Transitions

 

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Times they are a changin’  — constantly is seems.  Just as I adjust to a new normal something happens, and I’m right back in figuring it all out all over again.

The weather has been wet.  Beautiful, but wet.

The garden is sort of stasis.  Things aren’t dying, but they aren’t quite thriving either.  They are sort of stalled at almost but not quite ready to pick.  My tomato seedlings rotted and the peppers never even sprouted.  The transplanted blackberries and grapes look amazing.  The new kiwi vines look really good too, still small, but looking quite nice.  The pruned blackberries look posed to take over the world with a tremendous amount of fruit.  The new strawberries are getting quite bushy. And even though it breaks my heart just a little, I have been diligent about removing the flowers and the daughters.

I’ve been working on a 100 square foot flower bed.  I always buy cut flowers with my grocery money.  It led me to wonder if I couldn’t just make a bed full of flowers to cut.  I’m hoping to add another 100 square foot bed to the flowers.  I’m planting a mix of things:  peony, hollyhocks, wild flowers, and a mix of different flower seed packets.  I just pick them up without giving it too much thought.  I am trying to keep the colors in the same general scheme.  So far it’s too soon to know how that bed is doing.  It looks like a tangle of weeds, but I’m pretty sure it’s not.  I just don’t know which plant is which flower yet.   I kind of took a meadow approach — you know, stand in one place and scatter the mixed seeds, hoping it will look fairly natural.

Michael got me a beautiful oak tree for Mother’s Day this year.  It is planted smack in the middle of the old dog yard.  We also planted a peach and cherry tree.  Both of those are dwarf varieties and were planted near the sidewalk.   I am hoping they’ll shade the windows in a few years.

Another big change is the fence.  We changed it from just a dog yard to around the entire front yard.  That makes mowing easier, makes planning garden beds, perennial plantings, and my dream of a labyrinth easier too.  I’m shifting my focus from what worked when we were younger to what will work when we are “retired.”   Everything we learned in the past 19 years at our little place will now be refined over the next 15 years.

The chickens are still laying at peak production levels.   Our lone remaining Silver-Gray Dorking has gone broody.  Hopefully she’ll raise a nice clutch of young ones.  We need to expand the current chicken yard sometime soon.  And we will probably need to build a new chicken coop with yards.

We still have one lone rabbit.  She lives in a double cage and seems quite happy.  She provides enough manure for the compost heap.  I think I’d like another one.  She’s getting a bit on the old side, and I cannot imagine this little place without rabbit manure.  It is almost magic stuff!

That is about all the farm-stead news.  Family update later on . . .

 

The garden in March

The garden in March is very wet, very messy place to be.  The air is cold, the soil is cold, and it is wet.  Very wet.  That makes March the best time, I’ve found, for pulling up the weeds.  You can really get at those roots–they practically slide out of the ground.  But because it is so wet, you really need to use your hands.  The hoe will just make a ball of muck out of your lovely garden soil.

We never, well almost never, walk in our garden beds.  This keeps the soil light, airy, and springy.  So it is a bit hard to get the ones in the very middle.  But we try.

Here’s a bit from my March garden journal:

March
March 11– Bed 1/Perennial Bed:  weeded the area around the Lavender.  Planted 18 strawberry plants.
March 15– Bed 1:  weeded next section.  Did not plant.  Still a few big tufts for Kelly to remove first.
March 19– bought wood for rabbit hutch frame and seed starter pots
March 21 — Seed flat 1:  basil, parsley, oregano, arugula, kale, spinach, lettuce.  Seed flat 2:  zucchini, yellow squash, buttercup squash, watermelon, cantaloupe, cucumber, marigold, tomato,  bell pepper, cilantro, arugula.  Purchased flower seeds.
March 24 — first sprouts are up in the seed flats
March 25 — moved sprouts to new seed flat.  Watered all.  Strawberries don’t appear to be living — check in 2 weeks and rebuy.

 

Happiness on a shelf

Spring can be such a fickle season.  Sunny and warm one day, rainy and cold the very next day.

Today happens to be a cold rainy day.  The house-keeping work was done early and so I looked around for something to do.  Something that did not include getting on FB or just mindlessly surfing.

My favorite book shelf to the rescue . . . .  Can I just say again how much I love Dorothy Sayers.  Her wisdom, her wit, her ability to pull me into the story.  Lord Peter & Bunter — I never get tired of them.

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Beauty

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My little altar area has some new color. Our local grocery store had some beautiful tulips this week. So I gave up my chocolate and got some. They look so lovely in the window against the gray skies of this very drippy and windy Spring.

I also hung (on dental floss, ’cause that’s all I had) the butterflies that Nancy made and had passed around on Easter Sunday. They flutter so slightly as the breeze presses through the open window.

Both remind of worship, transformation, and to let beauty hold a place in our home. Both remind me of the goodness of creation.

Trip to town

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Today I went to town just for one thing. Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

No person was injured in my quest– I did promise Michael I would come home with it even if I had to try several stores and use my elbows. As he left the truck, I said “Be safe out there today.” For the first time he said, “You too.” I guess he thought I might have to fight for the movie.

I did decide while in town to pick up a few strawberry plants and some garden soil. The strawberries I transplanted a month ago didn’t make it through some cold nights. That’s my fault, I should have covered them. They are a bit fragile until their roots get sunk into the new earth.

The garden soil is so I can transplant some seedlings from little pots to slightly larger pots.  I’m getting a jump start on the garden this year.  At least, I hope I’m getting a jump start.  I’m not a great transplanter — as evidenced by the dead strawberries.

Daily-ness

I am breaking up with Facebook.  Actually, that’s not entirely correct.   I’m not using it for anything other than family and church.  It wasn’t necessarily an easy decision, but it was one I began to feel strongly about.   I may yet decide to delete the entire account.

I’ve noticed that my other blog (Sunshine on the Bridge) contains more contemplative writing.  That is a good and healthy thing for me.  I need the space to write freely about what’s on my mind.  But, I don’t write about daily life there.  Nothing about what’s going on in the garden.  Nothing about our on-going efforts to live a sustainable life.  Nothing about what a sustainable life looks like with a chronic disease.

Lately I find myself with a desire to return to this blog and just write something daily–  to let a daily writing become a  habit.  This blog is a good place for that since I’ve always been exceptionally informal here.   So there will be daily posts with no discernible theme for the whole blog other than what the title suggests:  Hedges Happenings.

Jasper –year 1

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