Monday, April 13, 2015


Cantaloupe seedlings moved to the pantry windowsill today.

Also on the windowsill, a few tomatoes.  They pricked through the soil on Friday.
One row is the heirloom, Purden's Purple, the other plants are Super Boy hybrid.
Our tomato crops in Kentucky have been beset by blight every year, but we persevere.
With so many tasks needing to be done in this new homeplace, the veg garden will necessarily be smaller than usual.
Rainy weather [April showers] have prevented 'turning' garden spots.
When I know how much space will be available I can buy plants locally as needed.
By the end of this week I expect I will move my containers of seedlings out to the work bench in J's shop, positioning them under the south-facing window.

I spent most of Sunday at the Cane Valley property laboriously up-earthing plants which wintered in the 'nursery' area at the bottom of the veg garden. 
Weeds are already engulfing the garden which we won't till this season.
With the house on the market and a nearly 40 mile round trip between the two properties, gardening there isn't a practical option.
Seed-grown achillias had settled in and spread into respectable clumps.
The catnip plant has already produced aromatic stems which I can cut for drying before finding a spot here to transplant.
I removed lemon thyme and clove pinks from the front strip where they had run rampant into the lawn.  I knew Jim was planning to go over and mow today and that the outermost plants would be slashed.
I took out two small roses which never looked at ease in that area, removed two lavenders, the clump of feverfew, great tangles of pinks.
I rearranged some of the plants which I left and heaved into place some large 'stepping stones' left behind by the former owners. 
These are shaped like giant feet--not my style at all, but they serve to add interest to that strip.
I speculate, rather gloomily, that a new owner is apt to bring in marigolds and petunias--so I am comfortable with salvaging those plants which I have nurtured and cherished as 'starters' for the garden I hope to create here.
All last summer I hovered over 'slips' of clematis which I was growing on in a large pot.
They were put in the ground at the Cane Valley house very late in the season--I was pleasantly surprised to see that they had wintered.
I was able to lift the little trellis, dig up the clematis roots and carefully transfer the whole thing to the floor of my van, losing only a few inches of the vine which snapped off at the tip.
I set it up against a fence post in the new garden at the end of the workshop.
In my mind's eye I can imagine the fence posts all bedecked with clematis or roses.
I have way more 'visions' and ideas than stamina at this point, but flowers are vital to my enjoyment of summer.

Last spring Gina discovered daylilies in a different coloration than the usual orange, growing along the roadside. We each took a shovel-ful of the roots. 
I put a clump of them in this corner near the side porch steps.
Anna had grown ornamental grass in this spot, corralled in a white-painted tire.
The grass winter-killed and I was not sorry to dig up the knotted ball of dead roots and heave the tire out of the way.

Clumps of thyme--both English and Lemon--tucked in along the edge of the concrete steps.
The soil is gritty and has been mulched with crushed rock--I think thyme and lavender 
will flourish here.

The clove pinks [dianthus] had spread lustily and came up in thick mats when I began to lift them from the edge of the grass. This area runs steeply down from the side porch to the driveway in front of the shop. 
My vision is to have a 'river' of the spicy-scented 'pinks' flowing down the edge. 

Anna had planted a swath of creeping phlox on the bank.
As I worked along the edge I noticed this blue swallowtail muddling drunkenly through the blossoms.
I went to fetch my camera and returned to find Charlie cat very interested in the swoops of the butterfly.

Charlie in a pose of innocence.
It began gently to rain as I tucked the last of the dianthus in place.
I was damp and chilled by the time I had picked up pots and tools.
I shrugged into the hoodie I had left on the bench by the shop door, creaked inside.
When I ventured out to the porch a bit later, I found Charlie and his pals, Willis and Sadie tucked up on the loveseat watching the rain patter down.
So much to be done--so much!


  1. Ah, you and I are gardening together. With you in mind, I also bought some Clove pinks recently and have put them in the bed under the apple tree - ahem, the ONLY bed which is dug over, weeded and edged so far. BUT in my defence, we have been VERY busy.

    I love reading about all your plans and don't blame you in the least for removing every plant you transplanted from your original garden. That hot rocky patch will be perfect for herbs, which will remind them of their Mediterranean origins.

    Like you, I cannot live without my flowers. There is a lady whose blog I follow and she has just been saying she doesn't "do" flowers, only vegetables, and has even removed roses from the one and only bit of flower garden (mostly shrubs). I find that hard to fathom - flowers are SO beautiful and feed the eye and the soul. But then, neither do I care for the particular colour green she has throughout her house either! Each to his own I suppose.

    What a stunning butterfly. Nothing so exotic here unless we go to a Butterfly Farm!!

  2. What a treat this post was, reading about and seeing what is going on there at your new place.

    Happy Spring and settling into this dream home ~ FlowerLady

  3. So much to do but the Spring ahead to do it all. :) "Hi Charlie."

  4. Love to hear all about your gardening - and see pictures of a cat or two.

  5. Spring is such an exciting time of the year. Those daylilies will be just perfect at your new farmhouse. I had to go back and read how this all came about, I missed so much in my absence. You certainly lead an interesting life!

  6. I sympathise about the tomatoes, we've had one good crop in 12 years, but we persevere. You'll probably have a much better garden than you think you will, you work so hard.

  7. I love the beautiful Butterfly, I don't think I've seen that one over here.
    It seems that you have been moving for ages but now beginning to get settled.
    I could just pick Charlie up and give him a cuddle he looks so lovely.

  8. It sounds like it is all work at the moment, but at least you are giving those plants you moved to Cane Valley a new start in your forever home. I love the butterfly.