Saturday, January 28, 2006

Busy in the garden and an interesting book, etc:

Dear Readers,

I have had a very busy day, for me . . . Since the accident (which was over a year ago) I find I can only do about a tenth of what I used to do. But life does go on!

This morning I had a number of seeds that had germinated that needed moved to six packs. These included Cilantro, Sweet Cecily, Chervil, Black Berry Lily, Vitex, and White Butterfly Weed. The Vitex and White Butterfly Weed are new plants for me. I have never grown them before. I already had some starts in the nursery flat that spends the daytimes outside, so I put the new germinations in my warm covered flat. We will see which does the best.

I was able to get outside and weed a bit in the morning, in light rain. But it suddenly turned into a down pour so I scurried in and got into some dry clothes. Later the rain cleared up, so I finished weeding, spread some wood ashes around the perimeter of my raised beds, dug a worm hole and deposited their dinner*, and planted some iris rhizomes, a hardy ammarylis bulb, and one zabrina mallow and a couple of my mixed up ornamental kales. (My ornamental kale - from seeds I had saved from last years garden, is clearly crossed with Red Russian Kale. We shall see what it grow up to look like.)

I used the dirt left over from the worms hole to top off some raised beds, and one other spots in need. All the dang rain we have been getting had washed the dirt away from some plants roots. We have had about 12 inches over our average rain for the season . . .

I also sprinkled some seeds around. Some old cauliflower - low germination and I really don't especially like how it performs in this environment. Also some Grumelo - a European chicory - which I don't like to eat - but it is very ornamental. I have a spot that I am having trouble getting anything to grow. Between the bush bunnies, the slugs, and the birds, the ground is practically bare. I am hoping they don't like chicory anymore than I do, and at least something will survive. Last but not least I sprinkled around some crimson clover seeds. They are nitrogen fixers and also very pretty . . .

I have been reading a book from the library, "The Principles of Gardening" by Hugh Johnson. It is a lovely book and I really like the writing. A few interesting things I have noticed so far include: He doesn't seem to like shrubs. In fact he seems a little disparaging of the poor bushes and shrubbery. I don't suppose he understands what my Grannie knew about shrubs though: He also talks about the British gardening habit if burying compost and so forth beneath the rows in trenches. They do it not so much to feed the worms as a direct soil admendment. According to Johnson they go so far as to bury rags and newspaper. My goodness, and I was worried about folks thinking I am weird. LOL However they also use commercial fertilizers in the years they don't trench, and worms hate fertilizer.

Anyway, when I finish the book I will try to give you a better review. The writing is really lovely as are the photos and art. It is really more about the art of gardening for pleasure and beauty than about growing food. But it has several chapters that address growing food from a very British perspective. I have been reading quite a few gardening books from our local libraries. I hope to sit down soon and tell you all about them.

And on the subject of garden writing, my piece on Cilantro was published by the Hoopa People Paper a week or two ago. I haven't even seen a copy yet - so if anyone has a copy laying around please save it for me. They are going to start a regular garden section and have asked if I will contribute articles to it from time to time. I am jazzed about that. Going to save all the nickels and dimes to get my own computer fixed or replaced. Then I can share some photos here too . . .

*(If you haven't read about my garden routine and are curious about me feeding the worms, check this out: )

Alrighty, I am beat . . . Got to go tuck myself in . . . Please ignore my spelling . . . LOL

You all have sweet dreams!


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