Thursday, October 8, 2009

The woman is bi-polar

Mother Nature is at it again. 87 on Friday, 66 on Sunday? No wonder my sinuses are going crazy.

I woke up this morning with a burning desire to spend more time outside. There's a heavy dew coating everything. At first I thought it had rained. I could hear the steady drip drip drip in the downspout outside my bedroom window. The roof was coated with moisture. It's 54 according to my thermometer. The sun is bright. The sky is cloudless.




I'll spend this afternoon in the kitchen finishing the beadboard, I hope. But this morning, I plan to spend some time in the yard moving a few perennials, cleaning up a couple areas in the perennial bed, and taking a few minutes to stand still watching the last of the hummingbirds before they head off for warmer climates.

12:42pm - I cleaned out more of the perennial bed. It's seed swapping time and I need to know just how much real estate I have left or else I might overdo it this winter. Ok, I'll overdo it anyway, but at least I'll know by how much.

I chopped back all the coreopsis and bee balm. That bee balm is a spreader. From each plant, I have runners spreading out 18" or more from the original planting. Next year it should put on a wonderful show.

I cleared out some more melampodium too. Lots of it had powdery mildew. I've already collected seeds and scattered some throughout the summer. It'll be popping up everywhere next spring.

I pulled out the sweet potato vines at the top of the stairs. The green tuber weights almost 5lbs. The black one was 3lbs. I know there were others in the dirt, but I would have had to dig out Purple Queen to get to them. They might resprout next year if they don't get too wet this winter. Below the rocks, I planted 7 of Jim's pinks.

I know I should be in the kitchen right now, but it's a nice day outside. It's 66 and sunny. I'm going to move some dirt from this year's potager. The meadow area is solid clay and very hard. I had hoped this wouldn't be necessary, but I'm going to need at least a 1/2" of soil in some areas for the seeds to grow into. I expect an hour or two of work, then, maybe, I'll come inside.

5:58pm - I spent the whole day outside. It was wonderful. After lunch I went to work on the backyard. I wasn't content with just moving some soil around for the meadow garden. I decided to remove a few stumps that will be in the way of my future patio. One, I set on fire. The other, at the bottom of the picture, I decided to remove the hard way.

It only took me an hour. I used a lot of words I wouldn't say in front of my mother.

After all that, I've changed my mind about the patio location. The ground here is really unstable and sloped. I'd need to dig down about 18" or build an 18" retaining wall, or some combination of the two. So I'll use this space as my potager again next year. I should get two beds here, each 4' wide x 16' long. Just down the hill, I'll have another bed 4' wide x 8' long. I could probably stretch it to 12', but I'd have to build up too much to do it, I think. Still, that's plenty of space to grow tomatoes, squash, okra, and beans. Right? I laid the first bed out with landscape timbers. These were purchased weeks ago.

I had a visitor over for supper that I can't identify.

And my hairy balls (Gomphocarpus) are getting larger. This one is bigger than a golf ball. They're hollow and very thin skinned. I was surprised. I hope to collect seeds before frost. Several Monarchs paid a visit today too, but I was too busy cursing to get their photos.

Back to work tomorrow. We got up to 72 degrees today. Perfect.


LeSan said...

Soak up these days while you have them. You'll need the store when February comes around. You did so much work this year it is very impressive. You and the garden deserve a good rest over winter. Of course you're not going to take it are you...?
-of course not.LOL

Unknown said...

I find it funny that you say, "Back to work tomorrow!" You do more on your day off than I do in a week of days off!

Kris said...

Tom, your visitor is an American Painted Lady. I have a couple lingering on the butterfly bushes and zins right now along with a Monarch.

Tom - 7th Street Cottage said...

LeSan, I caught myself thinking yesterday about how cold it is in this house in February. I get chills just thinking about the power bill. Can't wait to get that oak tree chopped up for firewood. The nice days are numbered with a possible 39 degrees Tuesday night in the forecast.

Tim, I don't consider what I do in my yard work, but I can see your point. I love being outside. I still smell like charred stump even after a shower.

Kris, thank you for the identification. I'll have to look them up. I've been seeing lots of solid yellow butterflies too. Still no monarch cats though.