J. is away for a few days, which means I can keep to my own hours, staying up late, making small, spur-of-the-moment meals.
The warm sunny weather has drawn me outside to the gardens which are burgeoning with new growth--of cherished plants and of invasive weeds.
A spring morning is so lovely: birds bursting with song and busyness;
the scent of blossoms freshened by gentle showers of rain;
This time of year is also over-whelming in the demands of yard and garden--so many chores
"want done" at once!
Each day brings perceptible changes:
this photo was taken on Thursday with crabapple and redbud in full bloom.
Now the pink petals float down with every breeze, sifted onto the green grass like confetti.
The blossoms of the pear tree are only a remembrance.
With two days and nights of cooler temperatures, we hope for fruit to set.
I have spent long hours weeding in the upper flower border.
My gardening and my house-keeping have [sadly] much in common;
I work on the 'lick and promise' theory--the most urgent gets done and I need to move on to another pressing task, 'promising' myself that I'll return for the final clean-up.
Where ever I have gardened each springtime brings surprises. Some plants have gone missing, leaving only dry stumps and shriveled roots. Others have spread out and crowded their neighbors.
I dig, prune, rake, weed, move plants.
After hours on my knees I creak into the house to scrub at my grubby paws and fall exhausted and aching into my rocking chair.
I love what I'm doing--but the doing of it surely takes a greater physical toll each year.
It is on such days that I wonder what it would be like to have a housekeeper--to stumble in from the garden and find the house spotless and gleaming.
Friday morning was bright and I thought it a good time to tackle the weeds in the
upper flower garden which D. created for me last autumn.
Most of the weeds there are lamium or 'hen-bit' as it is locally called.
It is ironic to note that the local Wal Mart is offering in their garden center pots of a hybrid lamium at nearly 9 dollars per plant. It is slightly showier than its wild cousin, but very recognizable, and I cringe at the sight!
As I knelt in the dirt teasing weeds from the clumps of peonies, the wind came up and the sun scuttled behind grey clouds. I turned up the collar of my down vest and worked on until raindrops began to fall.
The rain came heavier, driving me, shivering, into the house.
I made tea and stood at the kitchen window, watching as sheets of rain slanted down.
It was over in 15 minutes. The sun reappeared, pillowy white clouds rode a blue sky.
I have to finish weeding in front of the stone edging. I'm thinking that thyme would be a good choice to plant where it can spread and creep along the rocks.
Looking east beyond Big Creek as the sun goes down.
Devin conveyed me to Wal Mart this forenoon to wrestle bales of peat moss and
bags of mulch into the back of his truck.
He ran the small tiller over the strips where I decided to plant the six blueberry plants which
arrived on Friday.
He dug huge holes for each plant and shoveled in peat to acidfy the soil.
When J. returns I'm hoping he can get a load of sawdust at the Amish sawmill, so that we can mulch heavily around the plants.
D. went home for supper, while I scratched out two short trenches for planting potatoes.
The potatoes were the last of a large sackfull that J. bought in January. I left them in the basement to sprout, which they did rather grudgingly.
We are trying to recall where we bought Yukon Gold seed potatoes last spring as they
made the most impressive crop.
It was dusk when I put away the garden tools, collected the cardboard and plastic wrap which had protected the berry plants.
Willis the Cat trailed me and as usual had to be retreived from the garage.
The above photo doesn't do justice to the delicate sickle moon as seen through the branches of a
dooryard maple. Jupiter and Venus are still flanking the moon, an awe-inspiring display in the evening sky.
I had thoughts of creative writing for this evening, plans to visit my favorite bloggers and leave comments.
Instead I scrubbed my nails, warmed up the supper offering supplied by G. and then folded myself into the old rocking chair, drowsing over a book while awaiting J.'s phone call.
I have ordered two long-coveted yellow peonies.
Where shall I plant them?