Sunday, May 31, 2009

a.k.a. beach umbrellas

I was horrified to discover that these are my husband's favorite flowers for summer.


a.k.a. "beach umbrellas" (as he calls them).

A pot - a small pot - of them sits on our outside table. I hate to admit it, but they're growing on me. They're kind of pretty, up close.

. . . bite thy tongue! Silly petunias. . . .

Friday, May 29, 2009

failed experiment

We had such high hopes for the garden. Such trenchings and roto-tillings that went on, and beans, peas, radishi, beets, tomatoes, potatoes and roquettes that went in! And fencings. Oh, the fencings. All for nought.

The sun has not risen high enough in the sky to throw its rays over the top of the clearing of trees to reach the garden. It gets nothing more than leaf-filtered light and that is not enough. We have huge, stringy radish tops, with wee stringy roots tinged red. No radishi. The tomato plants languish and threaten rot. The beans sprung up and raced to a foot high, where they have remained - apparently unchanged - for the last few weeks. The roquette has already bolted. The basil - well - the less said about that, the better. [it involves slime and slugs] We have a ton of red-toned beet leaves, but I suspect we'll end up with red-tinged roots instead of tubers. Even the chard, which apparently doesn't care for heat and direct sun, is lying about, limp.

Meanwhile, around the corner, on the side of the house closest to the woods which I thought would be rather dark and uninteresting, this is what I found the other morning. Sun.

FULL sun. For several hours!

I don't get it.

The problem is that it's in the part of the yard* that the builder pretty much ruined with compacting and what apparently passed for 'topsoil' - meaning rocks and clay, which (if it ever dried out) turns to concrete. The same problem exists in front of the studio, which is the perfect spot, and which I'd always planned to use as the garden. The problem there is that that soil does dry out, and a jackhammer will be needed to made a dent in whatever it was Tom-builder put there, in place of dirt. . . .


Here's the solution: raised beds.

Okay. Plan B.
*and okay, okay! Pretty much ALL of the yard has this noxious material on it. It's particularly bad, however, close to the house.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day

Nope. Not Luther. Luther had company. That's Lilli! Here they are together. You'll see the difference readily. Lilli's the blonde. . . .

Luther likes blondes.

Here's Lilli and wee Eron. I like to call him Enron. Too many business ethics case studies, I imagine.

He's a perpetual motion machine. Oh - and a barker! He doesn't much like Luther. Not yet, anyway. He's leery of him, so he barks. Luther gives him his space, so you won't see any pictures of the two of them together. By the end of the day, they were [mostly] peaceably co-existing. In separate spheres of influence. Enron's a cutie, isn't he? I'm thinking he'll eventually grow into his head [and feet] - right now it looks like a full-grown shepherd's head has been photoshopped onto a puppy body. Here's Lilli again. With her ball. And here again. . . . with her ball. And yet again! with the ball [far right]. . . . Enron [front & center] getting a lesson from daughter-in-law Susann.

And finally, with Luther: "If you don't put that ball down. . . . ." "Hah! Ya gotta catch me, first!"

And now, a bit of a repast. Slainte!

Luther spent the next day in bed. Exhausted.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Music. Walter Reed.

My latest, favorite song: Walter Reed by Michael Penn.

Yep, Sean's brother.

I'd never heard of him before, but heard this song on a rerun of House last night and tracked it down. Now I can't get it out of my head. Be advised.

[It's worth it.]

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

general trenching

Words of wisdom from Michele at Garden Rant:

1. Plant asparagus, even if you don't think you'll be here for the harvest, and

2. When planting asparagus, "I didn't follow the usual directions, which generally recommend some absurd trenching and digging program and planting the crowns in sculptural fashion on a mound well below the soil surface. It's one of my basic principles as a gardener: Never trust anybody who tells you to dig deeper than a shovel's depth. I suspect that deep-digging is like Scientology, a cult of self-betterment for the gullible. Here's another of my basic principles: The longer the list of instructions, the more worthless the advice."

Wish I'd read this a couple of weeks ago. . . .

(yes, we trenched. But hey! It wasn't me. That's got to count for something. Sorry Steve.)

Sunday, May 3, 2009

green day at the greenwood

It's a green day at the greenwood. The leaves on the trees are bright, tender, green in the low light of an otherwise gray day. It fills the house with green. Dark; eerie; like fog. It's peaceful, quiet and calm.

Later, a fire on the hearth will add a golden glow with red and black: the 'smells and bells' of our sabbath in crackling incense.

Outside, rain threatens, now only a mist. A front is coming through.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

mutant martian spear plant - cont.

You remember this, the strange plant pictured lower right? It got bigger, and more threatening looking. The king took action. Chemical warfare. sigh. . . . It reminds me of the old science fiction movies:

"What is it?!"

"I don't know. KILL IT!"

Now we know what it is, but it's dead. We killed Jack.

In his pulpit.

Luckily, there are others. ("We're sorry, others!") I hope they're not angry.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Doe, a deer. . . .

Amazing.What I like are the reactions: (1) shock, (2) delight, (3) catch it, (4) join in, or (5) ignore. . . .

It is good to remember what we are capable of.

Even in a train station.

Maybe especially in a train station!

(Thanks to Gretchen over at the Happiness Project.)