Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Winter Solstice passed - Merry Christmas!

This year has been long in some ways but fast in others. Then, we froze. No way to do anything outside but run out and take a couple of photos.
The iron horsehead got twice again as much - this was early in the day.

Our backyard was just getting whiter by the hour, at 13 degrees.

Wistfully, I looked out at the garden beds to be - those little wooden stobs are a foot tall sans snow, with he first couple of "lasagna" layers inside the string-bordered beds. See how procrastination gets covered up - at least for a while. We are getting some light rain, with the temps soaring almost to 50, so I might be tempted to slap on another bunch of molehill dirt (yes, they are back!), leaves, and gobs more cardboard, and if I can get some dandelion greens pulled, so much the merrier!

Oh, I forgot! Just a few days before the snow, I found this big ugly fungus amungus. I slapped Mr. Lincoln down alongside to give it some scale. No sign of any harm to it after the snow, but no way I'd I want some intrepid 'shroom-hunter to snack on that!

And finally, here's the river, dressed in its winter formal outfit.

Now that the days will be getting a bit more light, I'll find the bits and pieces of junk tools and supplies I've been collecting to start making the garden bed walls. The plans have been sketched out, modified considerably, and the fun will start once theory meets reality.
Here's to a very Merry Christmas, and a most Happy New Year to all!

Saturday, November 23, 2013

The Price of Procrastination

Only about seven moons ago, I thought I could make a few posts about setting up some garden beds, pick some fruit from trees I found along the fence by the road, and try to start weeding and mowing and yardy sorts of things.
Obviously, the autofocus looked right past this pink-bud apple blossom, but it was one of many.
 I have no idea what this bush is, nor do I know much about rhodies, but they bloomed all over the place.
 And these Dutch Iris (I think) popped up, along with all kind of hostas, some at dinner plate size.

So went the spring into summer, with yellow plums, blue plums, a couple of Bartlett-like pears so scabby, I thought they'd be yucky, but I peeled one and decided it was just so-so. Apples were tasty but I didn't try making a pie or applesauce. The scab on the apples was pretty ugly, too. I procrastinated on summer pruning the fruit trees. They got a late-summer pruning that I'll illustrate in my next post.

After much more time and delay of game, I got some decent Honda stuff to attack the looming acreage of grasses/weeds. Great exercise, but it also let me procrastinate on starting even one measly garden bed. Various and sundry events filled in the days and weeks, with only notes and plans written on yellow tablets to show my intentions. More effort went into whacking down the nasty blackberries, creating heaps of stuff only a flamethrower could love. But - you guessed it, I had  to  procrastinate, because the county prohibits brush-burning until late October. That works for me!

The first frosty days just arrived, with the grass staying frosted for two full days so far. Really gives me a good reason excuse to stay indoors. Besides, I just got a High Mowings catalog, so I can catalog-garden instead. Maybe Johnny's and others will arrive soon, too. Oh, boy!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Enough Chilling Hours

and other excuses for not setting up a garden yet

OK, so I got over the winter, which I think was milder than what we were told it could be. Goody - but unmistakably obvious signs of Spring have been happening, except there's no long piles of greens and browns to indicate future garden beds. I did get out and pound in a garden stake, so gimme that teeny bit of credit. 

Mostly, I hibernated, and planned out how to start replacing the one-way tool borrows that happen when moving twice. Hey, we did get some snow.

 For a while, the river rose a lot, but now the rocks are sticking out again, and the lush stuff along the banks turns green, not just from moss.

I even found a daffodil, all by its lonely, and I took a crappy picture of it, but you'll have to wait, because I can't find the camera to upload it. I tediously counted up how many hours below 40 degrees F we had between November 15th and March 15th, to get an idea of the chilling hours this winter. I got well over a thousand, so I guess I can plan on lots of pome fruits for the future orchard. And lots more, of course. I made a command decision to delay pruning the old fruit trees, as I read that they will do better with summer pruning anyway, and I'll get more to shred for compost, too. Now that the ground is warming a bit (all of a whopping 43 degrees now).

Duh - found the picture of the daffy.

Sounds crazy, bug we have some bayou-looking stuff in the far back yard. I put on my Bogs boots and stomped down the canes to get a closer look, since the weedy stuff had frozen and died down. But what the heck are those giant yellow flowers? They are easily 6 or 7 inches long, mostly right in the little pond and creek water, tons of them!

see what I mean about moss...and even ferns in the moss! In the top left of the first picture, that's a blackberry cane about 1 inch in diameter, meaner than hell, so I quit
my little excursion into the wilds. I need a big machete next trip, I think.
There are all kind plants and flowers, including the fruit trees, which bloomed out in the past week or two. I know one is a pear, two are apples (leafing but not yet flowering) and some are what, plums? apricot? I just have to wait, I know, and yes, I'll thin the fruit. Hang some sticky red things, too, to trap the flies. Gotta get some Tree Tanglefoot.


I found a pretty white flowering tree of some sort in the front "ivy" bed:

And, here's a leetle better pic of the lonely daffodil.