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 . . .