drive, in Hyannis, they cut ALL the large gorgeous trees in the median, and most of the trees on the side, revealing so much dust and ugliness. People on the Cape are bound and determined to use the pandemic as a reason to destroy as many natural resources as possible. It’s not progress; it makes the area look cheap and ugly.

Reveals a lot about the people doing it, right?

In any case, I am happy in my enchanted garden. On a typical summer, I would spend most of my time here, avoiding the tourist mayhem. This year, I will particularly do so. I am filled with gratitude for the space, even though I haven’t been able to put in the money to do everything I want.

If it clears up a bit more, I will spend a few hours this morning working on the front beds. They need some tidying up. I did some work on the beds in the back over the last few days, battling invasives, weeding, getting things watered. The lawn guy should be here at some point this week (he usually comes every two weeks, and this is week 3).

One of the things I love doing is paging through garden magazines, reading garden memoirs, and planning gardens for my fictional characters. It’s a way to experiment with gardens on a larger scale, and then, maybe find ways to incorporate some of my favorite things in my own.

I won’t post next Thursday – I am currently scheduled for surgery. I hope to be able to spend time healing in my garden.

Peace, my friends, and I’ll be back in touch in two weeks.

 

Thurs. Sept. 19, 2019: Autumn Equinox in a Few Days

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image courtesy of pixel2013 via pixabay.com

Thursday, September 19, 2019
Third Quarter Waning Moon in Taurus
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Celtic Tree Month of Vine
Partly cloudy and cool

Not much to say. I’m starting to put the garden to bed for the season. Cutting back. I’ll prune the roses after the first frost. I’m pulling up the tiger lily stalks as soon as the bulbs pull down the chlorophyll. I’ll cut back shrubs and branches and cut down dying vegetation.

By next week, I’ll start raking.

We’re still not sure what’s eating the food I leave on the deck at night. Not sure if it’s the stray cat or something else. I’d like to know.

Some more tomatoes have formed. Let’s hope these actually get to make it to maturity and we can eat them.

We had a few sugar snap peas to harvest, and they were yummy. I’m going to start them earlier next year, and hope for a better harvest.

The morning glories choked the beans, so we didn’t have any.

The zucchini keep blooming, but not forming any zucchini. We have some blossoms on the eggplants, but I think it’s too late for them.

Well, one learns as much from what doesn’t work as what does, I guess.

Monday is the Equinox, and then night begins to win until mid-December.

 

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