Thurs. Jan. 14, 2021: Finally Winter Maybe?

image by JackieLou DL via pixabay.com

Thursday, January 14, 2021

First Quarter Moon Waxing in Aquarius

Uranus Direct

Celtic Tree Month of Birch

Cloudy and cold

According to the weather, we’ll finally get some cold for the next two weeks. The past few weeks have been unseasonably warm, most of the time. In fact, the grass has been growing, and I wondered if I would need to call the guy who mows the lawn in, say, February, to have him start up again.

It’s good for the grass to grow out at times (though, probably not in the middle of winter in the Northeast). It’s healthy for the roots. Too many people in this neighborhood mow every other day in the spring, summer, and fall, keeping their grass very short. Of course, they are also the ones who use chemicals, so that the lawn looks like astro-turf.

We replanted some cuttings. Well, they were less “cuttings” than “fell of the plant.” Bits of the Christmas cactus or the big geranium or the philodendrons fall off. We rescue them and root them in water until they grow roots. We plant them in a fresh pot. And our plants multiply.

I have to make seed decisions in the next couple of weeks, and I just don’t know, since I don’t know where we will move. And yet, I don’t want the whole season to go by and not plant anything. Perhaps I will pick one kind of tomato (a small one), and one or two other things.

I have to sit down with the seed catalogs this weekend. I’m looking forward to trying seeds from Kitchen Garden this year, and I’ll buy a few things from Johnny’s, which has been my old reliable most of my gardening life. I’m skipping Botanical Interests this year, since they were a disappointment the past couple of years, especially last year.

I also have to decide what seeds I want to start on Imbolc (February 2). Traditionally, I start seeds on something meaningful to me on that day, and nurture the plant for the entire growing season.

Remember those organic lemon seeds I planted a few months back, nothing came up, and I was so disappointed? One little shoot finally came up!

When we put away the holiday decorations, we moved the gigantic peace lily from its temporary abode in my bedroom back down to the living room. When I first bought it, in January 2011, it was in a 4” pot. Now it’s in a 15” pot and is about 4’ tall and 2’ wide.

It’s on a side table next to one of the wingback chairs and actually helps form an entryway. This house doesn’t have a vestibule – the front door opens into the living room. We’ve sort of created an entry way with furniture placement. We put the peace lily on that table because it was the only place with enough room for it at the moment, but it works well as an entry definer. Plus, it’s good feng shui.

That’s really all that’s going on right now. Today and tomorrow, I’ll break up the time spent working on a book proposal and an article, and make seed decisions!

How do you connect to the garden in January? Do you live in a place where you can garden year-round?

July 2, 2020: My Garden Definitely Grows!

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The terraced border in the backyard

Thursday, July 2, 2020
Second Quarter Waxing Moon in Sagittarius
Pluto Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Celtic Tree Month of Oak
Hazy and humid

Hello, my friends! It’s been two weeks, because I had surgery last Thursday. I’m on the road to recovery, but it’s taking longer than I would like.

In the meantime, the garden is growing!

The lawn was finally mowed last Friday, and looks much better. I moved the two small, potted evergreens that flanked the front door out of the front beds, and to the side of the house. They’ve grown over the years (I bought them the first Christmas we moved in, in 2010). They don’t look right. They’re too big to be on the small front step; they look wrong tucked in the back of the front bed.

So I moved them to the side of the house (to hide a small dead tree the owner has yet to get rid of). I started cleaning out the front beds and found a wasp nest, attached to the siding, right near the spigot for the hose.

I dashed out to get wasp killer. Note to self: Avoid Hyannis Country Gardens in the future. Only the register staff keeps their masks on, and the customers wear their masks around their necks, not over their faces, and refuse to distance. Not worth putting my life in danger because of selfish Sliding Mask Skanks.

I nearly sprayed them all with wasp killer, but I needed it for the house.

Battled the wasps over the next few days. This weekend, I hope to get the hose attached in the front, and wash the rest of it away.

Because it looked too bare in the front of the house, I brought two of the oversized red geraniums from the back and put them in front. Good Feng Shui, and they look pretty.

One of the baskets of pansies in the front gave up the ghost. I have to put some of the spare pansies in there, and then continue to clean out the front beds.

The border of the terraced section is lively, as you can see from the photo above. The Stella D’oro lilies are doing well. There’s also that slightly darker yellow lily – I’m not sure what it’s called, but I like it. The daisies are in bloom, as are the catmint, the feverfew, and the Queen Anne’s Lace. The Tiger Lilies are getting ready to bloom.

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The Astilbe is pinker than it looks in the photo, and is lovely. The Elephant hosta is now enormous.

I have to tackle bindweed this weekend, because it’s creeping around choking things.

I’m a little concerned that the hostas are already sending up blooms. It should happen in August; the last few years it’s been happening in mid-late July. This year it’s in early July. Also, the critters are already hoarding for winter. That does not bode well.

The rugosa roses are doing well, and the scent is lovely, wafting into my bedroom.

Tomatoes are coming along. Cucumbers keep blooming, but none of the blooms are producing anything. Beans have sprouted. Che Guevara Chipmunk dug up the peas and the sunflowers, so I think those will be a bust this year.

Herbs and lavender are fine. I’d hoped the morning glories would start blooming, but they are very busy growing.

The hydrangeas are blooming. Cape Cod is known for them, and the hydrangea festival is next weekend. I think people are observing from their cars? I hope packs of Maskless Morons don’t think they’re actually going to tromp around people’s properties.

I wouldn’t be out and about on a holiday weekend around here anyway, because of the traffic and the idiot tourists. Add the pandemic this year, and I’m really staying home.

But I have my enchanted garden to enjoy (and work in). I can read and watch the birds – lots of finches this year!

I love to have my first cup of morning coffee out on the deck. I check on the plants. I talk with the birds and the bunnies. The little black cat hasn’t been around lately. I think she was just a visitor. Sometimes I do my first writing session of the day on the deck.

Later in the day, I either read or take more work out on the deck. The skylights and the covering mean I can even work in bad weather (as long as the rain isn’t coming sideways).

Being out there gives me a sense of peace and belonging, that I don’t get anywhere else around here. It also emphasizes how much I want a place of my own, not a rental.

The bunnies continue to eat breakfast and dinner in the patches of dandelions I keep in the yard. Che Guevara Chipmunk is very busy. He likes to get right in Willa’s face, because she’s in the playpen, but she’s learned how to chase him by turning the playpen into a snowball-like roller.

I am so grateful to have this space to enjoy and rest in, this sanctuary away from the horrors of the world.

How’s your garden doing?

Thurs. June 13, 2019: Knowing When To Ask For Help

 

Thursday, June 13, 2019
Second Quarter Moon in Libra
Jupiter Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Celtic Tree Month of Oak
Rainy and cool

It’s been a chaotic few weeks on all fronts, which, of course, affected the garden.

I finally capitulated, in spite of the shame, both outer and inner, that if I can’t do all the tasks in a yard, I don’t deserve to have one. I hired someone to mow. I’ve hated mowing since I started doing it. I never found my mowing Zen. I’m tired of spending money and spending money and spending money on equipment that works for five minutes and then doesn’t do the job.

Finding the right person was a challenge. After half a dozen bad experiences with rude, arrogant jerks who came in and TOLD me what they were going to do, and how much extra they were going to charge me instead of LISTENING to what I want done, I started asking around for all-female-run landscape services. Nothing really came up when I did an internet search. I put out the question to some organizations with which I’m connected.

In the meantime, I found a list of ten best mowing services in my area on a site called Thumbtack. I contacted a couple on that list. One guy was really nice, responded right away. He listened to what I had to say. He stopped by when he said he would to take walk around. We walked the property, and I told him the back-story on some things I wanted, and where I needed help catching up, and what I would then take on (the beds) once I was caught up. He was very nice, he listened, he didn’t try to shame me or bully me. He offered a fair price to both of us — a little more for the first visit, and then a steady price for subsequent visits. He showed up the very next day and did in an hour what it usually took me several days. I paid him upfront for the first visit — he said he could bill me, but I said I wanted to pay him then and there, since it was our first time working together.

And I’ll see him in two weeks.

It’s such an immense relief, I can’t even find the words.

I can concentrate on getting down fertilizer (I did some of that) and working on the beds. I’ve cleaned out the front beds, and gotten the invasives out of the sides. I’m letting the roses run rampant until they bloom and fade, and then doing a serious prune. I pruned the flowering tree at the front side of the house.

The landlord hasn’t yet gotten anyone in to move the 23-foot tree limb that came down in a storm a few weeks ago, or the tree that’s leaning and concerns me. I tried to move the tree limb myself and couldn’t. The guy who mowed moved it. I got the rest of the brush cleared before he came to mow.

The tomatoes are finally growing up. I still have seedlings to transplant. The kale and mesculin greens are doing well, but none of the spinach came up. The herbs are doing well. The moonflowers and morning glories are coming up. The eggplants are doing well.

The Irises bloomed, and they are beautiful.

I still have to start the beans, the peas, the squash, and the flowers, even though it’s quite late in the season. But it’s just been too cold.

Here’s hoping I can now spend time doing what I enjoy doing in the garden, now that I have someone kind and reliable to mow!

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Thursday, May 16, 2019
2nd Quarter Waxing Moon in Libra
Jupiter Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Celtic Tree Month of Hawthorn
Sunny and pleasant

It’s rained almost every day since my last post. It was sunny last Saturday; I got a bit of mowing done, but that was it.

I’m going to do some more mowing today, and trim some edges in the front and the back terrace area. I’ll mow the side front and No Man’s Land. Pretty soon, I’ll have to mow the terraced back area.

I hope to get some more planting done today and tomorrow (which are planting days).

The photo on the top of the post is the potted lilac on the deck that’s blooming. The photo on the bottom is our large, old-fashioned lilac tree, which is starting to bloom.

I adore lilacs. Someday, I want to live in a place where I have hedges and hedges of lilac.

I’ve had a rough couple of weeks with the car issues. Working in the yard, whenever there was a bit of sun, helped manage the stress.

It took me less time to use the large hand clippers to trim the front beds than it would have to set up the weed whacker.

I hope we have some warmth and light, so I can get the rest of the planting done.

How is your garden growing?

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Falling Behind


the eggplant is even bigger now!

Saturday, April 30, 2011
Waning Moon 4th Quarter in Aries
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Celtic Tree Month of Willow
Scheduled to post

I’m scheduling this to post, because I’m out the door early to volunteer at a local wildlife sanctuary to help plant a butterfly garden. I’ll have lots to tell next week.

I feel like I’m falling behind; can’t keep up. I’m going to use the lawn mower for the first time this weekend — my yard is starting to look like a hayfield. I pulled up lots of dandelions the other day, and it seems two more came up for every one I pulled!

The back bed just overwhelms me — it will take me weeks to clean it out, weeks to rake and mulch under the trees, weeks to clean up the section between this house and one of the neighbors. I’m doing as much as I can every day that it’s not raining, but I have deadlines — I can’t blow a book contract in order to rake. Or I won’t be able to pay the rent and live here.

I feel very behind compared to the neighbors, but I have to remember that the garden is a work-in-progress, and I’m not just doing my work, I’m catching up on what was left undone by previous tenants.

On a happier note, the Black King Eggplant is huge; the India eggplants are starting to sprout; the zucchini have started to sprout. The foxglove sprouts are so tiny — amazing that some of those stalks will eventually grow to be seven feet tall!

The lilac bush has arrived, and is preparing to bloom. The huckleberry is much smaller than I expected — a huckleberry sprig rather than a huckleberry bush — but it’s adorable.

The pumpkins are doing well, and the strawberries are thriving out on the deck. The borage is large enough so, once I can replace the dinner plate I’ve got under the pot with the proper saucer, I can put it on the deck to protect the strawberries.

There’s a lot to be joyful about; I just feel like I’m constantly behind.

Devon