Preparing for planting

I haven’t been able to do much in the garden since my encounter with the Land Rover, but this week I hired some help and we dug potatoes, weeded, spread compost and mulch. We left the parseley and a few onions.

Here is the first bed, ready for planting. Then the rains came and settled everything in. Soon this bed will have peas, lettuces and maybe a tomato or two.

Santiago and a few miscellaneous photos

We’ve enjoyed Santiago a great deal, especially the Museo Chileno de Arte Precolombiano where we went twice. The bottom floor is called “Chile before Chile” and as you walk in, you are greeted by these grand wooden grave markers at the end of a long hallway, some lit, some in shadow:

They are supposed to reflect the spirit of the departed, and provide a very eerie introduction to the pots and fabrics and other ancient artifacts.

Continue reading “Santiago and a few miscellaneous photos”

When Larry notices the garden

you know it has to be spectacular. Mostly, he doesn’t pay any attention to it except to ask for a handful of herbs or spinach. Right now, though, after the rainy winter and a few weeks of sun, it is so dazzling that it can’t be ignored.


 

 

 

 

 

The camera on the iPhone really doesn’t do it justice. Walking out in the morning is a glimpse of paradise. This poem comes to mind:

God’s Grandure

The world is charged with the grandeur of God.
xxIt will flame out, like shining from shook foil;
xxIt gathers to a greatness, like the ooze of oil
Crushed. Why do men then now not reck his rod?
Generations have trod, have trod, have trod;
xxAnd all is seared with trade; bleared, smeared with toil;
xxAnd wears man’s smudge and shares man’s smell: the soil
Is bare now, nor can foot feel, being shod.
Continue reading “When Larry notices the garden”

Baby chicks

I really can’t resist them, so when my Silkie hen began sitting on eggs, I isolated her and let her think she was hatching them. Three weeks later I went to the feed store and bought six baby chicks. That night I slipped out the eggs and slipped in the chicks. I brushed a little butter on the chicks’ feathers to absorb the mother hen’s smell.

The next morning, the Silkie adopted the babies (who were several days older than newborn), and the babies bonded with the hen (even though they’d been born in a hatchery). It all worked just as if they had hatched right here.

I kept them completely caged for a few days, then let them out for a bit. The first thing the Silkie did was leave the chicks and take a prolonged dust bath, as if to say, “I’ve been cooped up for weeks–I have to take a shower!”

 

After about ten minutes of dust bath, she rejoined the chicks and herded them around, teaching them what to eat and where to look for it. She makes the sweetest little clucks when she finds something interesting, and all the chicks gather round. Of course, it also trains me to bring them treats.

Continue reading “Baby chicks”

It’s not all politics and poetry…

I have been working in the garden.  The labyrinth is gone, replaced by a fountain and lots of herbs and flowers. It should all grow in and be easy to keep free of weeds–at least so I hope.

 

 

 

 

 

In back, we’ve been eating lettuce, fennel, green onions, chard and spinach for weeks, with snap peas just starting.

Planting by the moon

I have read that planting leafy vegetables at the new moon increases their productivity, but I never tried it until Monday, which was the new moon this month. I prepared about 100 little peat pots and planted lettuce, bok choi, tatsoi, cucumbers, cauliflower, broccoli, marigolds… By Thursday, I had the
first baby seedlings.

A Continue reading “Planting by the moon”

Bounty

Between poetry and politics, I haven’t updated my garden posts in a long time. But the garden has ignored everything but its delight in rain, and has been yielding potatoes, fennel, spinach, collards, garlic, peppers, onions and the delicious Yacon.

 

All this wonderful produce, plus the hens laying again makes for the best breakfasts.

And did I mention I’m replacing the labyrinth with a waterfall and herb garden? More on that later.

It’s good to remember that life goes on, despite politics…

I’m putting in new seed orders today.

Dismantling the labyrinth

IMG_3009No, it’s not because of political chaos, it’s just that the labyrinth has become too labor intensive. I decided to have a little pond and rock garden instead. The first step is digging up plants I want to save–easy to do after the rain–and pot them for the short term, to replant after the stonework and pond are done.

It’s looking a bit trashed at the moment, but I made a discovery in the process–not a giant asparagus, but a flowering of aloe: Continue reading “Dismantling the labyrinth”

Lavish

is the only word I can think to describe this spring. Even before today’s rain, the hills were Ireland green, and the flowers, spinach, and herbs have overwhelmed the Labyrinth.  They look so good in their profusion, I’m just giving up on the labyrinth idea for the moment.

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In back, the small flower area of the vegetable garden is a riot of color–with nasturtiums, geraniums, cymbidiums (should that be cymbidia?) and poppies.

2016.04.18.08.35.44We are eating whole meals from the fall vegetable garden, which has yielded potatoes, onions, greens galore, and bouquets grace the table:

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2016.04.17.17.12.25It’s been so warm, I’ve made a temporary summer office (had to take in the rug and the hammock today, of course).