Monday, 20 June 2011

Starting projects, pretty flowers and secret desires...

Yellow Day Lilies

I'd love to say I've finished lots of projects this week, but in reality I just started lot of projects.  I started fitting a pattern for an everyday shirt.. not done.  I started knitting a pair of footie sockettes for me, not done.  I started sewing up the new pilgrim bag, not done.  I just kept starting things with nothing being close to finished. 

I also played in the dirt.  I weeded the garden and then weeded some more.  I replanted a few seeds.  I mulched parts of the garden.  I'm using straw this year.  Ruth Stout's method uses any sort of compostable matter, leaves, spoiled hay etc.  I use leaves in the fall, but they pretty much decompose over the winter, under the heavy blanket of snow.   Straw is cheap enough to purchase, so I'm using it.  Her suggestion is 8 inches thickness to begin with, but I've been using 4-6 inches and even at 4 inches, it seems enough to keep the weeds down.  I'm shaking out the flakes of straw, so it strews randomly.  I think the criss crossing of all the little stems of straw helps deter the weeds, once it settles down.  Straw is the stems of harvested grain like oats or wheat.  There should be little to no seed heads left, which is helpful when trying not to germinate more unwanted weeds and plants.  I'd have expected the straw to start breaking down and composting faster than it does.  Perhaps that's because it lacks the green part of compost.  I'll add lots of grass clippings later in the summer.  Right now it's doing it's job at keeping the weeds down and helping hold in soil moisture.

Perennial Coreopsis 
I found a few perennials on sale.  I didn't really need any more, but 2 more Icelandic Poppies made their way home with me, a perennial Coreopsis and some Yellow Yarrow.  I really wanted Red Yarrow, but couldn't find any this year.  Really cheap Yellow Yarrow is an acceptable substitute!    I also came home with 2 more Blueberry bushes.   We currently have 4 planted.  One of the Blueberries was a replacement for one which is looking rather poorly.  The other was to replace a second sickly looking plant, but it seems to be doing okay now.  I'll plant it someplace to wait and see if this one keeps doing well.  I've heard you need several varieties to germinate Blueberries and have lucked out with finding at least 2, possibly 3 different ones.

The birds are eating all the Red Currents and Gooseberries again this year.  They're not even ripe yet and are disappearing.  Next year I will invest in some bird netting covers for the berries!  I'm hoping the blackberries and the blueberries will start to bear fruit next year and want to preserve those for our own use, rather than the wildlife, for sure!

I've been playing with my camera.  This was the only close to pretty sunset I've seen in a very long while.  I tried to capture it but it seemed like the colours kept changing, minute by minute.  It was going from purple to orange then fading out completely and back again.   Most bizarre and beautiful.

Today, this was the view out my front picture window.   The sky was moody greys and lavenders, laying heavy upon the horizon.   The neighbour was haying, trying to get it in before it rained.   It was such a serene picture.   It is also one of the few sights that sets my heart to longing.  I've always wanted enough land to hay, and a tractor, mower, baler etc.   It's one of my secret passions...


Woolly Bits said...

the skies are as grey as ours:))at least some people don't melt in 30 deg.C, that's a consolation!
icelandic poppies never works as perennials for me, they just die and never come back, even though I love poppies of all kinds!
and I am the same with starting projects - I still didn't finish the bat shawl, because my shoulder starts to hurt after a few rows. it'll take somewhat longer - but if I change between spinning, knitting and gardening - at least some weeding will get done:)

Leigh said...

I would absolutely love to have that view out my front window! I've always been a fan of Ruth Stout, and if Dan weren't so happy whenever he has the tiller in his hands, I'd try something like that. I'll be interested in how your straw mulch works out.

Julie said...

Boy it sounds like we've been doing the same things! Good luck with all of yours!