Saturday, May 17, 2014


Being at the brink of explosive flower growth is pretty exciting. And, here at the farmette, also a touch frustrating.

In the morning, I am up with the sun (which is so darn early in the second half of May!).


I make my way slowly, in the direction of the chicken coop.

What's this? Someone has been digging up the large flower bed! One plant is completely destroyed. A handful of others are sheared of new growth.

This isn't the work of chickens.  I'm guessing it's Martha, our resident groundhog.

Never mind. Let's appreciate the sunny (though slightly cool) day! After breakfast...


...I take Rosie (the moped) downtown where I meet my girl for a round of market shopping.


Asparagus, of course. Oyster mushrooms. Maple syrup for Ed. Sorrel for dinner tomorrow.

It's a lovely way to ease into a Saturday.

Okay, I'm ready to do some planting.

So are the chickens.

I try distracting them. It works for a few minutes, then the hens are in my face again. They dig where I dig, or nearby. They're not as destructive as a groundhog or a chipmunk (we have one who cropped a whole row of tulips for us), but they can damage new growth and roots. Again I redirect. And they come back. Ed moves them out. But only for a while. It's like having four toddlers who refuse to take a nap when you want to get things done.

Well okay. Enough planting for today. Let me sit back and look at the upside of the garden. It's not all daffodils out there! By now we have some dainty clumps of.... oh, all sorts of things! Here's the side bed for example  (the one that abuts the brick walkway to the house).


And elsewhere:




This, of course, is the peak week for planting, but I can't neglect the grinding work of weeding established beds and, too, of mowing the back prairie. I get on the John Deere. It's a rickety old tractor but it does the work of  chopping growth on the bumpy terrain out back. Until I hit a rock or a stump or an old log and once again dent the carriage, effectively bringing the machine to a halt.

And Ed fixes it and then, lo! I do it again!

I abandon the project for now. Is it even worth it? Or should we let the prairie take over as it did in past years? Waist high quack grasses, weeds, creating a lovely environment for mice, ticks, but too, some beneficials. Surely butterflies find refuge there as well... I really don't know the answer to this.

I rejoin the chickens and again Ed tries to distract them while I tidy the flower beds.


And by this time it's evening and the day has flown by ridiculously fast and this is the way it is when you have a long list of projects for the outdoors.

I wish I could say we retired early, but it's never like that on busy days. Tomorrow! I'll get on a good schedule tomorrow! In the meantime, I'm still picking up the pieces of yesterday. And this of course reminds me of all the graduation hoopla and your kindest possible words here and via email. Thank you! So very much.