Tuesday, September 21, 2010

consequences of neglect

There are always a couple of perennial beds around here that get 'forgotten' every couple years....I try to do a kick ass job on each bed every couple years but it doesn't always work out.
Witness the attack of Bidens frondosa or more colloquially named hereabouts as Devil's Pitchfork.
As someone who's done her share of weeding I know things are bad when I am forced to retreat and find a fresh shirt.
But as I was en route I must admit to a moment of grudging admiration for the opportunistic little beggar. We critters do all the work dragging it's sorry seed from pillar to post, pulling, or trying to pull, them off as we advance. hmmmmmm....

Friday, September 17, 2010

maybe a frost tonight

castor beans for those stews (just kidding)
peas will appreciate the frost
kangaroo apples will never ripen to orange by the looks of things
how much damage will the girls do to the little pink magnolia with their roosting ways?
ornamental kales also give thumbs up to some serious chilling

no, really I was just kidding about the castor beans

Thursday, September 16, 2010

an 'almost' RIP

today's lesson:
you CAN scream loudly enough to make a coy dog drop his brunch
and hit the underbrush!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

the highly low, lowly high sunflower

They chatter.

And lend themselves to the whims of all ilk of artist.

After the smiley face they are the most overused icon for cheerfulness the world has ever seen. And when they evidence any hint of imperfection or decay they play magnificently to the poignancy card Joe SixPack holds near to his heart. They've nodded their way in and have no intentions of leaving our Hallmark Card dramas.
As you can imagine, I would not be without them.

Monday, August 30, 2010

how I spent my summer vacation or there is life without a computer

Well, so much for my note-to-self regarding discipline when it comes to blog posts BUT it ain't easy to do minus an actual computer so I'm letting myself off the hook.
At first it was a nightmarish withdrawal but very quickly the pain subsided and was forgotten and my ruminations over this dry summer were just mine own bouncing around and echoing in my head. Though, to disclose fully, it has been a gluttonous affair catching up on my favorite blogs.

It's been a bizarrely dry summer in Vermont this year and truly for the first time did I actually begin to think about some sort of practical irrigation ideas. (Add that to the list)..The upshot, of course, is that everything that's been struggling along is small, small, small having been deprived of the quantity of water for optimal growth. But, on the flip side, wow, I have enjoyed the sunshine and lack of rain more than I can say so I just sort of shrugged my shoulders and hoped that the imminent collapse of 'everything' doesn't happen this particular winter as the goods put away thus far are minimal, (except for pesto..basil galore!)
So what I decided was to just look around, move alot of perennials, amend the soil, spend endless hours watching the ducks and chicks grow and to feed them whatever their caviar lovin' palates desired. (OK, let's be honest, I am their slave).
So truly I'm just trying to prep for that mythical ideal represented in the words 'next year'..that attitude has really lessened the burden and I've found myself enjoying my humble labors.
As to my connection to the interwebs? I'm still on shaky ground but I'm taking it in stride!

Monday, June 21, 2010

alright already with the ducks!

a backward glance
grooming poolside
yes, I put rubber duckies in there...
what can I say, I get a kick out of them.
a photo while the water is remotely clean...duck befoul with astonishing rapidity.
duck known as 'lame-y' wears a buff orp chapeau

the chicks love them, they love the chicks!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

going to seed and other stuff

As is often noted time is a precious commodity this time of year, at least it is for me. And though I've a bit more time for my own garden projects the 'to do' list has expanded exponentially it sometimes seems. In any event I'm already at the 'let's try setting one's head straight' portion of the season and am opting to work hard and enjoy even more. That's the goal anyway. Remaining conscious and actually looking around is my major ambition.
That said much of what is happening here this season will be allowing stuff to go to seed for seed. The charge of seeing a biennial do it's thing is worth the wait. I'm following Mike's,(Subsistence Pattern), general idea of trying to stay a couple of years ahead seed-wise, (and wood-wise as well)..I'll be at it a couple more years but hey, baby steps.
Meanwhile, back in reality, there is a heap o' weedin' to do!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

adventures outside

Since it was about 90 today we decided to take a little sojourn to the great out of doors and it seems to have been met with great interest and enthusiasm, must say i'm looking forward to it being a permanent situation despite how high the cute-0-meter is registering.

Monday, May 24, 2010

in my mind's eye

in my mind's eye these waddlers will be assisting in future pest control but for the moment they are just cute splashing in their Ce-ramic pond! (However, the endless clean-up at this stage leaves something to be desired but eventually they'll move to their own digs and balance will be restored).

Friday, May 21, 2010

up for air

the irony is that it's a time of year with so many gardening related interests a' happenin' the menu of choice topics goes on forever....the problem is there is NO time to wander with camera in hand or compose those pithy mental notes. My hope, (since there is such an overload of projects happening simultaneously), is to get on some sort of track in the next few weeks and re-establish some semblance of routine. Meanwhile it's hard labor and baby chicks!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

it's a sog-i-fi-ca-tion situation!

Unlike most I am only now seeing some of the mushy truth revealed...oh boy.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

crazyass winter shenanigans with bobcat

This post has nothing to do with gardening. About a hundred years ago some family member ended the life of this poor ol' bobcat and then had him stuffed. Since I've known him he's existed largely in the darkness of attics so today we thought he needed a walk in the snow and a little time in the fresh air. I left him guarding the seedlings out in the shed that desperately want some sunshine.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Serious Snow, Finally

It's unusual for us to have such an open winter as we've had so far this season and to be frank, I'm relieved and grateful for this snow cover. For the first time in a while I've had plants exposed where the thus far relatively minimal snow accumulation had receded a bit and that made me concerned for dessication,burn, windchill, what-have-you..
And look, here's the deal, please don't live here if you don't think it's about the most beautiful sight imaginable. Err, or, if you are ill prepared for the realities of what I think is about to happen any minute, power failure.
The snow wade I just took blew my mind, and quiet, oh my. (Pausing to collect myself)
So, what's there to say except "WOW!"

Friday, January 15, 2010

Open the windows every once in a while,

why don't ya?
'airing out' was the term employed as I was growing up..
Yeah, got to thinking about this while doing woodstove chores and it's been an ongoing internal dialogue for a couple of weeks now.

There are many official places to read about firewood, fireplace and woodstove safety..All I might add is to follow the rules and use your common sense and, most importantly, pay attention. Paying attention, for me, is the sign of a truly evolved human. Sadly, I come up short too frequently in that category...Nevertheless: ONE MUST TRY!
Besides the obvious necessary cleanings of chimneys and hardware and such I feel of additional importance is the cleaning of the air your lungs require.

Now most people hereabout are concerned, rightly so, about the heat escaping as many of us live in houses aged enough to have a gap or two. (And don't even go near the conversation of HOW people in the not too distant future will stay warm..I shudder metaphorically and will perhaps literally someday).
But a bit of escaping heat is not all bad. To live hermetically sealed in with mega-insulation can create some hairy built up gases and such. Stale, unclean air. So open a damned window every once in a while!
Full Disclosure: This was typed while the temp was actually a hair above freezing for the first time in ages and the air completely still. However, the more arctic the windy blast through the house, the sooner you shut the window! Simple.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


Some grow up in households that thump bibles or drink to distraction and those 'traumas' indeed imprint on mushy kid brains coloring them ever afterward. In my case the imprint branded in this old gal's child mind was one of Yankee frugality, waste not want not, be prepared, respect living things and to cultivate a healthy dose of skepticism will rarely fail one.

So with varying degrees of success I've been doing that since dinosaurs roamed. Hence whenever I hear the term I gotta snort a bit and shake my head at a culture-at-large, (that I happen to share this ever shrinking planet with), seemingly to have been brought up to do just the opposite.

Placed in my 'When I Rule The World' folder yesterday was a note, "Every child should be encouraged to explore a hobby that requires neither electricity or ammunition to enjoy"....I can only wonder at the level of creativity that might engender..ah well.

ON TO REALITY: Since my future dreams include never having to buy salad greens again I lessen the pain of currently doing so by knowing that the clear plastic shells it comes in can make the dandiest little mini greenhouses. I poke little holes in the top and bottom for transpiration and in these I start alot of my seeds. The especially good part is that the lid snaps shut and it's rodent proof. Nothing irks more than to discover the destruction of just one nocturnal visit from the citizens of Rodentia after babying a bunch of seedlings for a couple weeks.
Additionally I like those boxes clementines come in as a good container for seedlings bumped up and they're deep enough not to dry out in two seconds. And finally, I'm a sucker for any kind of tin. They're great for storing seed or well, anything.

Monday, January 4, 2010

before enlightenment: shovel snow, make paths

after enlightenment:
shovel snow
make paths

anyhoo, I think I like the workout from clearing a pathway...go for a few minutes, take deep breaths, keep going. We,(meaning the collective, the 'culture' out there), grew up thinking it was such a terrible chore. Guys my age routinely keeling over from heart attacks due to the stress of snow shoveling .
So I asked myself this morning, "Do I like doing this?"
Answer: Not too complicated, not too nuanced..."Well, I really don't mind it all that much..hey wait a minute, I'm sort of digging this...literally and otherwise."
Let's not go overboard and call it fun but I feel good, my lungs feel good. We've no critters in outbuildings, (yet), so I guess I don't NEED to shovel...no lives depend on these paths as they do for so many others. Maybe, at the end of it, I just like the 'notion' of paths. hmmmmm.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

oh dear, seed catalogues

just a few of what's come of late...and it's tough for me being both frugal as well as a junkie.

Trying to sift through them, checking last year's notes, trying to remember who seems to deal in the freshest seed, open pollinated, heirloom, F1 hybrids, timely delivery, actually getting what you've ordered and that stuff I'll just get from work...and oh yes, factor in the leaping growth of home gardening, (yes, a good thing but a thing too that seemed to catch the companies unaware).

Oh, and the lure of the actual seed racks and oh, there are such places not far from here that stock the seed of 20+ companies right before my greedy eyes.

And then the new little companies, just starting up, online mostly...want to encourage them, throw them some biz.

And then those that disappointed and/or continued to disappoint.
So you sniff around, look and listen hoping to pick up good tips or to be pointed in the right direction at least.

And then there are those seeds you yourself have collected..You know they are unadulterated and fresh. But so limited and you want to try new things even if it might seem 'contra indicated' in your particular zone.

And finally, most importantly, you give yourself 'the talking to'. What do you REALLY want/need? What are you willing to store/process? And yes, you may like EVERYTHING but what will the folks you break bread with actually eat?

Ok, I'm just typing out loud here. I am still deciding what 2010's gardens will be. I know I took losing 80+ tomato plants and a couple of rows of potatoes to blight last year pretty hard, especially seeing as those are things people like to eat. Additionally I had alot more predation on my nearly non existent winter squash crop. Oh, that one stung. Indeed it did. I put alot of hope in that squash basket. But I'm not whining, just commenting.

So, so far I've decided on more root crops and a helluva lot more greens. And, to broaden my palate, my prepping, my experimentation. It really is all good.