May 11, 2014

A Walk in the Yard of May

It is the end of the weekend of planting. Seeds and plants are all tucked in their beds and covered with a blanket of straw.
Except that in the early morning, Billy apparently chased a critter through a row of tomato plants into the bush bean seeds, through the cucumber seeds, back around into the middle of the carrot seeds and out through the spinach plants. I saw him through the window, trotting around the fence line with a mass of fur hanging from his mouth and before he could leap through the dog door and deposit said fur on the Persian rug, I ran outside. He was all "la di da, good morning, Mom, nice to see you...." I'm no dummy, I saw enough of this "What, me?" attitude from my children, who at least would have known how to conceal the shards of straw hanging their snouts.  Sure enough, when I peeked into the  open bale of straw, there was a possum too damaged to even play possum.

While surveying the damage (to my seeds, not his possum), I tapped into my awareness of what it must have been like to have been a homesteader (or today's agrarian poor, for that matter). What if I had cared for those seeds for an entire year...what if I were dependent on their yield to feed my family?

I am lucky. I can be back in the garden tomorrow morning, with the extra seeds I have in my new, handy-dandy seedbox that Himself made for me.
So while we're waiting for the sun to rise, come walk through my yard with me. I really love how Grace at Windthread gives wonderfully descriptive names to different parts of her property and even her furniture. I decided to do the same thing...the names were vivid, funny...

... and I can't remember a single one.

 So never mind that. Here is how the onions see my house:

As you can see, the crop of tomato stakes is doing beautifully...
As are the freshly pruned and staked raspberry bushes. 
 I actually remembered to get in there before the real growth started and after watching more You-Tube how-to videos than I think should even exist in the universe (but thank you, all you nice people who feel compelled to take videos of yourselves pulling up dead raspberry canes), I pulled out the old canes and gave the younguns something to lean on. Someone remind me to check at the end of the season if this made a difference in their berry power.

The concord grapes are coming in.
The vines were here when we moved in 18 years ago and most years, I get enough for incredible grape jelly. And after Thing One went to Fancy Culinary School, I even made grape granita (that's the culinary word for a grape slushie). We have to fight off Japanese beetles to keep the leaves, which you need to shade the fruit, and then we have to outrun the yellow jackets to keep the day too late and you have a gorgeous crop of raisins. At this moment, all is so promising. But that's the bitch about gardening, right? Nature is such a tease.

We've got lots of flowers right now. You can tell why its called bleeding heart:
But even with all the Torah study I've had, I don't know why this is called Solomon's Seal:
Before the dogs took over, I used to feed the deer my tulips. Every season, they got a different flavor, till I finally gave up. But one hardy lady survived. Must be what its like to be a very old person who has outlived every one of her friends.
The Great Tulip Fiasco Years taught me to always include extremely hardy specimens in my garden, too.
That concludes our tour...time to go home.