Wednesday, May 16, 2018

a May work day

We have done a ton of work at the farmette. Over a half dozen years, we've taken down trees, planted an orchard, removed perhaps two million invasives and three billion weeds and dense matted grasses, spread maybe five thousand truckloads of wood chips, cut, pruned, dug, planted seeds, planted annuals, planted bushes, vines, grapes, berries, veggies -- including hundreds of tomato seedlings and of course far more perennials than I care to admit. But although you couldn't immediately tell, I think this year, I've worked harder, longer hours, with more exactitude and consistency than ever before.

Why? Maybe because spring was so long in coming that I was more than ready for the weeks of work that April and May bring. Or maybe because the land is so vast  for one person plus one very strong helper to care for, that in the past, I'd cut corners and this time, I wanted to attend to at least some of those sloppy spaces.

But most of all, I worked hard because I am so very content right now. And I want the farmette land to look as good as I feel.

And of course, I'm retired. You can't improve a farmette in twelve hour shifts if you also have a job or your kids need you.

Because I haven't Snowdrop with me for the rest of the week and the weather is again fantastically perfect (and will continue thus for the rest of the week), there was a danger today that I would overdo.

We started early.

Step outside and your lungs fill with lilac scent!

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Ed's job today is to prepare the tomato bed for planting (it does take the better part of a day). Mine? Well, everything else.

But before we plunge into the dirt, we have a solid breakfast. On the porch. Commemorated with a timed release.

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And then we get to it. Force yourself to get up, quit staring at the tableau before you, and get to work!

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Ed suggests we improve the space around the silo and so I attack that first: it's a nice shady spot for transplanted ferns, hostas and astilbes and I've also satisfied my nature lover Ed that I'm not chucking tiger lilies as I pull them out of flower beds -- I'm merely giving them a new home. By the silo, where they can do no harm!

I also work on the front bed. Well, and the side beds and big bed and every bed and here's a very good thing: my friend who is spending just a few days in Madison, comes over with her daughter to hang out on the porch with me. Otherwise I'd be one collapsed gardener right now. The break was a godsend.

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My friend is a gardener as well, though her plantings in New Mexico look very different from the farmette flora. Still, we love to compare notes! Most of my flowers grow around the courtyard and only the occasional visitor (and Snowdrop!) gets to see the full effect. I was gratified when her daughter could not get enough of the heady fragrance of blooming lilacs.

Though of course, visually, it's the crab apple that steals the show. It's a short lived extravaganza. All the more reason to not rush, to stop and admire.

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(Tail end of tulip time...)

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It's a long day and at the very end of it all I'm completely spent.  Let me leave you with that crab and lilac. It's hard, but not impossible to get them in the same photo frame. Now, take in a deep breath and tell me if it isn't the best fragrance on the planet?!

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