16 July 2007

it never rains in southern california

but man it pours

it poured all day saturday, and then yesterday it was raining while the sun was shining. go figure. but today it's gloriously sunny, so i've got garden work on the schedule. gonna put some mulch on my flower/herb beds, and maybe finish the raised bed for the lilacs. since this raise bed business has taken so much time to implement, we stuck the lilacs in a small pile of topsoil, oh about a month or two ago. they've been fine, but i hope the roots aren't too established. who knew it would take so long to put in raised beds. it sounded oh so easy, especially in the lasagna gardening books by Pat Lanza. the basic idea there is to make your own compost in layers like mother nature, and add to it over time so you're always making new soil and adding nutrients. i like the idea, but there are some down sides. lanza promotes the use of peat moss, which is dumb expensive if you're planting more than 2 square feet. so we gave up on that pretty quick. and she claimed you could make the beds in a day, and maybe we were just too ambitious (which we have considered) but it took a LOT of time to get beds up around our deck. it is a big deck. the beds seem to be doing well though, so i'm not discontented. i did not, however, put a top layer of mulch on the beds hen i was done, since i wanted to make sure i had enough chopped leaves for all the beds we were planning. so now some of the rose hips are coming back up oh well. but since the beds are finished now (except for the poor lilacs!) i'm getting on the maintenance.

we just wish we had taken before pics, so everyone could see the change. we've had neighbors and friends of the previous owners come by, and say the yard looks tons better. so that feels good.

we have all kinds of stuff in our yard/garden. i get all excited about i. me and chuck are like 2 kids really, when something come up or blooms, we take the other over and show them. it's fun, and somehow satisfying to grow things. we've got some wildflowers groing along the driveway, and flowers mixed with herbs along the deck. there's lemon balm, borage, chives, lemon verbana, pansies (a gift, i wouldn't buy them), lupines, canterbury bells(which may not bloom this year ), some struggling muscali that had some very pretty blue bell-like flowers, blue star flowers, tarragon, chamomile - german and roman although i think the romans gave up once we planted them, jacob's ladder, 2 kinds of flax (wish i knew how to make it into linen!), basil, lavendar, purple and yellow mini daisies, rosehips (wild rose really but i'm not in school so who cares), oregano, rosemary, purple salvia, sage, morning glories, peppermint, these silvery-leaved purple flowers whos name i forget, and some red-green leaved shade plants whose name also escapes me. then we have 2 pots we put together - it was cheaper than buying them pre-made - in the benchboxes on the deck, with african daises, blue and lilac lobelia, some orange things and antique yellow bells of some kind. they make an AWESOME combo. there's an upside down cherry tomato plant hanging on the deck, along with a basket with lobelia, creeping jenny that hasn't really bloomed at all, and fushia. the greenhouse has a big boy tomato, another cherry tomato and english cucumbers. the cherry tomato plants are yellow tomatoes too, they're kind of sweet somehow. the big boys are just starting to grow, and we've got a few cukes on the vine. and in the actual garden itself, which chuck made with railroad ties, we have red and yellow onions (our neighbor says they won't get very big since it doesn't get dark but that's ok), yukon gold potatoes - yummy!, yellow squash, zucchini, green peppers, black beans, leaf lettuce and the sharp mescaline kind, spinach and leeks. whew. it sounds like so much more when it's all typed out. hopefully the beans will produce, i unthinkingly planted the whole packet (duh) so we have about 30 plants i think. image the storage we'd get from that! beans till next year and then some! haven't had any problems yet with animals, although something ate the flowers off the one mature squash plant we bought (we planted the others). hopefully whatever it was got its fill and won't be back.

last week i got some more plant books from the library cuz i'd really like to be able to get seed from our plants this year. maes more sense than buying seeds every year. and chuck bought me a little guide to alaskan berries, which revealed that lingon berries are just low buch cranberries! yay! so i really want to go find some patches and make my own lingonsylt. that would be fun - as longs it jells right. i know lots of places where wild berries are, they're just all on military lands who knows, maybe we can get a rec pass. i'm sure no one else goes there for berries.

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