Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Getting Ready for Summer - the Way it is Supposed to Be!

This is yet another walk in the garden. I realized while I was out edging the rose garden on Sunday morning, that it has been a number of years since I have had a summer slow-down season. Now granted, I always teach some kind of summer program for in-service K12 teachers. This year it will be 2 weeks of my 'Children's History' program as well as a lot of prep work for a longer term project I've been working on. I began last summer thinking that my job was going away, so I taught the Ed Tech class in the short summer session. The 3 previous summers I was in grad school in addition to working full time, plus two of those summers I spent a good bit of time in Minnesota with my late parents.

This summer is a whole new thing. Granted, I am working full time, but intend to burn unused vacation days by taking Fridays off whenever possible. My calling gigs have fallen off for the next few months, and it's a fairly slow time in the fiber business. I have always spent this time building inventory - dyeing fiber, spinning yarn, working on patterns and knitting hats. But not a lot of pressure. I plan to participate in the Phat Fiber Sampler Box again in June - the theme is 'Oceans' and my watery blue greens should be just the ticket! Most, if not all of that fiber is already dyed.

My garden is my new passion. Getting it tidy, edging beds, moving plants, digging a few new beds. Really making it look and act as I want it to be. And with the rain we have been having, it's easy to weed!

Last evening I tilled the sunny bed on the western side of the house. It's hot and sunny, but easy to water. It is also just outside the reach of the Black Walnut trees. Last evening I planted peppers (hot banana, habanero & jalapeno), basil (Genovese and purple), parsley (Italian and curly), cilantro, one tomato which shall remain nameless. On Sunday evening, I set out seeds and plants of zucchini and cucumber; last night I planted nasturtiums in the same hills. Still to come: sweet peppers & at least one more tomato; green beans when the peas come out, & probably okra.

The earlier spring crops are quite happy with the Sugar Snap peas in bloom & kale full up and delicious (I braised some thinnings with green onions for Sunday supper). The chard is spotty so I may fill in with plants. I also spotted a single volunteer tomato in the same place where a mid-sized red tomato grew in abundance last year, so I intend to nurture it.

In flower world, the roses are just getting started and the rhododendron looks better than it has for years. I just hope the rain continues! The back perennial border is just getting going, but the then-tiny plants didn't get quite the spacing they need now! Some plants need to be on wheels, because they will be traveling!

Day 3 of South Beach redux. Still no cheating, but I have not gotten back on the scale. A bit too soon.

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