ursulas_alcove: 19th century engraving of a woman using a drop spindle (Default)
First no rain, then lotsa rain. Gardening, food preparation, cleaning, shopping for missing ingredients, and dyeing filled my week. Since the pipes need repair, no hose for us to use. We lugged water every evening to water the five upper tiers of garden, herb spiral, potted plants, four beds in the mandela, and porch plants. The front yard garden has a swale system and was well worth the effort of digging. It did not require any water as you can see.

Growth Explosion

The last week in June, we pulled in a couple of pounds of garlic. I found two more stragglers today. For us, that was a pretty good haul. Currently they are in a brown paper bag because the fruit flies were after them. Normally, they need to dry out a bit before being used or stored. Chronographia made hummus with some in the solar oven as well as roasting some with olive oil.

German Hardneck Garlic

It looks like the peas are almost done. Rhubarb continues to look good and produce. I made waffles this week with a rhubarb compote. Delicious! The Purple Queen beans are coming along nicely in front of the mandela. Skirret reseeded in that patch. I was rather surprised. I had a hard time growing it from seed. Now that we have plants, they seem to have acclimatized. The skirret wants to be a bushy border along a fence or maybe part of an Elizabethan knotwork garden. Pollinators love it. It is as tall as our baby peach tree.

Radishes joined the cabbage, turnips, and carrots from the food bank to make a tasty coleslaw. Tonight we had nettles with lamb's quarters and sauted onions in a ricotta cheese sauce over baked potatoes. Our potatoes are not ready to harvest yet. The Austrian Crescent were the early potatoes. Unfortunately, they were in the Martian deathray section of the garden. I have hopes we can recover something for next year's seed.

The basil and parsley seed from The Seed Guy sprouted and is doing well in the herb spiral. The hyssop is blooming purple but it tastes like French tarragon. It started branching as soon as it was trimmed. It grows bigger and bushier with each cutting. And more skirret that needs to be moved to a better location. We finally found rosemary at the food co-op. The quest was worth it. White yarrow is hiding in the back and doing well. Lettuce is hiding in the shade of the iris. Chives are still growing but not abundantly. Thai basil reseeded from last year. Here is this year's herb spiral.

image

The window box is a weird assortment this year. The catnip lives there year round but we managed a volunteer tomato and pumpkins as well. This is still the yellow finch's favorite place to perch. He has given up fighting his reflection and sits on top the open window. The second story box has a sunflower in it, making it hard to open the window.

image

Trimming and weeding are daily chores, giving me an excuse to get out and stretch. Today I pulled a lot of creeping charley, violets, and grass from the front. The butternut is taking over.

Squash takes over blueberry patch

The bees have been in the clover in the grass as well as the borage. The bunny loves the white clover too. He lets us get pretty close. He is itchy and stopped to scratch. No fear.

My new lawnmower

Meanwhile, I have been winding hemp yarn into balls and labelling it. Also skeining wool for dyebathes. Indigo is finished. Hoping the yarn will dry. It turned rainy this weekend. Cooler too. Nothing wants to dry out. Thread weight yarn has been mordanted. Now for the next round, madder. Getting ready for that on Monday. Bookkeeping is up next. Sales tax to file in several states.

Indigo
ursulas_alcove: 19th century engraving of a woman using a drop spindle (Default)
This entry is more for me to remember. I planted about half of the seedlings. All of the Swiss Chard went into the garden. There was a lot of it. It went into three different beds. It takes up a lot of space when fully grown. Three went into the upper tier where I found more onions that the squirrel dug up. At the moment, there is arugula, the tiny cherry tree with rust spots, garlic, black raspberry, onions, bok choi, swiss chard and strawberries around the gooseberry and honeyberries.

I worked on the next tier. I made a tiny palisade edge to hold in the dirt and compost, vertical sticks with a bunch of horizontal twigs. Added coffee grounds to the existing leaves in the pile. The Goumi bush is flowering. The other trees and bushes are holding off yet. The brick square raised bed needs more chiseling to disassemble it. Meanwhile, I am scraping out the dirt to put into the herb spiral. The tansy stayed green all winter. Chocolate mint is spreading around the Asian Pear as planned. Trying out the mint for pest control. No one likes wormy pears.

The wood shavings are slowly being removed from the herb spiral and replaced with actual soil. Currently, the herb spiral just has skirret, yarrow, hyssop, and some struggling chives. Hoping to add the parsley from the seed tray soon. It's been outside, hardening off. Eventually once the weather settles, the spiral will also get basil and maybe fennel. Hoping to add some rosemary and sage this year, depending on finances. I cleared the old brussel sprout away and weeded. One Welch onion left in the whole bed. That's it. I added a sawdust path next to that bed. Think it'll become this summer's new compost pile. The comfrey is spreading, too fast for my taste. The compost heat should deter the spread. I can't burn there because it'd damage the tree branches overhead.

Spring has sprung

Back to my seed flats, I planted the mizuna in several places around the mandela garden. It did well among the rhubarb two years ago. It also went next to the French Sorrel and in the currant bush patch. Four Swiss Chard also went into the currants. I wasn't sure the currants would survive after last year. They are doing well and look much happier with the maple trimmed back. The Brood V 17 year cicadas may have had something to do with that too last year. Loads of onions in the currant patch as well as some red lettuce. I think that is physically as much as the bed will hold. The sorrel patch has space yet. The Lady's Mantel looks like is will also recover. The bok choi went in there. I still have more plants that need a home. I suspect many will end up around the Lady's Mantle.

And the rose bush that was totally frozen out and dead last year, shot up about a foot away. Its perfect! So happy. I missed that rose.

Spring has sprung

Nasturtium seed tray is still indoors. I just planted an additional tray for the seed moon tonight with lots of tomatoes. I learned a great garden hack today for avoiding leggy plants. Going to have to try this. https://youtu.be/7ut-zUNd4ek

Fourth Tray

So it looks like we are harvesting rhubarb later this week and strawberries soon thereafter. Last year our first harvest was April 22nd.

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August 2017

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