Thursday, April 24, 2008

Thursday's Thoughts

Well, okay. There's always a new day, and before getting this one started, I'll offer my thanks to Joe for his forward-looking comment and Cooper for his thoughtful post, both of which worked in concert to talk me down off the idea of fomenting an Earth Day revolution with my Great Big Hoe in hand. Revolution's great, but who can spare the time from the garden?

Oh, and just in case we have nearly played out this dear planet of ours and need to look elsewhere, this article offers some ideas of what we might expect of flora on alien planets!

As the trees begin to flower and leaf out, things are looking great out in the garden. But as I've been reviewing things lately, I noticed that a few little slips of weed seedlings and minor grasses were beginning to appear...and that's the best time to get rid of them.

So, with the full day off before me, I tended to the garden up close and personal-like, taking my little hand rake and loosening up the soil, blending the various layers I added in raising the bed this spring, whilst teasing out the little invaders.

Here's that foxglove plant I mentioned the other day.

The project was a good chance to give each transplant a close study, to remove old foliage and in a few cases, to actually dig up and replant a few who'd been done a dis-service in the haste of last fall's planting.

It was another incredible day, with freshening breezes and temps climbing into the low seventies. Birds sang everywhere and my mind was free to sort through whatever it needs to in the quiet. Today, though, I seemed to have music on my mind, considering the idea of theme songs and I cycled through a few different tunes as I worked. Whenever I'm doing this sort of work, it's always "Wick", the song from Secret Garden that sticks itself in my head.

Those are some of the peonies in this image, those fancy looking red stalks. There are four or five of those and they have all survived the move nicely, if their early growth is an indication.

Because it was such a great day, my sunflower seedlings enjoyed the day outside, getting better accustomed to the conditions they'll be enjoying soon. They seemed to love it. Meanwhile, last night I planted a tray of cleome seeds, and tonight added a tray of morning glories (which I soaked overnight before planting), so the next class of seedlings should be coming along shortly.

This tulip, though sporting chewed leaves, looks like it will be blooming for us by the weekend.

Because it was a pretty warm day, and it was windy and my work was turning over a lot of fresh soil, I was a little concerned about drying. So as I finished each fence section of the garden, I stopped to hand-water of each plant. It took most of the day, but the whole border looked really great by this evening.

I should've used some sunscreen today, though for the kind of work I was doing, it always gives the dirt a little something more to cling to. Plus, I didn't imagine I'd need it, being fairly well-covered up. But just the same, I can feel a little sunburny-ness on my forearms and my face. I'm not a tanner. Usually I burn and fade, instead. I'll try to remember to be more careful. Maybe I need a hat.

As I was watching the bunny sitting in the yard across the way, gazing hungrily at the garden this evening, I was kinda pleased to notice that some of our neighbors slowed down to check out the border as they drove by. It's always nice to be noticed...and since they seem to be seasonal residents, the sudden appearance of a garden where there had been none must have been a little bit of a surprise.

Oh, this is funny. So I knew we had this great bird population, so I've made an effort to establish two new birdbath areas at our place this week...and I've been eager to watch them enjoy the new facilities. So imagine my surprise when the small group of house sparrows who hang out in the bushes came flying down to take dirt baths in the new garden bed around the birdbath.

I got a little film of them, too. Now that whole area is full of little sparrow dents!

I'm happy to say that other birds have been enjoying the birdbath, though, like this cowbird who had a nice pampering visit tonight.

(As you can see, with a little trial and error, I'm finding that the telescope can be a helpful way to watch the birds without scaring them off from their routines.)


Butch said...

You are totally, amazing, Greg!! Your plants are beautiful, and inspite of the rabbits chewing the tulip leaves, you will still be rewarded with some beautiful flowers.( How did the pepper juice spray work on the plants? Are the rabbits behaving themselves? )

It seems the birds love the bird bath as well. It really didn't take them long. Congratulations and well done!

Jenn Thorson said...

Wow, Greg, you've gone all high tech. Video and everything. And your plants are really looking nice.

Greg said...

Butch-it's a big border to keep track of, but I think the pepper spray may be making a difference, although the buns remain interested in the garden, to be sure.

I made some more spray this morning and will see what I can do to preserve the remaining tulips long enough for them to bloom, anyway.

Jenn-high tech? Yah, I guess I like a little multi-media now and again...and yah, the garden's coming along pretty well!