Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Outside is a Good Place to Be

Since my house is undergoing destruction major repairs right now, outside is a good place to be.  I have spent a good bit of May digging in the dirt and am beginning to have something to show for it.  The sugar snap peas are a wonderful part of my diet right now, crunchy and full of green goodness.  I am having salads of lettuce (4 kinds) and radishes (Easter Egg mix) and baby beet greens.  I can probably start snitching baby chard leaves too.

The tomatoes are filling in nicely along with the peppers, eggplant and basil.  The summer squash seem to grow by leaps and bounds each day.  The Delicata squash are a bit slower, but they look good.  The winter squash are beginning their annual sprawl across the yard and this year I want to mulch them better, so I don't have a field of tall grass with squash runners amuck.

The flowers are happy too.  Each year we have poppies that self seed in seemingly random places.  I've been pulling them out of the beet bed, but I like them to grow in the flower beds, later I'll mow some of them, but their delightfully sculptural seed pods provide food for the birds as well as visual interest.  Next year's poppy surprise comes from them too.  This year we have doubles and singles.  Some are highly ruffled, others pleasantly simple.  Mostly red; a few purple.

Just above the poppies is the row of blueberries and eggplants; above them are the lavender roses.  This year I'm going to let the roses go natural.  No more sprays; just heavy mulching and frequent cutting back of the spent blooms.  Fine Gardening's article (though I can't find it on their site) has encouraged me to go organic and force them to toughen up!

One of my favorite totally (ok, nearly) maintenance-free plants is this big old-fashioned yellow rose.  I don't know the name of the variety, but I got a start from my friend Heather, how dug hers up from her grandmothers garden over in Brevard, NC.  Right now it has hundreds of fragrant blooms.  The only maintenance: cut it back now and them, tell it how beautiful it is, send loving thoughts to Heather & her grandmother and occasionally burst into a chorus of the 'Yellow Rose of Texas.'

Requisite fiber content:  I knit a bunch of hats!  My Memorial Day mini-break was to visit friends a couple of hours away.  While at their house, it rained a good bit, so swimming, working in their garden and hiking were somewhat curtailed.  Sitting on the porch, knitting, talking, knitting, eating, reading and knitting were in high demand.  My hostess knit at bit too, making an orange coaster.

I will be happy after the house is put back together and I can move around my dye studio more easily, every surface is not covered with non-fiber related tools and I have a place to sit and spin.  I am going a bit crazy in that department.

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