Thursday, May 7, 2009

The Mayday Blossoms and the Wind

Three 4 x 4 raised beds are now in place in the garden, and several other people are planning on adding one shortly. Container gardens are being planned all over the park. J came this morning to talk about her plans for several humongous pots, tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, radishes, mint, rosemary and other herbs. She said she hasn't had a vegetable garden in 15 years, so I'm excited as a kid at Christmas that our efforts have inspired quite a few people who haven't gardened in ages to grow some of their own vegetables.

I spent a couple of hours yesterday transplanting herbs and flowers from their small pots into large ones for the vertical planter. And today Zak and I went to Penticton where I bought more plants (it's a sickness! Keep me and my debit card out of the gardening section!).

I bought a gorgeous Bressingham Blue hosta that is probably too large for the spot I have for it, but it will fill the entire width of the yard at that point and should be spectacular. The leaves are among the bluest of all the hostas, and it has a beautiful two foot tall flower spike that resembles a plantain lily. The one I bought has just begun to bloom.

I also bought peppermint, chervil, sage and borage. The first three have already been transplanted into larger pots and are in the vertical garden. The borage grows very tall and is not suitable for the vertical garden, so was transplanted into the garden.

Borage has lovely blue flowers which are extremely attractive to bees. They also taste like mild cucumber and are a lovely addition to a summer salad. Some people eat the cucumber-flavoured leaves as well, but I find them too hairy. Zak helped with the harder bits, like digging holes in the garden. While we were transplanting I finally got the Scotch moss I bought last week put into the garden. I put it near the Buddha, with hopes that it will spread over that little rise.

And we bought a black "granite" (enameled tin ware) roasting pan, which is about 18" long, a foot wide and four inches deep. Zak dug a shallow hole on the Buddha mound, we put an inch or two of gravel in the bottom of the pan and we sited it as a bird bath. It hadn't been in place 10 minutes before it was used for a very thorough bath by a white-crowned sparrow, and there are two white-crowns drinking from it right now. Looks as if this will be a very welcome addition to the garden.

It looks a little industrial at this point but I will find a way to disguise the hard edges, and make it fit in. This might even be a good picture of it were it not for the 50 feet of garden hose snaking its way around in the background.

It was overcast, and so cold and windy today I never even took the tomatoes from the greenhouse. I left the trouble light on all night and most of the day, trying to cheer up the sad little purple-leaved tomatoes which are suffering in this cold weather.

Still to transplant; six coleus, eight marigolds, six strawberry plants, a box of white alyssum, a rosemary plant, and tomatoes by the dozen. I still haven't planted my squash and melon seeds, and may not even bother until 10 days before I plan to plant them out. They would not do well in this weather. I do need to get my peas planted though.

The list of tasks is longer than my arm, and definitely more than a match for my energy levels. I will not reveal how long it has been since I did a proper houseclean. However, the garden is coming together, as the house falls to pieces. I am one of the girls who would much rather be outside than inside. My dream house is one you could hose down - inside. I really ought to just live in a cave and forget the entire house bit.

But you really ought to be sitting with me now, as the sun has finally emerged, and is shining through the dense panicles of Mayday tree blossoms tossing in the wind. Gorgeous!

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