Thursday, May 22, 2014


The sun is definitely closer to the western horizon and we are not done with our vegetable planting. Phew!

I start with this sentence because it sets the tone of my post: there just isn't enough time to attend to it all and this despite the fact that both Ed and I were up before 6 today.



Three acres is a lot to take care of. Tending to this amount of land really does require a Monet's family setup (he forced his numerous offspring to do much of the work around his inspired gardens). In the past, Ed and I have been willy nilly in our efforts, thinking that half an effort is better than none. That, unfortunately, proved to be misguided. If you plant trees and don't protect them, you lose your trees. If you have raspberries and don't prune them back, they run amok and you may as well have nothing. Or worse, you have a mosquito resort. In gardening, you have to set your goals high and make an effort to get to the finish line.

But the day is only so long.

In the morning hours, for us, there is always breakfast. These days, on the porch.


After? There is no routine, no set pattern. We talk about what comes next and then we plunge into it.

And so today is a grab bag of jobs: we want to return to planting vegetables, having stalled yesterday on not finding the right peas and corn seeds. Not so easy. Corn has very strict compatibility requirements. You cannot plant random corn seeds next to each other. And we had miscalculated which varieties are compatible. Phew! Lunch break is now handed over to studying corn compatibility tables.

And there is the matter of grapes. We thought we had a casualty among last year's grape plantings. Today we spotted a bud on the "dead" stalk. So the replacement grapes now need a new bed. Add to the list: grape bed building.

And mowing. With a hand mower. Tight spots around the veggies. Except I get carried away and mow random tight spots all around the property.

Do you see what I mean? Too many things, not enough time.

So let's focus on the upside. Because there is always that upside!

First of all, we did finish our veggie patch today: five rows of peas, six rows of corn, one supplemental bed of grapes. Done!

And the chickens mostly behaved. At least, they stayed away from the veggie patch while we worked there.


True, they would not leave my flower bed toward evening...


...but by then I was too tired to fret.

In case I give the impression of this being a month of all work and no smiles, let me forcefully say that this is not the case. Days like today are such a gift! Sunny, not hot -- really perfect. And as Ed commented -- today was probably the best day of the year in which to admire the lilac along with the crabapple. They are at their peak and the effect is stunning. Hard to capture them in one frame, but this might give you a hint of what it's like:


There, I need say no more. I'll just leave you with one last little pic -- one of my dizzy girl dianthus (that's my nickname for it): it's blooming now and if you can't smile at it's crazy hair, then you're just not a flower person!