Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Memorial Day Weekend

Lots of clouds, very little rain for the north valley. The big grey bears blessed everyone but us I think.

Friday/ Saturday
The fence! Thanks to the neighbor and his workmen, the fence and two gates fence in the front have been moved for off-street parking! It looks so different. Had to dismantle Matthew's garden somewhat, since the gate now swings an arc into it. G dug out all the garden brick -- apparently the soil and chip level has risen nearly a foot since she put it in. There were three courses of the nice fat wall blocks; you could only see one. Our morning Saturday was spent helping get odd things for the fence guys. Emptied the crusher fines out of the truck. G moved most of the compost pile around back.
*Kate's birthday party. Met the woman, Gail, who put up the Rainbow pet sitting ads. She lives in south valley and has over 100 chickens!! She sells eggs at the Los Ranchitos farmers market on Saturdays. Her partner works in Ortega. Would be fun to ask where, and doing what.

Planted 2 of my pots of
cat mint in the front with G's rangy peppermint. Transplanted my 2 silver brocades out of the ex-tomato buckets where I stuck them willy-nilly last fall, and into two big tall green vases. I said I'd really like 'one of those things with the pink flowers.' Between us, G and I played twenty questions. "Desert Primrose" She bought us a gallon-sized one at Alameda Nursery when she went for pepper plants last week. So we planted that. Busted the soil to plant my bucket of Mexican hat (from seeds next to the tennis courts). Then arranged some other plants around it so it wouldn't look lonely. G dug a hole but decided it was too hot to put in a small bit of sage in the Choke cherry bed.
Cow manure: G went down the street with the yellow wheelbarrow and brought back cow chips. She is getting serious about her composting and is gathering the various piles she'll need to create a layered, 'hot' compost.
Weeded along the back of the garden; jumped the fence again to lop off the elm that's valiently trying to make a comeback from the attack made on it a year ago to put in the neighbor's big block fence. 9 lives. Weeded along the south side of the garden too. The
coriopsis opened a bright yellow eye. The grapes look gorgeous & have tons of tiny fruit. (?!) The blackberry canes are full of green berries and the bees are all over the next round of blossoms.
Ash in the trash. G put it into the yellow wheelbarrow while she was making her beds for the sunflowers last week. We needed the vehicle, so she loaded it into bags in the bin out front. The final resting place for the pig weed pile from -- could it be -- summer before last? Don't say we hurry mother nature.
Sunchokes for the dinner table - bin two. After transplanting the silver brocade (snitched as a start from around the fountain at UNM), hauled the tub around back, cut the bottom out of it. Mixed existing soil with commercial and compost, but too hot and too late to plant.
*Enormous grey and black moth. We took photos of it. Will post later.

An Arch. Took the gate off the garden and made it a silly little arch out of ditch willow and bailing wire. G hung one of her Japanese prayer bells in the center. It's very rustic and charming. [Update 6/9/09 Finally snapped a shot of it. We still like it very much.]

Eating things. Snapped one of the bulbs off the huge, spendid dramatic Egyptian ('Walking') onions. It's a hot bugger, very pungent and a tad tough; I sauteed it and combined it with some of the swiss chard G harvested last week. Two great huge bags of it, since they seemed to be bolting and we read online somewhere that you could chop them off at ~3" and then be ready to harvest some more!
Veggies and herbs: G moved the green basil babies Teresa gave us out from under the red bud because we concluded they just weren't going to get enough sun there... put them into the garden. Five plants. They look tiny but very happy. So far G has put in 4 eggplant, 5 tomatoes (TJohansen), and 2 squash (TJohansen). Outside the garden in a new bed are onions and peppers, amaranth seed and corn seed. The peas--are very cute, but probably has been too hot for them. Put in sugar snaps and traditional--only one variety sprouted, but alas, I didn't mark them so I don't know which.
Transplanted a couple of
volunteer snap dragons from one of my many Fruit Ave pots into the red bud bed. Finally did something about my poor donkey tails. Mary's neighbor ( name. ergh.) gave me the starts for those when AE and I lived on that naked plot in Rio Rancho. I also stuck a tall spike of cholla in with them (looked out of place). The water and cold this past winter busted their vessel, a shallow wide terra cotta bowl clean in half. So they haven't been holding water and looked singed and desperate. Hacked off 2 chunks, put one in the xeric onion bed, the other down under the lady banks. Then chopped out the cholla and planted it in its own pot. Got the remaining clumps a new bowl. Water still poured through it, so I put a saucer under it.
G put in the sage.
I forked out some sunchoke bulbs and we finished populating the now buried blue ex-tomato tubs.
And put tw0 of my holleyhocks along the wall (plants from seed in the beds outside Bookworks and Flying Star. A pale yellow). They may be youngsters, and not bloom until next year.
*G's pink bargain table rose is absolutely covered in blooms. It's gorgeous!
*Spotted a hummingbird at the feeder.
*G heard a huge ruckus and watched unhappily as a pigeon, undeterred by five or six angry adults, made off with a baby robin dangling from its beak. We were disturbed. And it confirmed G's scathing opinion of the big birds ("flying rats").

Goals: put up trellises and lady banks/ honeysuckle along the west wall for sound and sight barrier. Create a bed along the west wall, re-doing and greatly expanding Matthew's garden.

I would like: Irises. Sage and variegated sage. And to try garlic.

* * *
Last Thursday at noon -
Marge Piercy! (Add text and photos... maybe move it down an entry or two.) Now reading her Memoir, Sleeping with Cats.

"Remembering," she writes, "is like one of those old-fashioned black-and-white-tile floors: wherever I stand or sit, the tiles converge upon me. So our pasts always seem to lead us directly to our present choices. We turn and make a pattern of the chaos of our lives so that we belong exactly where we are."

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