Friday, May 30, 2008

Some May Blooms

I found SOME of these in the woods, some at the Polly Hill Arboretum, and some right here in the yard.

AlliumAllium Sativum (the first garlic scape)

Lady Slipper

Flowering AshFlowering Redvein Enkthianthus

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Third Anniversary

Dreams and Bones was three years old on Sunday. I like to acknowledge these things because I believe there is way too little celebration in the world.

I think back on the lifespan of garden blogs. I miss Judith and Liz. Their blogs were beacons for me. But each month there are new bloggers out there with fresh insights and energy. My own commitment to the practice has flagged this past year. I am afraid it is what it is.

But for what it is worth, I am back in the saddle and ready to engage another full season. For those of you who have been "lurking," please leave a comment so I can find my way to YOU.

Friday, May 23, 2008

One Local Summer 2008

Thanks to Nicole at from Farm to Philly ... the One Local Summer 2008 will be hosted there this year. Check it out now ... sign up deadline is this Sunday, May 25.

I found that the challenge really helped to keep me in the game last year. And I learned so much about other people's ideas for how to get a good local meal on the table without a big fuss.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Getting grounded

Yesterday was all about putting things in the ground that SHOULD have gone in in mid- April.
First it was the potatoes
then the shallots
being sure to point the root end down in the hole
and then the onions

Next I checked on my green beans that have been in ground for over two weeks now.
Is that a crack in the soil? Halleluia !!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

"Sometines I wish that I could be the rain"

I am sure that if you garden you have had this feeling I am having at this moment. I worked hard yesterday and today feeding roses and apple trees. And I have planted shallots, onions, potatoes and kale. All of this was done in anticipation of the rain that is now falling.

So I am sitting here with a sense of oneness with the rain.

This tile is archetypal for me. It is about the oneness I feel with the earth when I engage it for sustenance. The human is grounded with his feet below ground. His mind ( the orange hat ) is the same color as the carrot below ground. Connecting to the earth grounds him in the truest sense.

When I bought this tile from Andrew Van Asche at his booth in the ACC Crafts Fair in Baltimore I asked him what it meant. Good artist that he was, he asked me what it meant to me. I said something not so coherent and ended by asking him, "But why the Number 1 in the upper left corner?" And he said, "Because I am a gardener, when it rains I feel at one with the rain."

So at this moment, I am at one with the rain. And I am humming that simple old Utah Phillips song that Rosalie Sorrels used to perform, "If I Could Be the Rain"

Sunday, May 18, 2008

From the back deck

~ many thanks to my Autostich and Photoshop tutor. Click to enlarge.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

some forgotten dance

Can you see it there? Peeking over the edge of my outdoor shower? The phantom moon. I'll be in the garden in the late afternoon sometimes, and look over my shoulder to the east, and there it will be ... the faded, leaning towards full, almost jolly phantom moon. I find that in these summer months the moon is a welcome companion in the afternoon garden.

The old almanacs are rich in advice about how to use the moon to plant. The first quarter welcomes the planting of cukes, corn and cress to name a few. The second quarter peas, peppers and pumpkins. The third quarter parsnips, potatoes and rutabaga. Here in the fourth quarter I should be turning sod, pulling weeds and destroying noxious growth.

Back in my other life, when I taught high school history, I liked to use a little extra time we had at the end of class for a "pop quiz." "OK we have 2 minutes before the bell, take out a piece of scrap paper and answer this question. You have 45 seconds. If you went outside tonight at 10 pm and looked for the moon, what direction would you look ... east, west or overhead ... AND what shape would it be?" "Fold them up and hand them to me as you leave the room." I was always disappointed at how totally unaware they were about the moon and its phases. Truth is I would have gotten the same results in the faculty lounge.

Being close to the earth in some strange way brings us close to the heavens as well. The detached suburban lives most of us lead, leave us not only ungrounded but also dis - astered ... detached from stars.

In the sky the phantom moon appears at midday
To join the sun in some forgotten dance
In their light our voices tremble with reflections
Of what we know and what we leave to chance

We have dreams we hold them to the light like diamonds
Stones of the moon and splinters of the sun
Some we keep to light the dark nights on our journey
And shine beyond the days that we have won

~Judy Collins

Friday, May 16, 2008

Some Signs of Late Spring

Using the outdoor shower for the first time

Thursday, May 15, 2008

The trumpet vine gets a haircut

Tackling the trumpet vine that graces our front door was a little less daunting this year. It started out looking like thisAnd ended up looking like thisIt was a good spring haircut

From the Garden Gate, May 14, 2008

Monday, May 12, 2008

Mother's Day Memories in the blogosphere

I found myself thinking yesterday (Mother's Day) about a post I read two year's ago by Farmgirl that brought me to tears. If you don't know Cary's story, it is worth a read.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Starting the season

As I rumbled onto the ferry boat Friday evening under gray skies and a northeast wind I wondered why ANYONE would leave behind the 80 degree weather of the Mid-Atlantic for THIS ! But one quiet moment at the edge of the garden and I knew why.

My seedlings are safely under lights in the basement and I have busied myself with cleanup chores left undone last fall. I have been collecting pine needles from the edge of the property and after carefully removing the early weeds, have put a thick layer of pine needles on all the pathways. I am almost done. I have planted two rows of snap peas and three rows of green beans.

Sadly the experiment in overwintering artichokes has failed once again. Also there is the menacing mint that has started to invade the northwest corner of the garden.
menacing mint
BUT ... the garlic looks strong and healthy and the asparagus will be ready to pick by the weekend.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Thursday, May 01, 2008

"with a little help from my friends"

I must confess to a late start this spring on the preparations for the garden. I have been too much on the move. But Tuesday I made my annual spring pilgrimage to Bath County, VA to gather some tomato plants.
At Longdale Nursery on Route 42 I found Italian Sweets, Better Boys and Belgian Giants. Then my friends at Walatoola were kind to share some of THEIR starter tomatoes with me. I added some Boxcar Willies, Little Momas, Principe Borgheses, and some of their green peppers suited for northern climate. They also gave me a gift of a lovely lemon verbena not to mention a healthy bundle of their first asparagus harvest and fresh arugula.

The meal on Tuesday night was local and tasty. The rack of lamb from Highland County was brimming with the flavor of the Bluegrass Valley and the asparagus was as fresh as could be. Here at home, I have some Big Zacs started and the artichokes while a little leggy, I think are off to a good start.

Tomorrow the operation moves north and the prep and planting begin in earnest.