I’ve got a couple of quotes floating around in my head as of late, and most of them are pretty cliche. It seems like this year Eliot, Dickens AND Guns ‘N Roses had it right: “April is the cruelest month”; “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times”; and, of course, “Nothin lasts forever, even cold Novemeber rain.” Cliche or not, these pretty much sum up how my last month and a half has gone, there have been ups and there have been downs. My nephew Joey was born and I got to see him THREE TIMES in April. Then my family had an expected death throw us in a loop, and finally the school referendum that we needed to pass to save Brian’s job did NOT pass. Throw in a big Polish Easter celebration, lots of rain, rain, rain, rain and the end of the school year and you’ll start to see the kind of roller coaster I’ve been on. So, even though I felt like a quitter, the blog was the first thing to go on the back burner. Sorry folks! But, hopefully now that I’m officially on summer break I’ll be posting more often. I should- I’ve not got much else to do!
However… just because I haven’t been posting doesn’t mean I haven’t been taking pictures for the blog! Because I have! On the few sunny days we’ve had here and there I’ve been out in the yard and garden every chance I can get. I think my last “Garden Update” post was a little premature…. there really wasn’t a whole lot going on in the garden for anyone but me to be very interested in. I think it was just the blooming trees that got me excited about spring. But now the gardens are really starting to green up and I even got my vegetable starts planted!
Everything looks a little sorry right now. I think I may have tried to harden my starts off a little too quickly. I guess I was getting impatient to get them in. Before I planted the tomatoes in the bed I amended the soil with some peat moss and mushroom compost. It was a labor of LOVE, let me tell you. I felt like I was on Survivor competing for immunity because I woke up one morning and checked the weather to see I had three hours before it started raining. So I decided to get it all done in three hours. Sounds like plenty of time, but I was finishing up with a drizzle coming down on my back. The thing that made it so hard was that I don’t have a tiller, so it was just me and my good pal the shovel. I dug up 6″ worth of dirt (I hesitate to call it that, because our yard is mostly clay) and shoveled it into the wheelbarrow where I mixed it with the amendments and then shoveled it all back in. I was able to do about a 1’x1′ area at a time because that’s all the wheelbarrow would hold. So, it took me the whole three hours and I was laughing at myself the whole time. Hopefully it will be worth all the effort when the tomatoes and cucumber seeds I planted explode into a jungle of ripe veggies.Too bad I’ll have to wait until at least July for that!
The raised bed has eggplants, yellow squash and two kinds of beans planted. The squash and beans I direct sowed into the dirt, so I’ll be anxiously waiting to see those sprouts come up in the next couple of weeks.
I also planted my basil starts in some pots. Last year I had oregano, thyme and mint growing in these pots with my basil and all three came back! I didn’t expect any of them to make it. So all I need now is rosemary (which I’ll go out and buy at some point) and my potted herb garden will be all set.
Brian and I also finally got rid of that dead spruce and replaced it with a river birch. It’s hard to know what to plant in our yard– last year we had a severe drought which is what killed the spruce, but this year we’ve only had a handful of days without rain, so our yard has been a marshy mess in the back. We’ve seen lots of our neighbors with river birch in their yards so we figured it must be a pretty low-maintenance tree. Plus, they are nowhere near as expensive as Blue Spruce!
We added a few other things as well. I planted FOUR more lilac bushes near the house. I hope we get to stay in this house long enough for me to see them start to mature. I love lilacs and I wanted to put them in a grouping close to my kitchen window so their pretty scent would waft in. Below is a picture of one with some ornamental grass that should grow up to cover whatever ugly yard thing that is.
And we also planted a pussy willow bush in another particularly wet spot. I really like the way this looks, and the other day we noticed a neighbor that planted three of these on the north side of their house as well, so I think this will do much better here than the Mountainfire Spiria that I replaced it with.
I don’t think I’ll add any new plants to the front garden this year… I’m just waiting to see how everything I planted last year turns out. One thing I do know is that this fall I need to get some early spring bulbs to plant because I was so envious of everyone’s tulips and daffodils! I didn’t realize that most of my flowers (besides the lilacs) won’t be blooming until summer!
Speaking of lilacs, the one up front is finally blooming. It’s much later than the ones I have in back.
I also need to put up some pictures of my alliums. Last post I kind of neglected them, and when I went home my aunt Lilly’s alliums looked very different than mine,. I had a hard time explaining mine, so I really want to show her how they look. I can’t wait to post pictures of these when they finally bloom in June!
I am also thrilled with how well my bleeding heart bush is doing! I thought it was dead, dead, dead last year. My Aunt Barb told me it’d come back and I didn’t believe her, but I’m so happy she was right!
Whenever I go out taking pictures of the garden I always try to snap a few shots of the dogs as well. This is pretty easy to do with Truman– he’s patient with me, good at posing, and is very photogenic:
Just like with everything else, though, Finnegan has to be completely opposite of his brother. Although he’s a very handsome boy, he hates the sounds the camera makes and is very camera shy. So it’s hard to get a good shot of him when he’s always running off. Most of them end up looking something like this:
But, after chasing him around the yard and taking about 1,000 shots, I think I got my favorite portrait of him ever!
What a sweetheart, right? When he puts on that happy face it’s hard not to smile myself.
I’ve been taking some pics of meals I’ve been making lately, too. Those should go up soon!